With plenty of inviting places to pause for refreshment, shopping is a relaxing pastime both in Old Amersham and its more modern counterpart on the hill, which grew up on the arrival of the Metropolitan Railway. Ladieswear predominates in the Old Town, in select outlets such as Jaeger and independent boutiques like Ambers, located in the former Old Mill.
Here in the Old Town, picturesque pubs rub shoulders with contemporary eating places, such as Gilbeys restaurant in the 17th century former grammar school or Seasons Café Deli, rated one of the Top Coffee Shops in the country.
What to see in Amersham
Amersham Museum, located in the Tudor hall house in Old Amersham High Street. This fabulous museum tells the story of local events, places and people, with exhibits and information covering an intriguing range of topics from Amersham's religious martyrs to Dinky Toys. There are excellent guided walks of the Old Town and its surroundings take place on selected dates: please check the museum website.
Into the countryside
The River Misbourne rises above Great Missenden and flows for 17 miles (27km) through Little Missenden, Amersham and the Chalfonts to Denham, where it meets the River Colne. There are three lovely walks you can enjoy, depending how much time you have; download the free leaflet that includes trail details, where to start, refreshments en route and points of interest along the way.
What to head for further afield
Bekonscot at Beaconsfield – 5.6 miles from Amersham. The oldest surviving model village in the world opened for the first time in 1929, in the garden of the private house next door to Enid Blyton. Stuck in its 1930s time warp, this 1½ acre site packs in hundreds of buildings and thousands of plants, created in minute and meticulous detail. Tiny figures go about their business in an entertaining variety of nostalgic scenes, set in their own lovely little gardens and all linked by a superb and complex model railway. All profits, after running costs, are donated to charity.
Milton's Cottage at Chalfont St Giles – 4 miles from Amersham. This was the home of poet and parliamentarian John Milton, who took refuge in the Chilterns to escape the London plague. It was here that he finished Paradise Lost and embarked on plans for Paradise Regained. Still atmospheric, the cottage is a remarkable survival, whilst its contents also provide fascinating insight into the life and work of this influential man.
Chiltern Open Air Museum – 5.3 miles from Amersham. The museum rescues threatened buildings that are typical of the Chilterns and re-erects them on a 45-acre site of natural park, meadow and woodland. There are more than 30 buildings on the site, include a working 19th century farmyard and a village with its green, cottages, forge and chapel. Animals, and traditional machinery still in use, make the farm a particularly special place. The museum stages a wide variety of events for adults and children, bringing the history of the Chilterns and their buildings to life.
Jordans – 5.6 miles from Amersham. The Quaker village (and former home of Ozzy Osbourne) takes its name from Old Jordans, the farmstead where Quaker farmers lived and worshipped in 17th century, when Quakers and other non-conformists were persecuted for their faith. William Penn, the founder and first governor of Pennsylvania, was amongst them. He is buried in the grounds of the tranquil Friends Meeting House, built in 1688 after the Declaration of Indulgence made public worship possible. Building of the village began in earnest in 1919 by a Friendly Society that aimed to build the houses and cottages using its own industries to produce the individually crafted materials.
Chenies Manor – 4 miles from Amersham. This charming Tudor manor house was visited on more than one occasion by both Henry VIII and Elizabeth I. Once part of the Duke of Bedford's estates, it was rescued and restored by Alistair and Elizabeth MacLeod Matthews as their family home. The award-winning gardens add events and seasonal displays to ever popular features which including the yew maze, turf maze and tea room.