Travel

Buckingham – a guide for visiting this town in 2023

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When people hear the word 'Buckingham', they often think of the Royal Family. But there is actually a town called Buckingham, and although you won't find any royals there, you'll find plenty which is worth seeing.

Buckingham is a very pretty traditional market town with plenty of charm, and although it's a small place, we think it's well worth a visit.

We wanted to publish a guide about Buckingham for anyone planning to visit in 2023, let's get into it:

Where is Buckingham?

Buckingham is situated right in the heart of Buckinghamshire. It lies approximately 13 miles to the West of Milton Keynes, and about 17 miles to the North of Aylesbury, which is the county town of Buckinghamshire.  Bletchley is about 11 miles away, another town which is well worth a visit if you have the time. London can be reached in under 2 hours from Buckingham, so it is well placed for people from the capital to come for a short trip.

What is there to see and do in Buckingham?

You've got plenty to see and do in and around Buckingham. Here are some of the highlights:

Old Gaol

Housed in an 18th century jail, the Old Gaol museum is a great place to visit if you’re looking to learn more about the history of Buckingham. What we love about the Old Gaol is that from the outside, it looks like a small medieval castle, but when you enter the building people are often shocked not only be the style and design of the interior but also by how vast it is. It was used as a prison so we wouldn't describe the building as particularly pleasant-looking, but there is no denying that it's impressive and that the Buckingham Heritage Trust has done a remarkable job of restoration.

Amazingly, you can even hire this building out, and it’s actually really reasonably priced too! If you wanted to have a slightly dark kids party here then you could hire it for 3 hours for only £70. Learn more here - buckinghamoldgaol.org.uk

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The Chantry Chapel

Currently managed by the National Trust, this chapel is the oldest building in Buckingham and is quite special to visit. The oldest parts of this building date back to the 12th century, and although it has been restored and renovated many times you can still appreciate the age of the Chapel and the interesting blend of design styles.

The building has been used for many purposes over the years but is perhaps best known for being used as a school between the 16th and 20th centuries. Currently, there is a bookshop within the chapel, as well as a community centre. Learn more here - nationaltrust.org.uk

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The Church of St Peter & St Paul

On the site of a former Saxon Castle sits the church of St Peter & St Paul, known locally as the Buckingham Parish Church. This church dates from the late 18th century, and was built after the previous parish church in the town completely collapsed. Fans of religious building architecture will have plenty to admire at this church, as the design is quintessential Victorian Gothic Revival. The octagonal plan spire of the tower is especially impressive, as well as the nave.

The building itself is a joy to explore, but of special interest is the Latin manuscript bible housed within which dates from 1471. Learn more and plan your visit here - bpchurch.uk

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The Old Town Hall

Depending on what's happening during your time in Buckingham, you might not actually get the chance to enter The Old Town Hall, but it's still very nice to look at from the outside - it's a Grade II* listed building which, like many of the buildings from Buckingham, dates from the 18th century. The red brick exterior is quite striking, especially on a sunny day.

Keep an eye out for the impressive gilded swan at the top of the building above the clock - for those that don't know, the swan is regarded as the bird of Buckingham.

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Stowe

With more than 250 acres of lush green space to explore, Stowe is a great place to visit if you’re a fan of long walks and Georgian landscape gardens. This 18th-century garden and park has been meticulously maintained by the National Trust. The gardens surround Stowe House which isn’t owned by the National Trust, but you can still visit the house via a guided tour. It’s an impressive Georgian manor house with plenty to see, but if you can join one of the rooftop tours then we highly recommend that you do, as the view from the roof of the house across the gardens and beyond is stunning.

The lakeside walk is just over a mile in length and is the perfect trail to follow if you’re looking to pass the prettiest parts of the outdoor space. Learn more here - nationaltrust.org.uk

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Visit the markets

If you're a fan of markets then a trip to Buckingham is right up your street - the town hosts a busy street market on Saturdays and Tuesdays between 8am and 4pm, and it is said that the town has held this type of street market for more than 600 years. Expect to find plenty of great street food, household goods such as vacuum cleaners, and more. There is also a great flea market held every Saturday between 9am and 3pm, where you'll find plenty of antiques and other interesting objects. Both are held in the centre of the town. Learn more here - buckingham-tc.gov.uk

Chandos Park

Right at the centre of Buckingham you’ll find a haven of green loveliness - Chandos Park. The Great Ouse river flows through the park and makes for a very peaceful and beautiful place to sit and enjoy a picnic. If you want to do something a bit more active then there is a great play area which includes tennis courts and more.
We hope this guide has inspired you to visit this brilliant town. If you're interested in visiting other locations near Buckingham then we have a guide about The Cotswolds.

Finn is the editor of You Well and has been writing about travel, health, and more for over 10 years.

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