6 ISSUES FOR £6 Subscribe to Berkshire & Buckinghamshire Life today click here

What’s on offer in High Wycombe

PUBLISHED: 11:53 17 July 2017 | UPDATED: 11:53 17 July 2017

The town sits surrounded by rolling countryside. This view is looking towards High Wycombe from West Wycombe Hill (Photo: Peter O’'Connor, flickr.com)

The town sits surrounded by rolling countryside. This view is looking towards High Wycombe from West Wycombe Hill (Photo: Peter O’'Connor, flickr.com)

Archant

Why not visit the market town – you can even have a shot at ladies’ clay pigeon shooting,

Every town has its ups and downs, but in High Wycombe perhaps the most noticeable one is the geography. Here’s a quirk: while Wycombe’s name starts with ‘High’, it’s actually in a valley surrounded by hills, one of the loftiest points of which is the adjoining village of Downley, high up in the Chiltern Hills, above the main town.

And when it comes to those ups and downs, the years have seen a particular icon do just that – the wooden Red Lion statue, various forms of which have imperiously looked down on passing shoppers in the High Street for some 200 years. The latest incarnation is once again looking spruce from its portico, unveiled on St George’s Day after months of expert restoration by master carver Colin Mantripp of the Lillyfee Woodcarving Studio in nearby Wooburn Green.

It’s all the result of a fundraising campaign by High Wycombe Society and local paper The Bucks Free Press, which saw some £10,000 collected to restore the lion to its former grandeur and provide funds for future maintenance, overseen by The Wycombe Heritage and Arts Trust. The statue once stood above the entrance to the Red Lion Hotel and over the years it has stood on a portico at what was the Woolworth store doors. Before that both Disraeli and later Churchill had chosen to make election speeches from the vantage point at the lion’s side to huge crowds.

What may well be the first lion now has a proud spot in Wycombe Museum; the one we see today in the High Street was placed there in the 1950s, and has had to weather some storms over the years, and not just hail, rain and snow pouring down from above. The Red Lion Hotel was sold in 1961 and the lion was removed until a return in 1966, perhaps for the best as a lorry crashed into the remaining portico in the meantime, demolishing it.

Eventually the lion ended up welcoming people to Woolworths, but the big storm of January 1990 saw the lion knocked off its stand and smashed into pieces. This was the first time Colin Mantripp put it back together. Since that repair, vandals broke off part of the tail, and then students left it with broken legs and a shattered tail early this century.

Just four years ago the once again broken tail was reattached with tape. Now the lion is back in all its glory – so we add a roar of approval for the High Wycombe people who made it happen.

By all means see the lion, but Wycombe is a delight for shopping, as well as the High Street and surrounding streets there is the lure of The Eden Centre, with a great mix of top brands such as Swarovski, including the Jean Paul Gaultier collaboration, House of Fraser, Kiko Milano (beauty), Jones Bootmaker, Monsoon, Superdry and Zara. It provides a feast of eateries, including Bill’s, and entertainment including the Hollywood Bowl and Cineworld.

For special events and offers see edenshopping.co.uk.

Anyone for Polo?

You might not instantly associate the Wycombe area with this sport, but West Wycombe Park Polo Club has played low goal polo at West Wycombe Park for more than 20 years, both in summer and winter. They hold tournaments from April summer until September, and play midweek, evenings and weekends, often taking on similar clubs.

Visitors are welcome to come and watch – it’s a great spot for a picnic – and if you’ve wondered about getting into polo this is a very friendly and low-cost route, plus there’s the social side. Even those who couldn’t ride have started this way, courtesy of club coaches.

See westwycombepolo.co.uk

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Berkshire and Buckinghamshire Life visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Berkshire and Buckinghamshire Life staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Berkshire and Buckinghamshire Life account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

More from Out & About

Tue, 11:54

There’s not much more invigorating than a Sunday stroll across the countryside on a crisp winter afternoon. Here we round up some of our favourite Buckinghamshire walks to enjoy this winter

Read more
Tue, 11:48

Follow Steve Davison as he heads to Stokenchurch for a longer walk – with shorter option – through some picturesque rolling Chiltern countryside.

Read more
Friday, February 16, 2018

A look back at some of the best Berkshire photography shared on Instagram this week…

Read more
Tuesday, February 13, 2018

We’ve been out and about in Windsor and Eton discovering that the forthcoming Royal Wedding is causing a lot of excitement

Read more
Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Enjoy superb food in intimate surroundings this Valentine's Day. Here are our favourite Berkshire and Buckinghamshire romantic inns and restaurants

Read more
Monday, February 12, 2018

When the weather gets colder, there’s not much more refreshing than a brisk walk across the countryside. Here are a few of those to enjoy in Berkshire

Read more
Monday, February 12, 2018

We take a look at some of the most romantic dining venues in Berkshire

Read more
Monday, February 12, 2018

We take a look at some of the most romantic dining venues in Buckinghamshire

Read more
Tuesday, February 6, 2018

The beauty of Berkshire comes in many forms. Enjoy everything from breathtaking views and luscious greenery to the glamour of pretty towns and historic sites this Valentine's Day

Read more
Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Buckinghamshire's beauty comes in many forms, from breathtaking views and luscious greenery to the glamour of pretty towns and historic sites. Enjoy it all this Valentine's Day

Read more
Tuesday, February 6, 2018

We round up some of the best events and things to do across Berkshire this month

Read more
Tuesday, January 30, 2018

We round up some of the best events and things to do across Buckinghamshire this month

Read more
Friday, January 26, 2018

Steve Davison takes us alongside the peaceful Kennet and Avon Canal, before visiting Aldermaston Wharf and Padworth

Read more
Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Think you know the places and people of Berkshire? Take our quiz to find out…

Read more
 
Great British Holidays advert link

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Subscribe or buy a mag today

subscription ad

Local Business Directory

Berkshire's trusted business finder

Job search in your local area



Property Search