Welcome to the Naturally Outstanding Chilterns

The Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty is everything you would like it to be.

Choose the Chilterns for activity and exploration, peace and quiet, entertainment or indulgence: this lovely countryside on London’s doorstep has all you need for a really memorable break. In 324 square miles of superb scenery, intriguing attractions, tucked-away villages and market towns, there’s always something more to be discovered.

Among the places the locals love the most are Wendover Woods, Coombe Hill, Ivinghoe Beacon and West Wycombe, which offer far-reaching views, walking trails, cycling, historic attractions and plenty of things to do for locals and visitors alike.

Enjoy your stay and please share your experiences with us @VisitChilterns on Twitter and #TheChilterns on Instagram.

@visitChilterns on Twitter

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Getting here

From central London train to Chilterns trail in just 40 minutes and 30 minutes from Oxford, the Naturally Outstanding Chilterns is one of the most accessible areas of countryside in the UK. The area has excellent rail and bus links, it is served by four main rail lines, the River Thames and the London Underground Metropolitan line, with frequent trains and a journey time of less than an hour from London.

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The Swan at Streatley

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Places to Visit

Explore Goring and the Thames this April!
Explore Goring and the Thames this April!
Catch the Thames at its most dramatic here, as it carves its way through a deep gap between the Chiltern Hills and North Wessex Downs. The two attractive little towns of Goring and Streatley face each other across the river, linked by the bridge which spans a small wooded island and the pretty lock and weir. A natural magnet for photographers. There are lots of walks and rides along the Thames, pretty riverside villages and country pubs. Click here for ideas.
Views of the Thames Walks
Views of the Thames Walks

Download details of these circular walks, where distances range from 4 to 10 miles. From Goring the walks lead out through wildflower meadows to the top of the North Wessex Downs, with amazing views of the Chiltern Hills and Thames Valley.

Basildon Park
Basildon Park

Familiar to TV viewers as a location for the BBC's popular adaptation of Pride and Prejudice, Basildon Park is the very model of a dignified Georgian mansion in expansive parkland. Owned by the National Trust, there is a regular programme of activities.

Where to eat
Where to eat
There are several pubs in Goring and Streatley, with the Swan offering riverside views in both the Riverside restaurant and the Boathouse cafe. Pierrepont Cafe is located right by the bridge and serves delicious, original food in a casual quirky setting. Or why not explore some of the pubs further along the Thames, in beautiful riverside villages, such as the Perch & Pike in South Stoke.
Where to Stay
Where to Stay

The Swan at Streatley is an intimate country hotel with 39 ensuite bedrooms, offering informal luxury, a warm welcome, delicious food and tip-top service.  The breath-taking river frontage provides ever changing views from the Riverside Restaurant and Bar, Terrace and Boat House Deli & Café.

Events

April
During April 2015 the Great Missenden Bike Hub are running a special electric bike hire offer – a session will cost just £5 or free with a valid train, bus or season ticket. Contact the Bike Hub directly for more details and to book your ride.
Sat 25th April 10:30am – 2:30pm.
Tring Together Spring Fayre, High Street

Tring Together’s Spring Fayre is from 25th April to 9th May, focusing on nature, wildlife and wellbeing.There will be lots of activities for the whole family to enjoy. Visit our Petting Zoo to see, feed and stroke spring lambs, chicks, rabbits and much more. Plus charity, food and tombola stalls.

2,3,4 May
Mapledurham Food & Craft Fair, near Reading

Lots more fine food and entertainment at this year's Mapledurham Food and Craft Fair, in the wonderful grounds of Mapledurham House. There is a cookery theatre, kids cookery club, workshops, craft demonstrations, have-a-go pottery and ofcourse lots of artisan food & drink. More details here.

From April

Fancy a gentle guided cycle tour in the Chilterns? Then this could be just up your street. Electric Bike Tours are a specialist cycle tour operator in Herts, Beds and Bucks using electric bikes to explore the area.

There are three tours to choose from - Dacorum Heritage Trail, Chilterns Tea Ride and St Albans Tea Ride taking place every Friday, Saturday and Sunday from April. Sounds like a perfect way to spend the day to me! To book, call 01442 927522.

Saturday 9th and Sunday 10th May 2015
The Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty is particularly well endowed with mills situated near inland waterways, in busy market towns or on a windy bluff that once provided a particular service to local communities that farmed grains to be milled, sheep to be washed or silk to be spun. Many are now only remembered in archives, others have found new purpose and functions whilst the best have been lovingly and painstakingly restored by enthusiastic volunteers and can be visited at certain times of the year.
 
National Mills Weekend is your opportunity to explore these local treasures, and you plan your visit on the National Mills Weekend website above. 
9th to 10th May, 11am to 5pm

As part of National Mills Week, come and see the oldest smock windmill in England and also join the Chiltern Society for celebratory drinks and cake (it's their 50th Anniversary!). There will be a prize draw and games for the children. Price: Adults £2 Child £1 Free to Chiltern Society Members. No need to book. There are lots of other Chiltern Society events on offer, from willow-weaving, map-reading and yoga to guided walks, star-gazing and family activities. 

Saturday 16th May 11 - 5pm

Free Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre admission for local residents 

The Museum is offering free entry to local residents who bring a utility bill as proof of their 'HP' postcode on Saturday 16 May.  Join in with storytelling and craft activities and enjoy a 10% discount in the Shop.

Storytellers will be in full flow throughout the day in the courtyard (weather permitting) and will no doubt need help with extra sound effects and general joining in!  For a quieter experience, visitors can escape into the galleries and follow the Twits Trickster Trail to find out about all the mischief in Roald Dahl’s life and stories, or even create a Terrific Twit Pot in the shape of Mr or Mrs Twit on one of our clay modelling sessions - £3 per participant for these sessions.

16 May 2015

This year’s Enchanted Museum theme at the Chilterns Open Air Museum is ‘Once Upon a Time’. Part of Culture 24’s Museums at Night, characters from well known stories and fairytales will be at the museum. You are encouraged to get creative and dress at your favourite storybook character. Prizes awarded for the best costumes!

Tuesday 26th May
Wildlife on the Move events

There is a whole new programme of Wildlife on the Move events this spring and summer. Enjoy wildlife-spotting train rides on the Chinnor and Princes Risborough Railway or take a leisurely cruise on the Thames with Hobbs of Henley and see what river wildlife is about. The next event is on a pleasure craft on the River Thames, to spot the hidden natural treasures of the river. An expert volunteer guide will help you identify what you see on a 75-minute trip between Henley and Hambledon. Cruise departs at 3 pm.

6th to 21st June 2015
Bucks Open Studio

Bucks Open Studios, the largest visual arts events in the county, will be celebrating its 30th birthday!  Over 600 artists and makers including glass blowers, basket weavers, metal workers, wood turners, jewellery makers, book artists, print makers, potters and silk painters will be opening their studios to the public for free and showcasing their talent through demonstrations, exhibitions and workshops. Go behind the scenes, talk to artists and see work in progress.

Sat 11th and Sun 12th July 1 - 9pm
Radnage Beer Festival, near Stokenchurch

5th Radnage Beer Festival, based at The Crown pub, championing local real ale, lager, cider and wine, some from the Radnage Valley. Live music, pig roast and BBQ. Make a weekend of it and stay at The Crown or at Home Farm campsite next door, with its magnificent views.

27th June to 5th July
700th Anniversary of Tring Celebrations

In 2015 Tring is celebrating the 700th anniversary of Edward II granting them a charter to become a market town. At the time, a two week fair was held - and in 2015 there will be celebrations to match - from June 27th to July 5th, there will be a wide range of events including Tring Carnival - all celebrating Tring 700.

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