Buckingham, Buckinghamshire: Staycation Inspiration
Buckingham Garden Centre is where the newest of our garden building showsites is located. As lockdown eases and more and more businesses start to re-open their doors we thought it was a high time to start to plan a staycation. We’ve researched places to stay, eat and discover in the local area so on your next visit you can make a day, or even a weekend of it! Make sure to check ahead for opening times, make a booking if needed and stick to social distancing rules until further notice.
Villiers is a spectacular 18th Century 49-bedroom hotel in the centre of the market town of Buckingham. It started life some 400 years ago as the Swanne upon the Hoppe. A major refurbishment in 2017 brought back to life all the front of house areas including the Historic Ballroom which now hosts events including Faulty Towers Dining Experience and ‘An Audience with Bernie Marsden’.
For a delicious bite to eat the Old Thatched Inn is a local gastro pub at Adstock. The wine list is carefully chosen by the owner Andy and being a freehouse means they stock an interesting range of real ales to wash down the impressive seasonal dishes prepared with locally sourced ingredients.
Just up the road from our showsite is the Chafor Vineyard. A small family run boutique wine estate set in 23 acres of Buckinghamshire countryside. The winery has a hand-built tasting room and mezzanine art gallery which are complemented by a self-guided nature trail and lake-side area, ideal for picnics and family days out. They open their doors to the public most weekends from May to September 11am to 4pm and run a full programme of tours and tastings.
Each month, the gallery also exhibits the work of a different artist and hosts talks and workshops. Entry is free and make sure to call into the café for a slice of freshly baked cake and to take in the view of the beautiful Walled Garden.
The Nimble Thimble is a first patchwork and quilting shop on Well Street in the Buckingham. Over the ten years the shop has been opened sewers and knitters have travelled in ever increasing numbers to this shop for their supply of yarn, fabric and sewing accessories. A real community of sewers, knitters and makers has formed around the shop and regular workshops are held where new sills can be acquired, and new friends made.
The oldest private university in the UK, University of Buckingham is a central hub of activity in the town. With regular lunchtime classical music concerts that are held in the Radcliffe Centre and evening lectures that are hosted in the University’s Chandos Road building, there is lots of opportunity to get involved with life on campus.
The National Trust describes the landscaping at Stowe as “gardening on the grandest scale”.Picture perfect views, winding paths, lakeside walks and temples await at this earthly paradise. The garden, park and café are open daily between 10 am and 5 pm and admission charges apply. You can dog along to Stowe as long as they’re kept on leads. Browse the secondhand bookshop in the Hayloft and check the calendar on the website for seasonal events.