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Counties > Buckinghamshire > Haddenham & Thame Parkway

Haddenham & Thame Parkway

HADDENHAM & THAME PARKWAY Whichever way you look at it, Haddenham is a pretty big village or a big pretty village, now split into two, the old and the new. The Sheerstock estate of two-, three-, four- and five-bedroom houses, priced from £200,000 to £450,000, is the new. The southern end is the old. Here and there are walls made of witchert (the Saxon word for white earth) topped rather surprisingly with Spanish tiles, enclosing little lanes leading to attractive Georgian and Victorian houses. A Grade II listed, detached cottage with a large garden costs £585,000. This is a great place for people to retire to. Otherwise, social life is divided into an energetic tennis-playing set who live on the new side, the old Haddenham agricultural and arts set, and new people form the social sandwich filling. Lots of residents commute to London on the M40. There are plenty of local sports, arts and activity clubs, and a village hall where it all happens.

Thame is distinguished by an unusually wide high street, which the annual fair turns into a medieval parade ground against a backdrop of houses from the 15th century to the present. There are plenty of three- and four-bedroom houses at around £300,000 to £600,000. It has three primary schools and good sporting facilities – football, rugby, squash and snooker – and a sports and arts centre. Some commuters prefer to drive to Princes Risborough for the better choice of early and late trains into London.

West of the A418, between Thame and Aylesbury, are three sought-after villages. Cuddington, which has a history of being elected best-kept village in Buckinghamshire, has a green and lots of old thatch. Three-bedroom semis start at £300,000. Chearsley has a green, pub, shop and church, but no longer a school. There is a pretty set of thatched cottages and prices are high. Long Crendon is considered to be the crème de la crème of the area. Once the centre of the needle-making industry, it has a picturesque High Street running off the market square, an attractive green, a primary school and several interesting pubs. It is the sort of place that everyone dreams of calling home, and properties here attract a 10 to 20 per cent price premium. The majority of people who live here work in Oxford.

Good for: picturesque quality, very sought after, convenient for Oxford and London
Local knowledge: the green and duck pond at Haddenham make an acknowledged beauty spot popular with television crews filming Midsomer Murders and Agatha Christie dramas.
London terminal: Marylebone
Journey time: 50 mins
Season ticket: £3200
Peak trains: 3 per hour
Off-peak trains: 2 or 3