For keen walkers, the Chilterns offer the promise of an adventure playground on the doorstep of the nation’s capital, just an hour from central London. We are also a haven for flourishing wildlife populations including muntjac, red kites, badgers, exotic birds and butterflies (including a healthy population of the endangered Duke of Burgundy) and rare species of wildflowers.
There are several long-distance walks too including the historic Ridgeway National Trail which are ideal for weekend breaks. The most popular are:
The Chiltern Way is a circular walking route of 134 miles, with two optional extras loops taking the total route to some 220 miles. Wandering, varied and mostly rural, it explores some of the loveliest landscapes in all four counties of the Chilterns AONB.
The Ridgeway National Trail follows a route used by travellers for over 5,000 years. Starting at the World Heritage Site of Avebury, it crosses the chalk ridges of the North Wessex Downs and Chilterns AONBs, passing Iron Age hillforts, chalk figures and ancient burial mounds to finish with a flourish at panoramic Ivinghoe Beacon. The Chilterns section travels through woodlands, nature reserves and quiet valleys, climbing to some magnificent viewpoints along the Chilterns ridge. To step back in time, use our interactive map to select a Chilterns Ridgeway walk or stride out further with plenty of places to stay en route.
The Thames Path National Trail follows the greatest river in England for 184 miles from its source in the Cotswolds almost to the sea. Waymarked throughout, the path passes along the edge of the Chiltern Hills from Wallingford to Marlow, via Goring, Pangbourne and Henley-on-Thames. It combines these desirable riverside towns with wonderfully scenic stretches in a choice of largely gentle walks that everyone can enjoy.