The Parish of Great Missenden lies at the centre of the Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, 35 miles northwest of London and 10 miles from the County Town of Aylesbury. It includes the picturesque villages of Ballinger Common, South Heath, Prestwood, Heath End and Hyde End, as well as the historic village of Great Missenden with its Augustine Abbey and many listed buildings.
The Parish is located in one of the most beautiful parts of the country, surrounded by rolling chalk hills, magnificent beech woods, quiet valleys and charming brick and flint villages. Views from some of the spectacular local walks reveal tapestries of woods, fields, hedges, sunken lanes and clear streams. Wildlife too is varied and interesting. There has been a successful reintroduction of red kites in the area and some of our commons have rare species of orchids and butterflies. Local nature groups run many activities such as pond dipping, badger watching, moth trapping and bird watching.
The area is well served by rail links to London and Aylesbury and is within easy reach of the M40, M4 and M25 Motorways. As well as the beauty of the area, the easy access to London and proximity of Chequers may explain why so many famous people have settled here over the years. Former Prime Ministers Harold Wilson and Clement Attlee and celebrated author Roald Dahl all lived in Great Missenden. Today there are a number of actors and celebrities who live in or near the Parish.
The Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre opened in Great Missenden in June 2005 and is a very popular attraction for schools and families. Roald Dahl was the author of many well-known children’s stories including Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and The BFG and many of his tales are set in locations within the Parish, such as Great Missenden library referred to in Matilda.