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Living in Watlington: the local area guide

Being within easy commute to Oxford – around 25 minutes – and surrounded with woodlands and Natural Trust sites, it’s no wonder that Watlington is an attractive locale for buyers and renters alike.

The huge woodlands of Watlington Hill are a major attraction, with ancient Yew trees and bluebells transforming the forest floor in spring. The town itself is the proud owner of three Royal Horticultural Society’s ‘In Bloom’ gold awards, and places great importance on preserving its flora and fauna.

Many walks and hikes are within easy reach, including the sprawling nature trails to be found at The Ridgeway National Trail. Warburg Nature Park and Hell Fire Caves – dug into the side of a chalk cliff – are also only about five miles from the town.

Established around the 15th century, Watlington is not without its history either. The 17th century town hall, flint and thatched buildings and the ruins of an ancient Norman church all offer plenty to discover.


Watlington’s local residents are primarily in the age group of 35-54 year olds, with the groups 55-64, 65-74 year olds coming a close second. The last population count in 2011 cited 2,727 people as living in Watlington.

Over half of the population work and do so usually in a full time capacity. Their professions are wide-ranging and skilled. Business and public service, technical, media, and the secretarial and admin industries are the largest. A large part of Watlington’s residents are at manager, director or higher senior positions in the work place.

Car is the mode of transport of choice for locals, with over half of households usually having two. This makes nearby Oxford readily accessible, which is ideal for commuting to work.


Oxford, and some of the best schools and universities in the UK are just a stone’s throw from Watlington. In around a 25-minute drive, top independent schools such as Headington School, Wycombe Abbey School, Radley College and Pipers Corner School are all accessible.

Watlington itself is very well-served for state schools too. It has its own state primary, Watlington Primary School, as well as other highly rated options including Nettlebed Community School and Stokenchurch Primary within a small distance’s commute.

Icknield Community College is perfectly placed for secondary students, not far from the town’s high street and right next to Watlington Primary. Other options include Lord William’s School in Thame, just a 20-minute drive away.


With locals usually having two cars per household, it’s the norm to drive for work and pleasure.

Public transport is readily available too, with Chosley, an 18-minute drive from Watlington, being the nearest train station and running services into High Wycombe, Reading, London and more. Several bus companies are also on hand, with routes to Oxford, London and onwards.

Usefully, Watlington is very well placed for getting London Heathrow – it’s around 32 miles way and reachable in around half an hour. London Luton is also an option, though a little further at around 51 miles from Watlington.

Amenities and shopping

With its close proximity to the Chiltern Hills, and nearby farms, local produce is in abundance in Watlington. On the main high street, The Granary Delicatessen sells a wonderful range of cheese, preserves and delicious gift hampers for foodies and also has its own café. Fruit, veg and even your own hog roast is available from The Black Pig, a local farm that rears free range pigs in the Oxfordshire hills.

Of course, all the expected shops are on hand too. A good selection of corner and convenience stores, supermarkets, banks and a post office mean it’s easy to source the essentials. A local butcher, bakers, and a chocolate shop are all on the high street too.

When it comes to sport, Watlington has its own cricket club and plenty of rambling clubs that take off into the beautiful countryside to explore.

Whilst every effort has been taken to ensure the above information is up to date, some inaccuracies may occur. If you notice any inaccuracies please contact

All information was correct at time of publication and is provided in good faith.

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