The small but fascinating old market town of Princes Risborough lies between the Vale of Aylesbury and the western edge of the Chiltern Hills. It is dominated by Whiteleaf Cross, which is the chalk hill carving that can be most readily appreciated by taking a trip on the Railway.
The history of Princes Risborough stretches back to the time of the Doomsday Book, but its ‘Royal’ name is thought to be from the 14th century Black Prince, who owned land and had a small palace in the vicinity. The town is also where the famous aviator Amy Johnson once lived.
Despite the urban growth experienced during the last century, the actual centre of the town, which is about 15 minutes’ walk from the station, has fortunately managed to retain much of its ‘old world’ charm, and it also has a pleasing selection of shops, good pubs, old inns, and a choice of restaurants and cafes.
Nearby the High Street is the parish church of St. Mary, which is a handsome building of flint and stone, originally of the 13th century, but with Tudor additions and alterations, and next to the church is Princes Risborough Manor House, a handsome 17th century mellow brick building owned by the National Trust.
The little streets of 17th and 18th century cottages, many of them half-timbered and displaying herringbone brickwork, open out into the Market Square with its Market House and open arcade, where weekly markets and annual fairs are still held.