The last Grand Prix race was at Silverstone in England, bordering Northamptonshire and Buckinghamshire. My grandparents were from Northants and many of my relatives still live there. In doing my research for this post, I discovered that the first American President George Washington’s ancestors were also from Northamptonshire. Maybe we were related?
Northamptonshire is called the county of spires and squires because of the number of stately homes and ancient churches. Next time I got to Britain I’m going to spend a little longer exploring this part of my heritage. I looked up the top things to do in the county and the number one result was to go look at llamas. To each their own. Second highlight was of course the Grand Prix at Silverstone. Third thing is going to a couple of movie theaters. At this point I’m beginning to think that visiting relatives may be the only thing I do in Northants. The fourth most popular attraction involves tanks, slightly better. Number nine is a place called Bugtopia; I’d be visiting that one alone. Yeah, so if I’m in Northants then you’ll probably find me in the pub. It’s the heart of England, full of quaint little towns, there’s got to be some nice pubs.
So, with Northamptonshire proving a little light on the non-alcohol induced activities, let’s check out Buckinghamshire and see what’s shaking there.
First to note, Buckingham Palace is not in Buckinghamshire, go figure. However if you’re a fan of the TV show Midsomer Murders (as I am), you’ll recognize several of the villages in Bucks as much of the show’s locations are set here. You can even do a tour of the places featured in your favourite episode. Buckinghamshire is also home to the most National Trust properties of any county so I’m sure many a happy hour can be spent traipsing around old houses. If you like your history a little more modern, there are museums dedicated to Roald Dahl. Evidently, you can “take the Roald Dahl Trail and unearth some fizzpopping discoveries!” and for “hands-on family fun and Roald Dahl magic explore the fabulous Roald Dahl Children’s Gallery.” (Quotes take from the http://www.visitbuckinghamshire.org/ website.)
Prefer your entertainments a little more open-air? Then if the day is fine, walk in the Chilterns AONB (which stands for Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty). There’s a hill which seems de rigueur to climb and as a reward there’s an old independent brewery where you can slake your thirst. Finally, I was intrigued by the listing for the county’s latest attraction – The Green Dragon Rare Breeds Farm. I didn’t know there were non-rare breeds of green dragons around but I’m glad someone is doing something about the preservation of what I had always imagined was a mythical creature.
So, there you have it, what to do if you can’t get a ticket to Silverstone Grand Prix. People of Northamptonshire, please comment below on places to visit that I’ve missed. I’d hate for my heritage county to be shown up by Bucks.
Hungarian Grand Prix next, so heat up the goulash and we’ll see you back here on 1st August.