Choose model villages, vintage trains or iconic cars. The homes and gardens of poets and politicians. Windmills and wildlife. Secret places for revels, rituals or cracking codes. Dip into the rich assortment of Chiltern treasures to find the things that will make your day.
Burnham Beeches National Nature Reserve is one of the best examples of ancient woodland in Britain. Famed for its beech and oak pollards – many of which are more than 400 years old – it is also home to a rich variety of fungi, plants and animals.
There has probably been woodland on the site since the retreat of the last ice age, but today’s landscape was created by people. One of the three Scheduled Ancient Monuments on the reserve shows that the area was inhabited as early as the Iron Age. Today Burnham Beeches is characterised by a diverse mixture of ancient woodland, wood pasture, coppice, ponds and streams, grassland, mire and heathland. The site’s most prominent features are the veteran Beech and Oak pollarded trees which provide a stable habitat for many rare and endangered deadwood species. In Victorian times many of the old trees were given names because of their distinctive shapes; ‘His Majesty” was one of the largest, the ‘Elephant tree’ was like an elephant on its back, the ‘Lace Maker” was where the ladies sat to make lace and the ‘Maiden tree’ was an old tree that had never been pollarded . At over 700 years old, ‘Druid’s Oak” is probably the oldest tree still alive in Burnham Beeches. Oak trees were revered by the Druids but the origins of the name are unclear. Since then, the Beeches are a popular filming location and such diverse titles as Carry on Camping, Goldfinger, Harry Potter and Midsomer Murders. There are numerous walking and cycling trails that can be accessed here
It was a tweet that spurred me into action to get away from my desk and take a walk along Cliveden Reach,
between Cookham and Boulter’s locks, the fabled stretch along the River Thames. Cliveden House,
an ornate mansion that crowns an outlying Chilterns ridge by the hilltop village of Taplow, near the busy market town of Marlow. 40 metres above the river, Cliveden means “valley among cliffs” and refers to the dene (valley) which cuts through part of the estate, east of the house. The site has been home to an earl, three countesses, two dukes, a Prince of Wales and the Viscounts Astor. And a particular scandal.
Brings together a Chilterns journey through the seasons including heritage, beautiful vistas, riverside walks and visits to local churches and country houses.
Harry Potter comes to the Chilterns!
Secrets of the Harry Potter movies are revealed on the Warner Bros. Studio Tour London 10 miles from Berkhamsted. The behind-the-scenes tour includes sets, costumes, props and animatronics and showcases the artistry, technology and talent that went into making most successful film series of all time.