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 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 Festivals
Chilterns Festivals

Summer is drawing to a close but there's still plenty going on up and down the Chilterns, from local fetes, outdoor theatre, literature festivals, to food and craft events; here are some to look out for:

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.

Chilterns Countryside Festival, Ashridge Estate near Tring

Chilterns Countryside Festival, Sunday 13th September

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.

Heritage Open Days

Heritage Open Days 10 - 13th September

A rare opportunity to visit country houses, gardens, monuments and tucked away places with heritage appeal. Many of these sites are not normally open to the public, and volunteer guides will be on hand to help you discover and enjoy these treasure. There are many sites in the Chilterns, including Halton House, the weekend country house and gardens of Alfred de Rothschild and now the Officers Mess for RAF Halton. A shuttle bus will run between Halton House, the Trenchard Museum, the James McCudden Flight Heritage Centre , the Reconstructed Trenches and the Halton Village Festival.

Henley Literature Festival

Henley Literary Festival 2015: September 28 to October 4

Now in its ninth year, the Henley Literary Festival offers over 170 talks, Q&As, performances and workshops. Events on everything from cookery and current affairs to showbusiness and sport take place at venues across the picturesque town, including an historic theatre and a boat on the Thames.

Events

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.
Saturday 5th September
Crown Comeday Night, Radnage near Stokenchurch
Comedy night at the Crown, a traditional country pub in the village of Radnage. There will be 4 great comedians for your enjoyments. Tickets are £20 and include a meal. Tables of 10 are available if you book and pay together or if you're a smaller group will find a suitable table for you. B&B at the pub, or campsite next door.
Sunday 6th September
Berkhamsted's inaugral food and drink festival on Sunday 6th September will be bringing together all the local producers (of which there are many), so you can sample and enjoy their wares. Ticketed event, details on their website.
12th and 13th September
Goring & Streatley Food & Drink Festival
The inaugural Goring & Streatley Food & Drink Festival promises to be a fun (for all the family), interactive and indulgent weekend that will take you all over the villages to eat, drink and be merry! There will be competitions, demonstrations, tastings, an array of local producers to meet, music and maybe even pony rides!
Sunday 13th September

Discover fantabulous facts about Roald Dahl and his stories on one of our Writing Hut Talks, Archive Tours, or Village Trails in a jam-packed Roald-Dahl day. Be mesmerised by some marvellous magic, buzzwangling balloon modelling and swishwiffling storytelling and join in with hilarious performances of 10 Books in 10 Minutes. Come dressed as a Roald Dahl character and be in with the chance of a prize.

Café Twit will be serving delumptious lunches, cakes and treats, and the Museum Shop will be open for books, gifts and pocket money toys.

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.

Saturday 19th September
Brooks HellRunner's Hell in the Chilterns, near High Wycombe

Brooks HellRunner ‘Hell in the Chilts’ is a gruelling battle against the elements which sees brave souls coming from across the country to experience the toughest all natural pursuit, a 10km run from West Wycombe Park with some watery challenges thrown in. There will be a Little Devil’s Fun Run for children who want to join in the fun. This is a 2km mini-trail through water, mud and small hills.

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