I have to admit something… I have a very weak spot for English villages. You know, the ones you’ve seen in movies like The Holiday. I’m in luck this week, as Gabby and James from The Globe Wanderers have written a wonderful piece on their hometown, Old Amersham: a small town exactly fitting the bill when it comes to adorable countryside villages.
Old Amersham may not be a big city but it has huge character. With an enormous heart and beautiful chocolate-box houses, a visit to this beautiful little village should be a big priority if you fancy a day trip out of manic London. We live just down the road from this idyllic place and we couldn’t feel any luckier.
From London’s Baker Street, simply hop on the Metropolitan Line and BOSH, in under an hour you’ll reach the end of the line, Amersham. When you arrive, things will look a little modern but don’t worry your country-bumpkin-seeking-head, you’re at Amersham on the Hill. This is a small town in the Buckinghamshire countryside but just a short walk down the hill is your destination; Amersham’s quintessential, old English market town.
Old Amersham’s history dates back as far as the pre Anglo-Saxon times. Today though, Amersham is a tranquil little gem along the River Misbourne that we are proud to call home.
The village is host to many public houses (that’s old talk for pubs) an array of restaurants, local businesses and a couple of picturesque hotels.
The pubs don’t just serve great beer… ohh no no, they look the part as well.
Where to Eat
There are lots of places to stop for a spot of breaky, lunch or dinner here but we’ve fallen in love with V’s Kitchen and her buns. This little cafe is just opposite Amersham’s Memorial Gardens and is full to the brim with tasty treats.
They offer scrumptious classic British breakfasts, indulgent afternoon teas complete with the best homemade scones, eat in or take away sandwiches, rolls and baguettes etc, delicious cakes, the biggest rock cakes and even a British tradition, Sunday Roast. The staff are friendly and will make you feel right at home… I guarantee you’ll be rolling out. A little word of warning though, there aren’t many tables so you have to be patient or call ahead to reserve.
If you happen to visit on a special occasion such as a birthday or anniversary, then how about splashing out a little. We’re not talking hundreds and thousands, but what if we said £48 could buy you three courses of the most incredible fine dining you possibly could wish for… not to mention the breads, amuse-bouche and pallet cleansing refreshers that are all included too. If this sounds like your idea of heaven then time your visit right and head to Artichoke for a experience to remember. Artichoke is a little husband and wife owned restaurant that since opening in 2002 has won a bunch of awards including the AA Restaurant of the Year for England 2013/14′ and Three Rosettes. It’s kind of a big deal.
We’ve visited Artichoke a couple of times now and are looking forward to when we may be able to wangle a third visit. Like V’s, we’d recommend booking ahead and not eating before your visit. Little word from the wise…. wear your loose fitting trousers and leave the belt at home, you’ll be thankful for the extra waist space by the time you finish your puds.
Where to Shop
With lots of independent local businesses, Amersham has lots of original boutique shops that will tease the pennies from your pocket. Check out some of our favourites:
Ring O Roses. The best little toy shop around with handmade one-off’s and proper toys (non of that plastic stuff you get from Argos).
Su Chases Interiors. This stunning house in the centre of the village is an Aladdin’s cave bursting with creative home furnishings, gifts and quirky bits and bobs.
The Saturday market still runs, all be it a little smaller than it once was, and is located under the Market Hall, next to the arcade. We recently picked up a couple of bargins including a box of 100 Beano comic strip cards and 18 small Charlie Chaplin prints. Total price: £8. Told you it was a bargain.
Dream Houses and wishful thinking
Old Amersham isn’t just a working village but a community with many stunning, chocolate box cottages lining the streets and backing onto the river. In fact our dream home (if we were to stay in England – and win the lottery) is just at the end of the road. What do you think? Not bad huh.
When you visit Old Amersham, prepare to soak up the English country atmosphere. From flags flying in the sunshine (if you pick the right day), to stunning classic cars driving past or loved up newly weds leaving the church as the bells ring out across the valley, this place is a real treat. Just do what the the locals do, perch yourself on a bench and watch the world go by for an hour or so. I promise you’ll leave feeling like a right country bumpkin. And if you fancy popping in for a cuppa, give us a heads up. We’ll pop the kettle on!
This is James and Gabby; a travel loving couple who believe life is too short to spend your days on earth living how you feel you should, conforming to society. They’ve decided to stop daydreaming and start doing. They want a life where they are free to go where they want, when they want and they want to set foot on every country in our incredible world as they do so. Hopefully they can inspire you to do the same. James and Gabby write about their travel adventures on their blog. Don’t forget to follow them on social media: