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 Berkhamsted this May!
Explore Berkhamsted this May!

Busy restaurants, the 1930s art-deco Rex Cinema and an engrossing mix of familiar and independent shops combine to give Berkhamsted's broad high street an uplifting buzz. The historic framework includes imposing remains of the Norman motte and bailey castle and the collegiate buildings of Berkhamsted School, whose Graham Greene festival honours its most famous pupil. The superb countryside of the National Trust's Ashridge Estate and exhilarating Ivinghoe Beacon are close by with links to the Grand Union Canal and Chilterns Cycleway. More here

Berkhamsted Castle
Berkhamsted Castle

Berkhamsted castle has a towering motte and some of the bailey walls are impressive reminders of this once-mighty Norman castle. The town has a special place in our history: following the Saxon defeat at the Battle of Hastings, it was at Berkhamsted that the bishops and noblemen formally offered William the Conqueror the crown. The castle website will guide you round the historic highlights of the site.

The Rex
The Rex

The Rex must be of Britain's most beautiful cinema’s, with one huge screen set in a glorious 1938 art-deco proscenium arch. The whole experience is delightfully civilized: sink into large, comfortable seats then sit back with cheese and wine to enjoy the film.

Explore by Bike!
Explore by Bike!
What better way of exploring the Chilterns countryside then by bike. The Hertfordshire CMS routes offer 14 or 18 mile routes in and around Berkhamsted, they make perfect half day cycling routes to follow through quiet country lanes and Ashridge Estate. A
route guide, maps and gps downloads are available here. You can hire bikes, including electric bikes in Berkhamsted.
Where to eat
Where to eat

Local food and drink is not something Berkhamsted is short of! There are plenty of excellent local restaurants and pubs along the Grand Union canal. Saturday shoppers find an added attraction in the quality high street market and the 50-stall Artisans, Arts and Crafts Market held in the handsome Town Hall and the Farmers' Market, with such tempting items as winter warmer honeys, lobster or local Frithsden wines.

Where to Stay
Where to Stay

The Kings Arms Hotel is a former 18th-century coaching house right in the heart of Berkamsted.

Events

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.

3 to 7th June
Princes Risborough Walking Festival 3-7th June
Discover the wonders of the Chilterns and Aylesbury Vale, unique heritage, fabulous wildlife and stunning scenery. 8 guided walks over the 5 days, walks for strollers or serious hikers. Half-day walks or an all day hike.  Explore wildlife, unravel local history or simply join us for a stroll!  Most walks suitable for families. All walks led by enthusiastic local experts. For information and tickets contact Risborough Information Centre tel 01844 274795 or email risborough_office@wycombe.gov.uk   
Saturday 13th and Sunday 14th June
Magna Carta 800th The River Relay, near Marlow
Thames Alive is producing another exciting River Pageant in June 2015 as a part of the 800th anniversary celebrations of the sealing of the Magna Carta. Magna Carta 800th The River Relay takes place on and beside the River Thames between Hurley and Runnymede and is being arranged with the support of and on behalf of the Borough of Runnymede and the Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead.
19th to 20th June
Beacon Festival, Watlington
A boutique family event celebrating the longest day of summer high up on The Chiltern Hills of South Oxfordshire. The festival will host over 50 bands performing across 3 stages, a food piazza of some of the regions finest gourmets and gastronomical delights, real ale, local cider and cocktail bars, a creative shopping experience, workshops, a fun-filled children’s zone, relaxing holistic therapy and of course camping including posh tents for that extra bit of luxury.
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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