Olney is a great base for exploring Buckinghamshire, Northamptonshire and Bedfordshire. There’s so much to see and do, it’ll be hard to choose where to start! Here’s our guide on some of the best places in the wider area.
Olney is on the River Great Ouse as well as being just moments from Emberton Park, so we have great walking, cycling and fishing. There’s easy access to the Three Shires Way, a bridleway running through the quiet rural landscape of Bucks, Beds and Northants. And Salcey Forest gives you an escape along lovely forest walkways.

Day’s Out .

Only 20 minutes away, you can discover the secret war time spy station, BLETCHLEY PARK. The role of the code-breakers, featured in the movie ‘Enigma’ is now celebrated at the park, which is also home to a museum of computing.

WOBURN SAFARI PARK, offers the thrill of seeing Big Cats, bears and monkeys on a drive-through safari in your car, plus stuff to do ‘on foot’, including getting up close to monkeys & wallabies.

Woburn ABBEY is a prestigious stately house and gardens.

For family fun, there are theme parks: GULIVER’S LAND; FARM PARK AND DINOSAUR PARK in Milton Keynes, and WICKSTEAD PARK in Northamptonshire.

CASTLE ASHBY (below) is a stately home famous for its Capability Brown designed parklands (which can be accessed on their own) as well as having a rural shopping yard and cafe.

ALTHORP HOUSE is the family seat of the Spencer family and the last resting place of Diana, Princess of Wales who is memoralised there.

Or follow in the footsteps of John Bunyan, author of the Pilgrims Progress who was imprisoned for his beliefs in Bedford – find the statue to him and the church built at the site where he preached.

STOKE BRUERNE – see the canal boats up close and watch the locks open on this stretch of the Grand Union canal. Plenty of cafes as well as a museum, walks and boat rides. In the same village as ROOKERY FARM. Combine to make a full day!

SALCEY FOREST: there’s a play area, cafe and ice-cream parlour. Some of routes are easily manageable with a buggy.

For children there’s also THURLEIGH FARM, MEAD OPEN FARM, WHIPSNADE ZOO within an hour’s drive, plus

360 Play and Activityland which are large soft play areas in nearby Milton Keynes.

Motor Racing

There is so much to amuse a petrol-head. The circuit at SILVERSTONE hosts regular meetings, and SANTA POD and ROCKINGHAM offers the thrill of drag racing. And for years, the Aston Martin workshop at nearby Newport Pagnell turned out one of the classiest British cars.

Just a stone’s throw away….

Olney has a fine museum celebrating the life and work of the composers of ‘Amazing Grace’, William Cowper and John Newton. It has engrossing displays about the men, their work and the times in which they lived.

You can also retrace William Cowper’s favourite walk around Olney and the village of Weston Underwood and see points of interest for the two men, and some of the places that inspired them when writing the ‘Olney hymns’.

Why not visit us in the first Sunday in December, when the town is packed for the “DICKENS of a Christmas” fair when stallholders don Dickensian style dress for the market and charity fundraising. With the costumes, roasting chestnuts and smell of mulled wine you really might feel transported back in time.

Not forgetting the town’s main ‘claim to fame’ – the PANCAKE RACE, which attracts many international visitors, and media interest. This year BBC TV came to film, but in the past there have been crews from many other parts of the world. Shrove Tuesday is a special day to visit Olney.

And all year round, enjoy Emberton Country Park – with its play-grounds, easy cycling & ducks on the lakes it is ideal for children, and you only pay to park.

Some of the best golf courses in the country are in the Buckinghamshire, Northamptonshire, Bedfordshire triangle and there is also windsurfing and sailing as well as a host of other sports.

For thrill seekers, the giant XSCAPE complex (The winner of VISITBRITAIN awards) offers real snow for indoor SKIING, and tobogganing, simulated SKYDIVING and ROCK-CLIMBING, plus a multiscreen cinema and bowling.

Our  list of sports and activities gives you the chance to experience these during your visit.

Olney is a great base to explore Buckinghamshire, Northamptonshire and Bedfordshire. Family day’s out, stately homes, motorsport and entertainment are all listed in Visit Olney.