This is England at its best; idyllic villages, typical Chilterns countryside and quaint pubs, yet just a few miles from Henley and Marlow. Together with the Turville and Wormsley valleys, it links the River Thames at Mill End, close to the start of the Henley regatta course, with the Chilterns escarpment at Christmas Common and Ibstone. It includes the picturesque valley villages of Hambleden, Fingest, Skirmett and Turville. The valley is surrounded by the ancient hilltop settlements of Fawley, Southend, Turville Heath, Northend, Christmas Common, Ibstone, Lane End and Frieth. There are lots of well signed promoted routes passing through the Hambleden Valley including the long-distance Chiltern Way.
You can explore the area with the Chilterns Country Thames and Chilterns walk from Henley, or during the summer you can take a boat down the Thames to Hambleden lock with Hobbs of Henley. There are gentle walks along the River Hamble or more challenging walks through the steep wooded hills. For a circular walk try the Thames & Chilterns Walk which links Hambleden with the River Thames, or the Hambleden & Medmenham Walk, a 5 mile stile-free circular walk passing thorugh beech woodlands and pretty villages.
Hambleden Village is in the heart of the Valley. It has attractive brick and flint cottages, a medieval church and a thriving pub and shop. It is a popular starting point for exploring the Valley, with rooms at the Stag & Huntsman You can head up to the hills or walk alongside the sparkling Hambleden Brook. The location for numerous big hit film and TV productions including 'Midsomer Murders', 'Chitty Chitty Bang Bang' and '101 Dalmatians'.
St. Marys Church in the centre of Hambleden dates back to the 12th Century and has appeared in many film and TV shows. The church has 8 bells, one of which is believed to have first been rung in 1415 around the time of the victory at Agincourt. There are summer concerts at the church and cream teas served on Sundays and Bank Holiday Mondays.
Chiltern Valley Winery and Brewery. Award-winning wines, ales and liqueurs are produced here on the Chiltern slopes, high above the Hamble Valley. There are tastings, tours of the vineyard and brewery and a shop. You can stay here too, Old Luxters Farmhouse offers B&B with picturesque views over the vineyard, gardens and Hambleden Valley beyond.
Garsington Opera is an annual open air summer opera festival founded in 1989 by Leonard Ingrams. The festival is held in Wormsley Park, the home of the Getty family, with performances of great artistic quality in a setting of extraordinary natural beauty with the rolling beech woods of the Chiltern Hills as backdrop. The Wormsley Estate is also the place to enjoy international cricket matches and must be one of the most beautiful cricket grounds in England. Read more about this unlikely combination of cricket and opera in our Chilterns blog
Henley-on-Thames - 5 miles from Hambleden: The international home of rowing enjoys a scenic setting on a broad and beautiful stretch of the River Thames. Henley's Royal Regatta and Festival of Music and Arts are the flagships of a very stylish town, where an excellent mix of shops and restaurants, boating and riverside walks create an air of relaxed affluence.
Marlow - 5 miles from Hambleden: Edwardians came here by the boatload to enjoy the beauty of the River Thames against the backdrop of the Chiltern Hills. Now Marlow combines natural beauty with contemporary chic, Georgian buildings, a graceful suspension bridge and the picturesque lock and the weir set the scene for prosperous shops and some highly-acclaimed restaurants.
Greys Court, National Trust – 7 miles from Hambleden: an intimate and picturesque 16th-century mansion, with homely living rooms. Tranquil gardens include a series of walled gardens and medieval ruins such as the Tudor donkey wheel used to draw water for the house.