Walking Festival - Spring 2017
Grab some comfy walking shoes and get ready to explore a host of locations, landscapes and lifestyles during the first ever Chilterns Walking Festival! The Chilterns Conservation Board is delighted to be able to offer you a fantastic programme of hikes, guided tours and special events taking place across The Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty this Spring.
Got a question about the festival? Read our useful information page.
The Chilterns has excellent rail, road and bus links, served by four main rail lines, the River Thames and the London Underground, with a journey time of less than an hour from London. Visit our Market Towns section for directions to each location.
The Chilterns offers a wide range of accommodation and unique places to stay. Why not make a short break out of it, and stay in the area? Find out about places to stay in our Market Towns section.
A plethora of free health walks take place across the Chilterns each week. The often short, easy walks are run by trained volunteers who are on hand to provide encouragement and help people improve their health through walking. Find details of all walks and how to take part.
The Gruffalo trail is a themed walk through the woodland, ideal for any age particularly children, taking in one of the best views from Wendover Woods. There is exciting things to do on the trail, please visit the website to find out more about the App and Trail Pack!
St Mary's Church Chesham Beat the Bounds - long walk
Join St Mary's Chesham on their 'Beating the Bounds' walk - an ancient tradition of marking out the parish boundary. This 25 mile option of the walk starts at the church in Chesham, on the way visiting or passing by Hyde Heath, Ballinger, Lee Common and Cholesbury. It then follows the valley towards Chesham Vale before climbing up to Hawridge and onwards to Hockeridge Woods and Ashley Green, then on to Bovingdon Airfield, Whelpley Hill and Ley Hill before returning to Chesham by the River Chess. There is a shorter option of this walk later in the day.
St Mary's Church Chesham Beat the Bounds - short walk
Join St Mary's Chesham on their 'Beating the Bounds' walk - an ancient tradition of marking out the parish boundary. This 4 mile option of the walk starts at Ley Hill (transport provided from the church to the start) and then takes in lovely views over the Chess Valley before returning to Chesham by the River Chess.There is also a longer 25 mile version of this walk on the same day.
Cookley Green Circular
Starts Cookley Green goes via Swyncombe, along The Ridgeway National Trail, on to Greenfield, Pishill Bottom and Russell's Water then back to Cookley Green. An undulating walk, over lovely country side, with the possibility of seeing bluebells.
Learn to Nordic Walk 4 session course
Nordic Walking is an enhancement of ordinary walking – it makes something we can all do… twice as effective! Nordic Walking uses poles to in order to add two major benefits to walking. Our bespoke 'Learn to Nordic Walk' programme is a structured teaching programme taught over 2 two hour sessions.
Bluebell walks and tea
Walk across the emerging wildflower meadows to visit the native bluebells in our restored ancient beach woodland and return for an organic tea. Spring Meadow Farm has over 30 acres of woodland meadows to explore.
Pishill & Stonor Park Nordic Walk
A circular route from Pishill Church with its beautiful stained glass window by John Piper. Our route takes us across open county, through parkland and woods. We climb up to Turville Heath, then descend through Stonor Park then climb again to Maidensgove and return to Pishill.
The Box Moor Trust Blue Walk
Walk the blue route, including an oral history of the area and information on The Bulbourne restoration project.
Nordic Walking Taster Sessions
A 45 minute session for complete beginners that will help you understand just how beneficial Nordic walking can be and how it is far more than just walking with poles! Get a taste of how light you will feel on your feet, how the whole body is mobilised and why you need to take the time to learn the technique.
Beginners Nordic walking technique course
Beginner's Nordic Walking course - a 3 part course which explores Nordic walking and teaches you how to do it. These sessions focus on technique so we will be 'playing' with the poles in a relatively small area.
Spring Walk from Peppard Common
Spring Walk via Grey's Court, Lower Highmoor and Witheridge Hill.
A 'Fox-trot' around Coleshill and the Chiltern Way
Join us for a walk in the beautiful countryside surrounding Fox's Outdoor in Amersham, the festival's primary sponsor, led by an expert guide from the Chiltern Society. The walk climbs out of the valley to pass nearby the village of Coleshill, before joining the Chiltern Way and dropping back down to Amersham to take advantage of refreshments, hospitality and discounted shopping in Fox's store.
A walk in the Chilterns Watlington and Midsomer Murders
Walk through spectacular countryside with views, information on local history and wildlife, as well as a tour of Watlington’s Midsomer Murders filming locations. Includes a coffee stop in Watlington. The walk can be done with or without poles.
Boat and Walking Tour
This special event combines cruising and gentle walking along the River Thames. Embark the Hobbs passenger boat at Henley Riverside for a 30 minute cruise to Hambleden lock, along the famous Henley International Regatta course. You will disembark at Hambleden Lock and be met by an expert guide for the walk back along the Thames Path National Trail. This is a beautiful stretch of the River Thames, with much historic interest and wonderful views of the wooded Chiltern hills. This event will be repeated on Tue 23rd May.
Adventure Nordic Walks
Simply enjoy sociable Nordic walking in stunning locations with a mixed ability group. Lead by accredited instructors or leaders, these walks make the most of our beautiful country and are a relaxing way to enjoy being active outdoors.
Chiltern Society's Captains Wood Walk
Starting at the Black Horse Inn, Chesham Vale, this wonderful, varied walk takes in ancient field patterns and hedges, old earthworks and the home of a famous author, as well as looking at the work carried out by Chiltern Society volunteers. Finish with an optional lunch at the pub (must be booked with ticket).
Train one way walk back: Princes Risborough - Haddenham - Princes Risborough
A pleasant, linear walk, meeting at Princes Risborough station (SP799028) to get the 10:27am train together to Haddenham, and walk back to Princes Risborough. Fantastic views and some Chilterns topics discussed on the way.
Well being Nordic Walks
A gentle safe way to walk yourself fitter! These walks include exercises that help with flexibility, balance and strength whilst using poles to improve general fitness and increase joint mobility. Suitable for those who want to build up to the longer or more vigorous walks or may have concerns about their health.
Ivinghoe Beacon loop Nordic Walk
A circular walk with spectacular views from Ivinghoe Beacon. The walk can be done with or without poles.
A circular walk from Chinnor Hill Nature Reserve, taking in Bledlow and incorporating the Ridgeway National Trail. Led by Sue Holden, Chief Officer of the Chilterns AONB Conservation Board. Repeated on 20th May.
Frithsden Vineyard experience - tour tasting and supper
Meet the winemaker for a guided tour of the vineyard followed by a tutored tasting session of a selection of wines made in our winery. A ploughman's supper is included in the price.
Butterflies and Blooms
Take a walk around Aston Rowant, Natural England's nature reserve, to discover flowers and wildlife of the season. A family friendly version of this walk will take place on Saturday 20th May.
Henley Picnic Electric Bike Ride Tour
Guided electric bike tour with a picnic lunch. Visting Henley on Thames, Chiltern Valley Winery & Brewery, Hambleden Valley, Turville village (TV and film location), Turville Heath and the Warburg Nature Reserve. Tour runs every Thursday.
Local walk from Nettlebed
Across Nettlebed Common and along Bushes Lane.
Bricks and Glass (Nettlebed - Pishill Circular)
A rollercoaster circular walk taking in the tops and bottoms of the Chilterns. We start/finish by The Green in Nettlebed, a village travelled through since ancient times and once important for brick and glass making. En-route we take time to explore the evidence of brick making, the picturesque churches with beautiful stained glass windows by John Piper. Image cEdmund Shaw (Creative Commons Licence).
Work out Nordic Walks
For those who have completed the Learn to Nordic walk course - these action packed one hour walks are designed to help you to improve your fitness levels and gain FAST results. Your qualified instructor will add motivating drills and exercises into a fast paced fun walk.
The Nash brothers and life in the Chilterns
--SOLD OUT-- A fascinating circular walk taking in The Ridgeway National Trail towards Kop Hill. Hear about The Nash brothers and their life in the Chilterns, stopping to discuss their paintings along the route. Walk on towards Whiteleaf Hill and the cross before rejoining The Ridgeway National Trail and then Nim Wood and the Hangings. Image of The Cornfield by John Nash (credit © Tate London 2011).
Nordic walk at Turville
Nordic walk covering spectacular countryside with varied terrain. Includes a lunch stop at The Barn Turville Heath (lunch included in price). Participants must have learnt to Nordic Walk - see details in programme of learn to nordic walk courses.
Evening pub walk: Checkendon
Summer evening pub walk from Exlade street, via Checkendon and Ipsden Wood.
Map reading and walk planning workshop
An interactive workshop led by an experienced walk leader, which will take you through how to plan a walk and navigate with an Ordinance Survey map. The course will be part classroom based and part field based - there will be an element of outdoor country walking so participants need to come prepared.
Chess Valley - Sarratt to Chenies Manor Nordic Walk
Chess Valley and Chenies - visit the watercress farm and have the chance to buy fresh watercress, close view of Chenies Manor and the river Chess. The walk can be done with or without poles.
Wild medicines: learn to love your weeds
Lucy Blunden, Medical Herbalist leads this exploration of indigenous plants and their medicinal properties. The walk will be around the Hemel Food Garden site and will showcase how commonly found weeds may be useful in our daily lives as medicines.
Henley and the Thames circular walk
A wonderful circular walk to the West, along the Thames and returning via Henley.
Checkendon Walk & Lunch
Starting at the Highwayman Inn, Exlade Street, for a pleasant circular walk exploring the woods and landscape around the attractive village of Checkendon. Finish with an optional lunch at the Highwayman Inn (must be booked with ticket).
Butterflies and Blooms for families
A family friendly walk around Aston Rowant, Natural England's nature reserve, to discover flowers and wildlife of the season.
A circular walk from Chinnor Hill Nature Reserve, taking in Bledlow and incorporating the Ridgeway National Trail. Led by Sue Holden, Chief Officer of the Chilterns AONB Conservation Board. Repeated on 17th May.
Guided walk around College Lake Nature Reserve
Join us for a slow stroll around our wonderful reserve. We will introduce you to some of the wildlife using the site at this time of year, show you some of the work we are doing to maintain and improve the habitats and explain how we manage the site.
Ashridge Electric Bike Ride
Guided tour on an electric bike, taking in Berkhamsted Castle, Hemel Hempstead Old Town, Ashridge Woods, Ashridge House and Grand Union Canal. Includes a cream tea en route. Tour runs every Saturday.
Henley and its Midsomer Murders Locations
A leisurely walk around Henley town centre, discovering Midsomer Murders filming locations & Henley history. This very popular walking tour visits many murderous filming locations in one of Oxfordshire’s prettiest towns. This walk is repeated on Sat 27th May 2017.
Learn to Nordic Walk - Parts 1 & 2 (parts 3 & 4 optional)
Be taught how to Nordic Walk by a Nordic Walking UK Accredited instructor. All equipment provided. You may just complete parts 1 and 2. Completion of parts 3 & 4 (on Sunday 21st May) leads to NWUK Passport enabling you to walk with any Nordic Walking UK group without further instruction.
Accessible walk around Nettlebed
A walk mainly through parkland with mature trees, once the home of Ian Fleming, creator of James Bond. Refreshments available from The White Hart in Nettlebed or the Field Kitchen before or after the walk.
Using a Magnetic Compass for Navigation - workshop
An interactive workshop led by an experienced walk leader, which will teach you how to use a magnetic compass for navigation. The course will be part classroom based and part field based - there will be an element of outdoor country walking so participants need to come prepared.