Mills, museums and classic collections

Landscape plays a huge role in determining the form and function of buildings, and here in the Chilterns, that is especially true.

Pitstone Windmill
A rare example of an early form of post windmill: Pitstone Windmill. Credit Jamie Edwards


Mad about mills? Visit these gentle giants on the edge of the Chiltern ridges: the National Trust's Pitstone Windmill, one of the oldest in Britain; and Lacey Green smock mill, so-called for its resemblance to a traditional farmer's smock. Visit working watermills at Ford End, a typical small farm mill of the late 1800s - take a look behind the scenes here, and our favourite, Redbournbury Water Mill & Bakery on the River Ver is milling and baking from crop to crust! Frogmore Paper Mill is the world's oldest working mechanised paper mill, home to two 'fourdrinier' paper machines.

The Chiltern Open Air Museum at Chalfont St Giles in Bucks rescues and relocates traditional local buildings, from a Victorian Toll House or 1940s pre-fab to a bygone rural farm. Lots of great themed events on offer — dive into Tudor life, see how a Victorian farm works, be enthralled by a medieval pageant or heavy horse demonstration.

Henley's River & Rowing Museum explores the worlds of the River Thames, international rowing, The Wind in the Willows and Henley itself.

Magical Minpins - a weekend of Roald Dahl Day celebrations on Saturday 16 and Sunday 17 September from 11am to 5pm at the Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre:  Celebrate Roald Dahl's birthday and the launch of the new edition of Billy and the Minpins, illustrated for the first time by Quentin Blake. The weekend will be jam-packed with activities. Come along and create a World of Minpins, the tiny tree-dwelling people, saved by Billy from the fearsome Gruncher: decorate a Minpin home and help our roving noise-napper capture some swashboggling sounds to build a Minpin forest soundscape.

The Natural History Museum at Tring displays the marvellous range of animals collected by Lionel Walter Rothschild in a splendid Victorian building.

The popular Amersham museum features a large and diverse collection of objects relating to local craft and industry, locally manufactured and produced toys and domestic goods all housed within the oldest domestic building in Amersham; part of a Tudor hall house. There is a wonderful garden full of herbs and plants with medicinal and culinary properties.

Top 5 reasons to visit Hitchin British Schools Museum from HitchinTV  

The Chilterns in Miniature. In Bekonscot, the world's oldest model village, tiny inhabitants busy themselves in seven villages, each with its own station linked by a wonderful Grade I model railway. Stuck in a 1930's time warp, see England how it used to be, and discover a wonderful little world tucked away from the hustle & bustle of everyday life.

Enjoy these and all the many other museums found in our Chiltern Market Towns.

Interactive Map of the Chilterns

Interactive map featuring a host of things to do and places to visit