Moving to Buckinghamshire
Are you moving to Buckinghamshire? Lying to the north and west of London, the county of Buckinghamshire offers the rolling hills of the Chilterns and the river valleys of the Thames and the Great Ouse. Although the county’s largest towns are High Wycombe and Milton Keynes, London commuters favour a cluster of pretty villages and market towns in the south of the county. Beaconsfield, Gerrards Cross, the Chalfonts, Amersham and Great Missenden make the perfect choice for executives who need access to central London, West London, Heathrow and the Western Corridor.
This ragged-edged county stretches approximately twice as far north-south than east to west. Its geography is divided by the Chiltern Hills, and to the north of these, the Vale of Aylesbury is a largely-flat river plane. To the south of the hills, however, you will find the pretty sloping countryside of the Thames Valley, and it’s this southeastern corner of the county that attracts London money. Coming out of London on the M40, Gerrards Cross lies 20 miles west of central London, just to the north of the motorway. Three miles further on Beaconsfield is also north of the M40. Directly to the north of Gerrards Cross, the three Chalfonts – Chalfont St Peter, Chalfont St Giles and Little Chalfont – stretch out in a northerly direction. Beyond them, Amersham and Great Missenden lie further into the countryside.
As a whole, the area is well served by transport and communication links. The M40 runs north-west from London towards Oxford and Birmingham. South Bucks also has easy access to the M25, putting Heathrow on the doorstep and bringing Gatwick, Luton and Stansted within easy reach. The area is also traversed by a number of railway lines, with the south of the county mainly served by the Chiltern Main Line, running between London and High Wycombe. Furthermore, Chalfont St Peter and Amersham are western outposts of the London Underground system, with stops on the Metropolitan Line.
Our free, in-depth Moving to Buckinghamshire report includes info on:
• The best areas to live
• The good schools
• The average monthly rental prices
• The excellent public transport system in the city
With a reputation for being one of the UK’s most desirable areas, Gerrards Cross has earned the soubriquet ‘mini Hollywood’ due to the large number of UK entertainment industry figures who live here. Along with Chalfont St Peter and Chalfont St Giles, Gerrards Cross makes up a golden triangle which, according to The Telegraph, is Britain’s fourth richest place to live.
Gerrards Cross itself is a relatively new village, established in 1859, and named after the Gerrard family who were lords of the manor in the area. For a village with a population of 8,000, it has a remarkable number of independent schools, as well as access to several excellent grammar schools in the area. It also has the appearance of the archetypal English country village, with period houses around the village green and a bustling high street with shops, cafes, restaurants, banks, a library and a cinema. Most of the properties that become available to rent were built between the 1930s and the 1950s, or form part of modern executive developments. Commuting into London is quick and easy, with a 25 minute journey on the Chiltern Line railway.
Smart family properties are scattered around the common, and the area is extraordinary rural considering how close to London it is. The smartest addresses are in Camp Road, North Park, Oval Way and Top Park. Bulstrode Way, Marsham Way and Vicarage Way are also popular due to their proximity to the railway station. Additionally, there are some imaginative new developments of luxury apartments and townhouses. Look out for glorious Edwardian Arts-and-Crafts style houses and equestrian idylls with land and stabling.
Beaconsfield is larger than a village, with a population of 12,000, and it can be divided into the historic Old Town and the more commercial New Town. It takes its name from the ancient beech woods of the area, the remnants of which still surround it, and the town grew up as a natural stopping point on the road from London to Oxford. Amazingly, you can still get a meal in several of the original coaching inns and the Royal Standard pub is reputed to be the oldest free house in the land!
It has long been recognised as one of the country’s most desirable places to live and for that reason has attracted a host of celebrities over the years including the writer Enid Blyton, actor James Corden, Barry Gibb of the Bee Gees and writer Sir Terry Pratchett. Furthermore, it was for many years the constituency of British Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli. Good schools, spacious properties, low crime rates and a friendly community continue to attract those who can afford to live here.
The Old Town is the place to look for Georgian townhouses and cottages; in the New Town large and luxurious new builds are the order of the day. You might also find Mock Tudor and Arts-and-Crafts properties, as well as more modern developments. The best addresses are Burkes Road, Burkes Crescent, Furzefield Road, Cambridge Road, Westfield Road, Chiltern Hills Road and Grove Road.
Chalfont St Giles
Chalfont St Giles is the middle village of the three Chalfont’s and it has been considered distinct from Chalfont St Peter since the time of the Doomsday Book. Its most famous resident must be John Milton, who wrote his epic poem Paradise Lost here — and literary-minded visitors can still pay homage at his cottage. It is also home to two of the UK’s most notorious rock gods, Noel Gallagher of Oasis and Ozzie Osbourne of Black Sabbath, as well as the Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg.
Chalfont St Giles is the quintessential English village, with a green, a duck pond, a village church, friendly pubs and local shops, and a plethora of medieval cottages. Nearby, the Quaker-built village of Jordans is popular for its simple redbrick houses around the village green. Addresses to aspire to include Cope’s Road, Woodbank Drive, Bottrells Lane, Gorelands Lane and Nightingale Lane.
Chalfont St Peter
With approximately 13,000 residents, Chalfont St Peter is verging on being a small town rather than a village and it can be hard to say where Gerrards Cross ends and St Peter starts. The centre is not so picturesque as it’s neighbor to the north – although there are still a few Georgian shops on the High Street, most of it was developed in the 1920s and 1960s. However, its proximity to Gerrards Cross station on the main Chiltern line to London has ensured its popularity as a place to live. And if the village isn’t so pretty, there are plenty of attractive houses in the surrounding area.
When it comes to property, most of the houses in the village date from the 30s and the 50s, though there are some smaller Victorian cottages around. Newbuild executive developments have sprung up on the margins of Chalfont St Peter, offering spacious houses with mod cons and large gardens. Like for like, property rental is generally slightly cheaper in Chalfont St Peter than in Chalfont St Giles.
To the north of its two larger namesakes, Little Chalfont grew up in the 20th century in response to the arrival of Metropolitan Line. It has a population of 6,000 and the majority of the houses are comparatively modern, 1920s or later. There is, though, a Grade II listed 16th century manor, Beel House, that once belonged to Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne.
Although it’s small, the village has about 30 shops, a post office, a doctor’s surgery and a number of dental practices, along with a fortnightly farmers’ market. Once again, property rents are likely to be lower here than in the other two Chalfonts and Gerrards Cross.
To the north and west of the Chalfonts, Amersham is a small market town with a population of 14,000, lying 27 miles from the centre of London. It can be divided into two distinct areas, Old Amersham in the River Misbourne valley and Amersham-on-the-Hill, which grew up with the arrival of the railway. Originally, the land belonged to Queen Edith, the wife of Edward the Confessor, before passing to William the Conqueror in 1075. In the 16th century, seven Protestant martyrs were burned at the stake here, a memorial to whom was erected in 1931.
Amersham is a perfect commuter town, with both rail and underground links into central London. However, this line is part of the proposed route for the new High Speed 2 rail link between London and Birmingham, and though trains won’t be stopping here, it does mean that there may be some construction work in the area over the next few years. But apparently this is not affecting property prices, according to a recent article in The Times.
Old Amersham is the place for a Georgian cottage but for a more spacious family house, Amersham-on-the-Hill is a better place to look. Because of the good transport links, the surrounding villages are also popular. Popular addresses include Orchard Lane, Grimsdells Road, Devonshire Avenue and any of the streets within walking distance from the station.
Northwest of Amersham, Great Missenden also lies in the Misbourne Valley. This pretty, traditional village has a population of 10,000 and rose to fame as the home of the children’s writer Roald Dahl – creator of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. But before that it had already developed as a coaching stop on the route between London and Birmingham – The George on the High Street was one of the original coaching inns.
The town is 35 miles from London, with good rail links to the capital and to Aylesbury, an underground stop on the Metropolitan line, and in terms of roads, it’s convenient for the M40, the M4 and the M25. Look for cottages and townhouses in the centre of the village, and larger detached family homes on the outskirts. Popular streets include Grimms Hill, The Lee, Bryants Bottom, Martinsend Lane and Nags Head Lane.
Bringing the Kids
Buckinghamshire is very much a family destination and the range of schools available is second to none.
- The country of Buckinghamshire funds 23 state secondary schools.
- Additionally, there are 13 selective grammar schools in the county including the celebrated Dr Challoner schools for boys and girls in Amersham and Little Chalfont.
- There are 184 state-funded primary schools, many of which are Church of England or Roman Catholic affiliated.
- There are 20 independent, fee-charging schools covering the full age range, both coeducational and single-sex
Relocating to Buckinghamshire
If you’re moving to the UK to work on the western fringes of London – places like Slough, Uxbridge, Reading, Windsor, High Wycombe or in the Heathrow area, these picturesque Buckinghamshire villages in wonderful country settings will have just the right appeal for a quintessentially English experience. But if you’re not familiar with the area yourself, you might find it hard to know where to start looking; there are a lot of factors to take into consideration when looking for a rental property, and a wide variation in the rents being asked. Not to mention the considerations of convenience for work, access to suitable schools, easy transport links for trips back home… This is when employing the services of a relocation agent can really help.
At Saunders 1865, our teams of experts combine local knowledge with first-hand experience to put people in a home that will be right for them. We know what works and what doesn’t and our dedicated approach to your property search will leave no stone unturned. We can advise you on how much you should expect to pay and the advantages and disadvantages of choosing different areas. We can bring expertise to all these factors and help to arrange smooth, efficient and stress-free relocations – all over the UK. Our services include home finding assistance, school finding, lease negotiations, temporary accommodation, move management and immigration assistance. Don’t hesitate to contact us to find out how we can help you.
Buckinghamshire is the English Heaven near central London. For the VIP Assignee needing easy access to central London and Heathrow airport, these picturesque Buckinghamshire villages offer wonderful countryside settings and a quintessentially English experience.
Average Monthly Rents - Gerrards Cross
Average Monthly Rents - Beaconsfield
Average Monthly Rents - Chalfont St Giles
Average Monthly Rents - Chalfont St Peter
Average Monthly Rents - Little Chalfont
Average Monthly Rents - Amersham
Average Monthly Rents - Great Missenden