Walking in the Chilterns
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A guidebook to 35 walks in the Chiltern Hills of southern England. These chalk hills and ancient woodlands stretch from Reading and the Thames valley through Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire and Hertfordshire to Luton. Walking in the Chilterns - an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty - for walkers of all abilities, with walks from 4 to 12 miles long.
- spring and early summer are best for wild flowers; in autumn the beech woods are clothed in golden-brown autumnal colours; a frosty winter's day gives impressive views
- Aldbury, Amersham, Chesham, Dunstable, Goring, Great Hampden, Henley-on-Thames, High Wycombe, Ivinghoe, Nettlebed, Princes Risborough, Tring, Wallingford, Wendover, Whipsnade
- walks to suit most ages and abilities; no difficulties apart from some short steep uphill and downhill sections; can be muddy in winter
- Must See
- panoramic views from the crest of the Chilterns including Ivinghoe Beacon, Coombe Hill, Whiteleaf Hill and Watlington Hill; peaceful beech woods; riverside scenes along the River Thames, Chess, Gade and Misbourne; picturesque villages with thatched cottages, historic churches and cosy pubs
The Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty heads north-east from the River Thames at Goring through Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire. Combining great views, rolling hills, beechwoods, riverside walks and pretty villages with easy access from London, it’s a popular destination for walkers.
This 833-square kilometre area of southern England is criss-crossed by 2000 kilometres of straightforward, well-defined footpaths and bridleways, and the walks in this guide use many of them to offer excellent walking for most ages and abilities.The walks take in many points of interest including Iron Age forts, picturesque villages of thatched-roof cottages and cosy pubs, stately homes, colourful gardens, medieval churches and market towns. The walks wander on dappled forest tracks, over high escarpments, through valleys and along tranquil rivers with no significant difficulties for walkers of all abilities.
This guide describes a varied collection of day walks, from 4 to 12 miles long, right across this much-loved area.
- 35 contrasting walks throughout the AONB
- lots of detours to local pubs and historic churches included
- geology, history and famous local Chilterns characters brought to life throughout the route descriptions
Plants and wildlife
Where to stay
Getting to and around the Chilterns
Food and drink
Walking in the Chilterns
Waymarking, access and rights of way
Using this guide
1 North of Luton
Walk 1 Harlington and Sharpenhoe Clappers
Walk 2 Barton-le-Clay, Hexton and Barton Hills
Walk 3 Pirton and Pegsdon Hills
2 Dunstable to Berkhamsted
Walk 4 Whipsnade, Studham and the Dunstable Downs
Walk 5 Ivinghoe Beacon, Ivinghoe and Pitstone
Walk 6 Grand Union Canal, Pitstone Hill and Aldbury
Walk 7 Grand Union Canal and Tring Park
Walk 8 Great Gaddesden
Walk 9 Berkhamsted, Nettleden and Little Gaddesden
3 Wendover to Stokenchurch
Walk 10 Cholesbury and Hawridge
Walk 11 Wendover and The Lee
Walk 12 Wendover, Ellesborough, Chequers and Coombe Hill
Walk 13 Whiteleaf Hill and Great Kimble
Walk 14 Bledlow and Radnage
Walk 15 Lacey Green, Speen and Bryant’s Bottom
Walk 16 Great Hampden
Walk 17 Great Missenden and Chartridge
4 Amersham to High Wycombe
Walk 18 Chenies, Latimer and the River Chess
Walk 19 Little Missenden, Penn Wood and Penn Street
Walk 20 Hughenden, Bradenham and West Wycombe
Walk 21 Penn and Coleshill
5 Watlington and Nettlebed
Walk 22 Christmas Common and Watlington Hill
Walk 23 Turville, Skirmett and Fingest
Walk 24 Pishill and Stonor
Walk 25 Pishill, Cookley Green and Russell’s Water
Walk 26 Ewelme and Swyncombe
Walk 27 Checkendon and Stoke Row
Walk 28 Hailey and Grim’s Ditch
Walk 29 Nettlebed and Nuffield
Walk 30 Greys Green, Rotherfield Greys and Greys Court
6 Along the Thames
Walk 31 Hambleden, Medmenham and the River Thames
Walk 32 Henley-on-Thames and Middle Assendon
Walk 33 South and North Stoke and Grim’s Ditch
Walk 34 Goring-on-Thames and Cray’s Pond
Walk 35 Whitchurch Hill and Mapledurham
Appendix A Route summary table
Appendix B Useful contacts
The Ordnance Survey (OS) offer two series of maps: the 1:50,000 (2cm to 1km) Landranger series and the more detailed 1:25,000 (4cm to 1km) Explorer series. The OS maps covering the Chilterns AONB are:
- Landranger: 165, 166, 174 (for very small parts of walks 27 and 34) and 175
- Explorer: 171, 172, 181, 182, and 193
This guide features extracts of the OS 1:50,000 Landranger series, with overlays showing the route and any detours or shortcuts, but it is advisable to always carry the relevant Explorer map with you when walking.
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"A selection of 35 routes spread across the Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, ranging from 4-12 miles each and including easy ambles to more stretching outings.... There's the usual mix of OS map extracts and colour photos, plus plenty of boxes of interesting local information."
Ramblers, August 2014
Steve Davison is a writer and photographer who has lived in Berkshire for over 25 years. He has written a number of books as well as articles for magazines and national and local newspapers, specialising in hill-walking and UK and European travel, and counts nature, geology and the countryside among his particular interests. A keen hill-walker for many years, and a Mountain Leader, Steve has also worked as a part-time outdoor education instructor. He is also a member of the Outdoor Writers and Photographers Guild.View Articles and Books by Steve Davison
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