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... reasons to visit High Wycombe; Rachel Mainwaring finds there's more to see and do in and around the area than you'd imagine: TENgreat...

1. Visit a show: High Wycombe provides a convenient base to stay if you fancy seeing a show at Wembley Arena. The Holiday Inn is about a five-minute taxi drive from the station and a train will get you to Wembley in 30 minutes.

We watched Strictly Come Dancing Live at the Wembley Arena, nestled in the shadow of the newly-built stadium. Like the TV show, it was a glorious array of colour and energy. Log onto http://wembleyarena.co.uk/ or call 020 8782 5500 for show info.

2. Watch a match at the legendary Wembley stadium: You might be a hardened Welsh football fan but the stadium is impressive whatever your nationality. Take in a 90-minute stadium tour by checking out the changing rooms and players' tunnel or try managing your 'team' from Fabio Capello's seat. For more information log onto http://www.wembleystadium.com.

3. Shop till you drop: Eden Shopping in High Wycombe opened its door in 2008 and has fast become the fashion shopping destination in Buckinghamshire with a great mix of favourite stores. Watch a film at its 12-screen cinema or take the family bowling.

For info, log on to www.edenshopping.co.uk.

4. Take in a bit of culture: Set in beautiful grounds, and with exciting hands-on activities, Wycombe Museum is a great place to discover the fascinating and varied history of the district and the famous collection of Windsor chairs.

Wycombe Museum also has a packed calendar of hands-on activities for all the family. Contact Wycombe District Council 01494 421895.

5. Visit West Wycombe Park: The house is one of the most theatrical and Italianate mid-18th century buildings in England with facades designed as classical temples. The interior has Palmyrene painted ceilings and decoration, and pictures, furniture and sculpture all dating from the second baronet, Sir Frances Dashwood, founder of the Dilettanti Society. He also created the perfectly preserved rococo landscape garden set in the beautiful Chilterns countryside. Contact 01494 513569 for ticket times and opening hours.

6. Visit Bicester: Just down the road from Wycombe, is Bicester which houses the Boarstall Tower - the oldest medieval military building still standing in Oxfordshire. An impressive gatehouse to a long destroyed estate, it retains many original features, and scars from the Civil War are clearly visible on its walls. Contact 01280 822850.

7. Bookworms can enjoy: A fantastic family day out with the Roald Dahl Trail which starts at the award-winning Roald Dahl Museum & Story Centre, close to Dahl's former home in Great Missenden.

Displays include original documents and a replica of Roald Dahl's writing hut and lots of interactive games. Perfect for six to 12 year olds and their families. Allow time for extra activities, story-telling sessions, whizzpopping workshops or Roald Dahl's Village Trail, ending with a delumptious visit to Cafe Twit. www.visitbuckinghamshire.org 8. TV addicts can enjoy: The Midsomer Murders trail, starting from Aylesbury and leading to Great Missenden with many other beautiful places along the way. All you need is a car and a guide, downloaded from www.visitbuckinghamshire.org and you can experience a bit of TV detective heaven.

9. Flight enthusiasts can visit: Wycombe Air Park, two miles south of the town centre, which is home to the Blue Max Museum a collection of historic flying machines which have starred in many films.

www.wycombeairpark.co.uk 10. Have a drink: Buckinghamshire has a wonderful selection of award winning pubs to choose from. Dating from 1455 The Farmers' Bar is a hidden gem in the heart of the old market town of Aylesbury. Beautiful beams and wooden floors bedeck this old-world style inn. As the Chiltern Brewery's tap you can enjoy fine, real English ales and classic, locally sourced, English fare from the menu. Call 01296 718812.

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Colin Jackson and dance partner Ola Jordan perform during the Strictly Come Dancing The Live Tour dress rehearsal
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:South Wales Echo (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Jan 29, 2011
Words:651
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