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  • Beverley

    Hi Rebecca, I’ve been in Princes Risborough for the past 17 years, moved from Thame and run a cookery school here. Totally understand where you’re coming from, Risborough high st has 3 Indian restaurants, a couple of nice cafes and Costa, and heaps of flipping Charity Shops, and yes it does tend be overrun by OAPs. Probably because it’s a commuter town. The big ‘pluses’ being M&S Simply Food and a fabulous butcher. We loved living in Thame (10 mins away in Oxon), it’s a more bustling market town with some lovely kids activities, shops, restaurants and nice pubs but we moved to Risborough for the house and it’s an easier commute to London.

    Wendover has more of a cafe culture and some niche shops (no decent supermarket though), it’s a longer commute on a slower train service so it just depends what you want. Great Missenden is smaller with a lovely high street and a nice wine bar, cafes (new costa about to open), good junior school and on the same line as Wendover. For real cafe culture you could opt for Beaconsfield but that’s closer in and a lot more expensive.

    Worth having a look at Tring too, between Wendover and Berkhamsted (Berkhamsted also fab), over the border in Herts but 10 mins from Wendover. Tring is smaller with a lovely villagey feel, Berkhamsted more expensive and a much larger town with an excellent range of cafes and restaurants, on the canal too, very pretty.

    Some of the villages around such as Speen have a great social interaction with the villagers, not much of a cafe culture though, it has a good pub and a local store. It really depends what you want. If you want to walk everywhere without driving then Wendover and Thame are great, if you intend commuting into London then Risborough is excellent and there are some lovely pubs and cafes just outside plus you have the Phoenix Trail which gives you a car free cycle route to Thame when the children get bigger.

    Risborough also has a swimming pool as does Thame. Haddenham is also lovely, a village feel and a couple of lovely cafes and good schools, cute church set around a duck pond but it can be a bit sleepy during the day as it’s a bit of a ‘commuter’ village, close to Thame it’s on the Risborough line so easy to get into London.

    If you want a village, you’re not going to get the cafe culture, they’re quite small round here and tend to have a church and a school if you’re lucky a corner shop, nothing much else. Or go bigger and opt for a town. Hope this helps

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