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.

The Chilterns' hosts a number of unique events throughout the year and below you will find the highlights including; the Pendley Shakespeare Festival, classic Kop Hill Climb, Chenies Velo Classique, high tea at St Katherine's Parmoor or the Chilterns Countryside Festival. 

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. From train to trail, 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

Chilterns Summer Festivals
Chilterns Summer Festivals

Summer is here! And it's time to enjoy the many festivals up and down the Chilterns; here are some of our favourites.

Rewind 80's Festival, Henley-on-Thames

Rewind 80s Festival, 21st to 23rd August

Lots of live music, some 80's legends, fun fair, fireworks, roller disco and much more. You can bring the kids too, there is a Kidszone with plenty on hand for all ages. Great location by the River Thames, with water taxis on hand.

Outdoor theatre at Cliveden this summer

Cliveden, owned by the National Trust and well known for its glorious gardens is hosting three theatre productions this summer that you can enjoy al fresco with your picnics.

First on the 27 and 28 August, returning by popular demand, Illyria present The Sorcerer’s Apprentice. Featuring music from Disney’s Fantasia this is the story of a boy-wizard apprentice who is bored of chores. One day he waves a wand and a nearby broom magically moves to fetch the water the boy-wizard is meant to be moving. 'Hurrah', he thinks, but what is the spell to make it stop...? An afternoon treat recommended for ages 3 and upwards.

Next up, on the 29 August, Illyria perform a new adaptation of The Three Musketeers for children aged 8 upwards and adults alike. Young D’Artagnan is desperate to join Athos, Porthos and Aramis as an elite Musketeer of the King’s Guard. Keen to prove himself he plunges headlong into an adventure across London and France. As the fearless four unite, will their combined power be enough to survive once they cross swords with the deadly Milady de Winter? This production is a whirlwind of excitement, broad comedy and dramatic swordfights.

To round off the season, on the 5 September, audiences are invited to a truly Shakespearian experience spending an evening watching the Lord Chamberlain’s Men’s production of Twelfth Night. The story follows identical twins separated by shipwreck, a terrible case of mistaken identity, a cross-dressing heroine and it seems everyone is in search of love. A joyous tale of longing, laughter, mischief and mayhem.

Audiences are invited to bring a picnic to enjoy in the Water Garden before the show and as no seating will be provided asked to bring their own chairs or picnic rugs.

To book visit www.nationaltrust.org.uk/cliveden or call 0844 249 1896.

Events

Tuesday 4th August
Thames Cruiser Wildlife Trips, Henley

The Chilterns Conservation Board and Hobbs of Henley invite you to enjoy the wildlife of the River Thames from the luxury of a pleasure craft. The Hibernia or the Waterman will take you on a voyage of discovery 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. To pre-book tickets and for further information call 01491 572 035.

Monday 10th August, 12.30 to 2.30pm
Picnic with Rocks at St Katherine's near Henley

If your child has a ‘special’ stone they can bring it, along with a picnic, to St. Katharine’s, a country house with wonderful grounds in Freith, where Dr. Jill Eyers will unlock its secrets.  You may think it’s fairly unremarkable, but Jill will tell you otherwise – like how old it is, how it came to be that shape and how it arrived at the place where you found it. Numbers are limited, so please reserve your places by email to office@srpf.org.uk or phone 01494 881037

18, 20, 25 and 27 August
Holiday Crafts at the Amersham Museum
This summer Amersham Museum is running special Make Do and Mend sessions for children. Join our talented group of craftswomen to learn basic sewing and knitting skills and make something to take home. The sessions are part of the museum’s Homefires and Havens: Amersham in the 1940s exhibition. There are also 1940s themed Create! craft sessions on Wednesday afternoons.
5th - 9th of August and the 12th - 16th August

In 1949, Dorian Williams founded the Pendley Shakespeare Festival amid the Victorian finery of his magnificent ancestral home. 66 years later, it remains our privilege to bring Shakespeare to new audiences in the beautiful grounds of the Pendley Manor Hotel. So, escape the troubles of the day and embrace the Great British elements with an evening of open-air Shakespeare!

This year brings you Twelfth Night and Henry V.

29 - 31st August
Chilterns Craft & Design Show, near Henley-on-Thames
The Chilterns Craft & Deisgn Show takes place in the stunning setting of Stonor Park. Find unusual handmade crafts for the home and garden and enjoy a day out for all the family! Meet up to 250 artist crafts people from all over the UK who will be bringing you the very best in unusual and inspiring crafts, not usually found on the high street. See website for further information and entry fee.
31st August 2015
The Chenies Velo Classique is a fantastic day out for those of you who appreciate the passion, elegance and heritage of cycling both past and present. With three distances of sportive (100, 60 and 30 mile) based in and around the beautiful Chilterns. Fully supported, the rides will start and finish in the beautiful grounds of Chenies Manor, and wind there way through the lanes and iconic climbs that make this area such a magnet for cyclists. The website has booking information.
Sunday 13th September, 10am to 4pm
Chilterns Countryside Festival, Ashridge Estate near Tring

Come along to our annual festival to celebrate the different crafts, food, industries and wildlife associated with the Chilterns countryside. The event takes place in the lovely grounds of the National Trust Ashridge Estate. Enjoy a day of mouth-watering local produce stalls, fascinating craft displays, forestry demonstrations and children's activities. There is an entry fee.

Friday 25th September
Tour & Tea at St. Katharine’s, near Henley.

St. Katharine’s Parmoor, set high in the Chilterns above the Hambleden Valley is a retreat house and not usually open to the general public. Home of Lord Parmoor when he was creating the League of Nations and also of King Zog of Albania during his exile. Used as a location for Midsomer Murders, New Tricks and Lewis. Enjoy a private tour of the house and grounds, illustrated talk, full afternoon tea at 2.30pm. Cost £18. Advance bookings only office@srpf.org.uk tel 01494 881037

A further event takes place in the evening, 7.30pm on 25th Sep, a Supper Talk with Portrait Artist Sue Edwards, which includes a 2-course supper, cost £17.50. Pre-booking essential.

19th and 20th September 2015

Once again the Chilterns will host its charity-driven extravaganza of motoring history that has retained its unique friendly and happy atmosphere. Last year, over 15,000 spectators saw 400 historic cars and bikes, with some later exotics, taking the hill. The paddock was packed with a further 300 captivating classics, family entertainment, sponsors, exhibitors and caterers.

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