We are looking for countryside lodging recommendations near Bletchley - we'll be coming from Aylesbury, plan to visit Bletchley Park that morning and would like to find a pleasant smallish town for the afternoon/evening/following morning before heading to London. We will have a car, but I'd like to drop it off before getting to London, so any recommendations for a town along the way to do that and catch a train would be much appreciated. Thank you!
you might be leaving the best choice behind. Aylesbury isn't very far from Bletchley really, and what you are looking for isn't ringing any bells for me in or near Bletchley even though I don't live too far away.
Can you return to Aylesbury for another night?
I've never looked but you might find something suitable near Leighton Buzzard, south of Bletchley.
There are the usual hotels in Milton Keynes, a few minutes north of the Bletchley part of Milton Keynes, but not as you describe.
Bletchley is one of the lesser affluent areas around the vicinity which is why I said what I did. It does have a most excellent computer museum and Bletchley Park, the home of the codebreakers.
This is where I find a satellite view map can be quite helpful, as it can show hotels and small inns, cafes, etc. close to a point of interest—-if there are any. I use the Apple map on my iPad for this, as it seems easier than Google maps.
Looking at Bletchley Park this way, the first thing I noticed was the huge bleak business-park looking area to the northeast, and the wide maze of railroad tracks. One is not aware of this when arriving at the Bletchley Part station for a visit to the famous code-breaker site, as you walk in the opposite direction. You will see the Park Hotel near the tracks on the east side and it looks dismal. Then close to the Bletchley grounds, on the west side, the map shows an icon for a bed and breakfast named Dauphin House, but it must have closed as there is no internet listing for it now. But I noticed that the map listed the address as Milton Keynes, as Nigel suggested.
So then I turned to booking.com to search for likely suspects in Milton Keynes. I have found a number of good small inns, b and b’s and even apartments this way. The ratings and reviews on booking.com are quite reliable, as people must actually stay at the place before they can write a review. Of course they can be urged by the establishment to write an exaggerated one, but in my experience the glowing reviews are well-founded. So I look for rating of 8 or higher on booking.com ( and then go directly to the actual property website to book, if there is one).
Most of the listings for Milton Keynes are chain hotels, but scrolling down I saw this bed and breakfast in the countryside, with a 9.2 rating. It is 20 minutes’s drive from Bletchley Park, ut it could be just what you are seeking.
I did not see anything in the town itself but the above-mentioned chain hotels, and a few independent hotels. Of those, the Peartree Lodge on a canal, with a rating of 8.4, looks the most appealing. This is their own website (much shorter link than the booking.com one):
I will add that I cannot hear the name Milton Keynes without recalling Bill Bryson’s hilarious chapter on the place in his “Notes from a Small Island”. If you have not read it before, you can find it here:
Not hotel related, but 14 miles west of Bletchley in Buckingham is Palladian Bridge seen in the Bridgerton series. In Hemel Hempstead is the building (64 High St.) used as the restaurant in the old UK series Pie in the Sky. Six miles from it is the Ye Olde Fighting Cocks pub. It’s the oldest pub in England. If you’re a Midsomer Murders fan, the town used as Causton in the series, Wallingford, is south of Bletchley. While I’ve yet to get there it looks like a nice place to spend a night. It’s also only 50 minutes from it to Heathrow where you could drop off the car before heading into London.
Consider the Chilterns - that's midsommer moider country
Bletchley is only half an hour from Aylesbury, so why move for a one night stay? Bletchley isn’t pretty and Milton Keynes is a new town and therefore modern and characterless, although it maybe a good place to return a car as it has a fast rail service into London Euston.
Places nearby that would be worth looking on Booking.com for accommodation include Woburn, Berkhamsted, Tring or St Albans. I used to live near Tring so know this area. Dropping the car in Watford maybe a possibility and it’s only 20 minutes by train into Euston.
Hemel is another characterless new town and Wallingford is miles the other side of Aylesbury, so not in the direction you are heading! A friend used to live in Wallingford and other than the castle, I recall it being very average.