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.

This website is not a confusing listing of places to go and things to see. We have spent time exploring the area and attempt to share our favourites with you as we know what makes the Chilterns so special. That includes the odd ghost story or three! 

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

We are looking forward to welcoming participants and spectators to the sixth stage of the Tour of Britain - from Bath to Hemel Hempstead on September 12th as it passes through our beautiful area. 

Enjoy your stay!

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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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Places to Visit

Explore Wallingford this September
Explore Wallingford this September

Familiar to millions as the original Causton of Midsomer Murders, Wallingford grew up in the 9th century on a wide stretch of the Thames. Its layout has changed little since then and the town still boasts extensive Saxon earthworks and remains of the 11th century castle in meadows beside the River Thames. The old Corn Exchange in the Market Square, antique shops, the museum and heritage trains on the Bunk Line railway to Cholsey give a still-unhurried air.

Below are some ideas........for more detailed information visit Wallingford

Choose a Cycle Ride into the Chiltern Hills.
Choose a Cycle Ride into the Chiltern Hills.

The Tour of Britain will be coming through Wallingford on Friday 12th September as it enters the Chilterns.  There is some great cycling in the Chilerns and plenty of great rides to choose from. Download details of three on-road cycle rides, ranging from 11–25 miles. All rides start at the Town Hall in Wallingford and head to the Chiltern Hills, taking you on quiet and scenic country lanes with wonderful views. Click here to download routes.

Exploring by foot
Exploring by foot

Wallingford has many ancient connections and interesting buildings which are best explored on foot - click here to download the Wallingford Historical Town Walk. For a longer walk along the River Thames, follow the 3-mile circular Wallingford-Benson walk. Enjoy the water meadows with their wild flowers and watch the boats cruising by. 

Speciality Shopping
Speciality Shopping

Wallingford has lots of speciality shops and outdoor markets. If you are interested in antiques, the Lamb Arcade is a fascinating historic building, divided into over 40 shops and showcases offering a wide selection of antiques.

Midsomer Murders in Wallingford
Midsomer Murders in Wallingford
Wallingford is not all that it seems. This most respectable riverside town is, in fact, at the very heart of Midsomer Murders country. Download a leaflet on The Wallingford Connections to find out what has featured where and when.
Family-friendly Wallingford
Family-friendly Wallingford
In good weather take a picnic to Castle Meadows or the meadows by the River Thames where you can paddle in the shallow water and watch the boats go past. There is an outdoor pool and splash park by Wallingford Bridge. The Cholsey & Wallingford Railway is a popular choice for families as well as the Wallingford Museum.
Where to Stay
Where to Stay

Wallingford has a wide variety of accommodation. Bridge Villa Camping & Caravan Site is close to the River Thames and is a popular choice, especially with families. The George Hotel is a traditional hotel right in the centre of Wallingford, or try Fyfield Manor B&B just 3 miles from Wallingford which offers hotel equivalent accommodation combined with history and architecture spanning 8 centuries.

Events

September 12th 2014

Everything you will ever need to know about stage 6 of the Friends Life Tour of Britain including; the full route, how to get there, what to see and do, events taking place on the day at the finish in Gadebridge Park, Hemel Hempstead and Chesham and over the weekend and much, much more. 

Sunday 14th September, 10am to 4pm
Chilterns Countryside & Food Festival, near Berkhamsted
The annual Chilterns Countryside & Food Festival celebrates the different crafts, food, industries and wildlife associated with the Chilterns countryside. Enjoy a day of mouth-watering local produce stalls, fascinating craft displays, forestry demonstrations and children's activities in the meadow behind the National Trust Ashridge Estate Visitor Centre near Berkhamsted. Admission is £4 per adult, £1 per child (children under 3 free, all children must be accompanied by an adult).
29th September - 5th October

150 talks, interviews and performances and their biggest line-up of children’s events yet including river readings! The beautiful venues used within the town in previous years have included, The Quince Tree, The Kenton Theatre, Phyllis Court and The Hibernia create a very intimate setting for visitors.

11th - 12th October

Little Missenden Festival of Food & Drink promotes regionally produced and internationally acclaimed artisan foods. Highlights include visits from celebrity chefs, live bands, children’s cookery school and a BBQ area. Pre-booked workshops and master classes are running throughout the days including cheese making, knife skill and cupcake decorating.

Charlie weekends: throughout the year
As part of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’s 50th anniversary, the Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre will be running themed weekends to celebrate the children that met sticky ends in the book. Decide who your favourite is and then don’t miss Veruca Salt on Saturday on 19 July, Beauregarde Bonanza on 4 and 5 October and Mike Teavee weekend on 15 and 16 November. They will all feature exciting workshops (some incur an additional charge), trails, activities and surprises!
September 14th - October 6th

To launch the North Chiltern Trail and as part of the Chiltern Society’s campaign to raise awareness of the opportunities for walking and other activities in the north Chilterns, we are holding a mini outdoor festival between 14 September and 6 October 2014.

A range of FREE events have been organised to run alongside the launch of this new trail. These include:

A chance to walk the entire trail over four consecutive Sundays
Circular guided walks 
Cycle rides around the North Chilterns
Nordic Walking taster sessions
Horse riding taster sessions
Guided walks with Trevor Tween
A guided walk with the Chiltern Society’s walks designer, Andrew Clark
‘Pathfinder’ map reading course.

21st September
Find out more about the skill of woodblock printing from artist Chris Daunt at Frogmore Mill near Hemel Hempstead on September 21st. This morning event is organised by the Chilterns Box Woodland Project - it's free but booking is essential.
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