Terry Wogan made this place a joke, for those of you old enough to remember, by labeling it, 'the land of the concrete cows'. I, also, didn't have much love for the 13 roundabouts that I had to negotiate when commuting from our shop in Norfolk to the one in Oxfordshire although offered admiration for the fact that I never ever became stuck in a traffic jam. Leave the car and set off on foot or cycle and ...wow!
Well, this place is fantastic.......over 184,500 people live here now (according to Google), but not a housing estate to be seen.
All the little clusters of houses are hidden in little dells or within wooded areas and surrounded by parklands and paved walkways-no need for boots or wellies here whatever the weather throws at you,and no need to get your car out. Every mile there is a post office, store, pub, chinese take away and fish &chip shop
The transitions from new build to the original villages are also seamless - I ranted on about this when we went to Gt Linford; it's just the same with Willen Village, fabulous. The original villages have retained their separateness and neither been absorbed nor overwhelmed.
Heaven forbid I ever have to come off the boat, but if I had to; then I could live in these wide open spaces.