In Buckinghamshire, England. It's very green most of the year, possibly THE greenest place I've ever lived. There is a lot of National Trust land around the area. Roald Dahl lived fairly close and if you read the book "Danny, Champion of the world" and then go to High Wycombe from the North by train in the Autumn you will see what he meant. Pheasants everywhere! High Wycombe has tons of hills, hence the name. Interesting places to go include The West Wycombe caves (Home of the Hell Fire Club), also visit the church and mausoleum above the caves, a Hammer film was made there! There is good travel access to pretty much everywhere, High Wycombe being located on the M40 motorway so you can go north to the Midlands or south to London. There is also the Chiltern Train service. Wembley Stadium is only a few stops down the line! If you ever watch the show "Vicar Of Dibley", the motorway that is flown over is the M40, it's right before the 1st exit to High Wycombe. From November 1990 to January 1996 I lived in High Wycombe because I was stationed there in the RAF. I served at Headquarters Strike Command (now know as HQAir). This is the admin centre of the fighting Air Force. All the admin for the good stuff is done here. When I arrived I worked in Command Supply Registry, Supply 4 MT 4 section. I had been there less than a month before I was detached away to work on my War Role working in the Primary War Head Quarters. This was just before the 1st Gulf War kicked off so we were pretty damn busy. I worked down there (It's underground!) for over a year. When it finally came for me to go back to my real job I didn't have a real job to go back to. I'd been replaced. So I was moved into the Receipt & Dispatch Registry. This job was excellent because it was me and lots of civilians delivering the mail. This makes you a VERY important person, especially at the end of the month when the wage slips come. Everyone wants 'em quick and your suddenly Mr. Popular! I was in this job and getting people their mail or wage slips quickly started to become profitable. You could avoid guard duty or Ground Defence Training, I went nearly 3 years on the unit before I did either of these. Strike Command is a weird place, it's an RAF base, with a Command Base, a War HQ, and a NATO base. They even have a small amount of Royal Engineers working for the RAF there. Tons of weirdly uniformed foreigners saluting airmen. You have to smile & wave at them and shake your head in that international symbolic gesture of "No, you don't salute me. I'm a nobody" I was part of the ACE exchange programme while I was there. It's not really super classified so I'll explain. If you want useful info read Janes Defence Weekly, it's fully explained in very exact detail in there. (What military secrets?) Back in the 1980's when Reagan and Gorbachov signed the mutual disarming treaty NATO said that the Reds could come and visit any base and we could do vice-versa. When the Reds come each member of the visiting group has an exact opposite to stay with them, you are the equivalant rank to the Boris (Russian Air force guy, easier to call em Boris) you go everywhere he goes and make sure he doesn't see what he shouldn't. You answer all the questions that the treaty says you must, and you have to be on constant standby for them to visit. They don't have to give any notice their coming, you have to be ready to get up from your normal job and leg it over to where they are and then ferry them around the unit showing them stuff they want to see. They came, I can't really say much more than that. It's got some seriously nice pubs in the High Street (I can highly recommend The Hob Goblin if its still there) and it's a fairly compact city centre so everything is easy to walk to from the central bus depot. You'll probably get bored with its selection of places to shop but there are lots of other good cities in easy range of travel, I used to go to Reading on the bus quite a lot. (originally written on H2G2 by me)
Although at first there does not seem much to set apart High Wycombe from any other large town, it's unique history and attributes combine to form a lively and colourful place. I shall try to bring a little bit of High Wycombe to life for you. High Wycombe is the largest town in the county of Buckinghamshire, although surprisingly it is not the administrative centre. Situated in the rolling hills of the Chilterns, the town is built upon steep slopes and deep valleys, which make for an interesting winter driving experience. The name Wycombe derives from two words. Wye is the name of the once grand river, which is now reduced to a stream which surfaces at various points through out the town. Combe is an old English word for valley. The river Wye runs into the nearby Thames. The town grew up around the furniture industry (I'm talking chippendale not chipboard), in the 18th and 19th centuries. It was once the centre of the English furniture trade. Even today a few fine furniture manufacturers remain in High Wycombe, although their importance in the overall local economy is nothing near it's former scale. In 1884, a handful of furniture trade workers decided to get together to lay football. The team they formed became Wycombe Wanderers, who are now a major force in the 2nd division. For those who are interested, www.wycombewanderers.co.uk is an excellent website. A curious local custom is the annual ceremony of 'weighing - in the mayor' . In days past, the purpose of this activity was to ensure that the mayor was not getting fat on local tax money. Apparently if the mayor put on weight, he was expected to get the drinks in! The town centre is built around the old market house. There are a couple of indoor shopping centres, and a multitude of shops on the various winding streets. Most of the usual highstreet names are represented along with a few individual shops. There is also a craft market. There are 3 or 4 supermarkets dotted about the town, including Asda and 2 tescos. There is a large John Lewis store at one end of town, but this particular branch does not sell clothes. High Wycombe is well served with lesiure facilities. There is a multi screen Uci cinema, which is in a complex with some restaurants. There is a badminton centre, an all weather football pitch, and an excellent sports centre. The town centre has many pubs and high street restaurants, with a sprinkling of night clubs. This is also the home of the renowned Wycombe Swan theatre complex (01494 512000), which hosts among other things, pop music events, ballet, theatre, pantomimes and variety shows. Transport wise, the town is situated on the M40 motorway, and is well served by buses, coaches and trains (London - Birmingham line). The train and bus station are centrally located. The housing in High Wycombe is a mixture of old and new, with house prices being typical for a thriving South East town. There are a number of industrial estates in the town, most of which are dedicated to light engineering and electronics. It is also worth mentioning the Air park, which is 2 miles form the town. As well as being an airfield for light aircraft and gliders, this is also the home of the Blue Max museum. This is dedicated to historic flying machines, many of the exhibits have featured in films. Just down the road, and worth a visit is West Wycombe, a tourist's dream. The village is owned by the national trust, and is home to a curious range of timber framed buildings which all seem to lean at their own particular angle. West Wycombe is also home to the infamous Hell Fire Caves (part natural, part man made), which were linked in times past to the Hell Fire Club. Tales of witchcraft abound. So there you have it, in many ways High Wycombe is a typical town, but it also has it's own unique flavour if you look beneath the surface.
High Wycombe is nothing special, just a town with the usual high street shops and banks. The train station is in the centre of Wycombe, which is useful. On the outskirts of High Wycombe is a huge out of town John Lewis, which is always packed. High Wycombe has some very good grammer schools, Royal Grammer school and John Hamden Grammer school. High Wycombe is fairly near to Windsor (berks) and Slough (berks) as well as Beaconsfield, chalfont and Gerrards Cross.