Our final stop of the day before heading to our hotel was the market town of Chesham, where the Waterstones is located in a modern building. We didn’t have a great deal of time to explore the town but it was market day so there were some stalls along the main shopping area selling all sorts of goods to browse. Because of the market it was difficult to photograph the outside of the shop, which is why the picture of the front is not great!
The clock tower in Market Square is a reproduction of the tower from the original Town Hall, which was demolished in 1965. It was built in 1992 using local bricks.
Amersham is divided into two distinct areas. Old Amersham which is the older part of the town and has a 13th century church and many old buildings – and the newer area, known locally as Amersham-on-the-Hill which grew in size with the arrival of the train. The Waterstones is located in a modern building in the new area. It was originally an Ottakar’s store before the chain was taken over by Waterstones.
After popping in to photograph Waterstones we drove down to the old part of the town for a drink in the King’s Arms hotel, which is a gorgeous timber building dating from the 1400s and which has been used in films and TV programmes, including Four Weddings and a Funeral where it featured as the outside of the ‘Jolly Boatman’ hotel! It also serves one of our favourites – Unfiltered Hells Lager!
The Market Hall, which dates from 1682!
High Wycombe in Buckinghamshire is a town of two halves. We arrived and parked in a modern shopping centre full of the usual High Street shops, including the Waterstones – outside of the shopping centre is a more traditional shopping centres with some attractive buildings including the Guildhall and the Little Market House.
The plaque on the Guildhall reads:
Note the now obsolete spelling of the word expense!
The Little Market House
This statue below appeared above the entrance to the Red Lion Hotel (demolished in the 1960s) but it is not known when it first appeared. The earliest photograph it appears in dates from 1832. It now stands above a row of shops!
Reading is situated where the rivers Avon and Kennet converge and is the county town of Berkshire. We stopped overnight on our way to Buckinghamshire where we were spending Easter. We had visited the Waterstones in Reading before I started my quest to visit every store but it is in such a stunning building that I was happy to go back! It is situated in a Grade II listed building which was formerly the Broad Street Independent Chapel until its closure on 15th January 1984. The building inside has been sympathetically redeveloped inside to incorporate the shop and still retains many of its beautiful features, together with a couple of cabinets containing items of history and memorabilia of its former life. There are lots of photographs, but I think they’re worth it!
There is a pretty, raised windowed area above the Children’s department
Currently reading: Long Road from Jarrow: A journey through Britain then and now by Stuart Maconie and The Rich Mrs Robinson by Winifred Beechey
We were due to pick our son up from his two-week trip to Texas so we decided to drive up the night before and stay in Uxbridge, where we just had time in the morning to pop in for breakfast before heading to Heathrow. The Waterstones here is set over four floors and located in the Intu (formerly The Chimes) shopping centre which was built in 2001.
Uxbridge is the last station on the Metropolitan and Piccadilly lines of the London Underground. The station was built in the 1930s and is Art Deco in style, with a lovely stained glass window inside. I know this style isn’t for everyone, but I think it’s really attractive.
Currently reading: Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson
We took the day off work to take our son up to Heathrow airport for his trip to Texas and after dropping him off we popped to Staines-upon-Thames for lunch. The town used to be called Staines, but was rebranded as Staines-upon-Thames on 20 May 2012 to try to get away from the negative connotations given to the town by the comedian Ali G, and also to highlight its proximity to the famous river to encourage visitors. We didn’t have long to explore the area, unfortunately, but had a quick wander up the High Street, the location of Waterstones.
These are by Chris Burke (who did lots of artwork for Ottakar’s, who were bought by Waterstones). They are high up on the wall just inside the entrance door!
Sculpture commemorating the linoleum industry in the area
I loved this Art Deco style Marks & Spencer building – especially the clock!
These mosaic markers are at the end of the High Street – there are two at each end.
Currently reading: The Corset by Laura Purcell
Peter picked up his new car during the week so we decided to take it out for a spin! After stopping for breakfast in the Designer Outlet in Swindon, we headed north east and found ourselves in Witney, a small market town in Oxfordshire, famous for blankets! Neither of us had been here before but we thought it was very pretty. The Waterstones is a former Ottakar’s store in the Woolgate Shopping centre, but with its entrance on the High Street.
The Corn Exchange building was built in 1863 and corn trading took place until the 1930s. It was used for social events after this time but eventually fell into a state of disrepair. It was sold and refurbished and reopened in 2015 as a community venue. Other interesting buildings include The Buttercross and the Town Hall.
Currently reading: Cider with Roadies by Stuart Maconie