15 Best Things To Do In The Chilterns, England

15 Best Things To Do In The Chilterns, England

By will

The Chilterns is an area of stunning natural beauty in the heart of England, stretching from the bustling city of Oxford to the rolling hills of Buckinghamshire.

With an abundance of countryside activities, attractions and charming villages, the Chilterns is the perfect place to explore on a day trip or holiday.

From walking trails and historic sites to shopping in Aylesbury and visiting Waddesdon Manor, there’s so much to see and do in the Chilterns.

Join me as I take you on a tour of the 15 best things to do in the Chilterns, England.

Walking Trails

The Ridgeway

Take a stroll down one of the stunning walking trails in the Chilterns – you won’t regret it! The Chilterns offer an abundance of countryside routes that are perfect for wanderlust-filled hikers looking for breathtaking views.

From the Ridgeway, the oldest and longest path in the UK, to the Icknield Way, an ancient trackway that traverses Britain and is believed to have been used by prehistoric man, there is something for every level of outdoor enthusiast.

Explore the rolling hills and picturesque villages of this area of outstanding natural beauty, and you’ll soon learn why it’s a favorite destination for those seeking out an escape from reality. Whether you’re looking for a short jaunt or an all-day adventure, you’re sure to find a trail that suits your needs in the Chilterns.

Historic Sites

Chenies Manor, Buckinghamshire

Discover the beautiful and historic sites of the Chilterns, England – from grand manor houses to ancient churches.

Explore the history of this lovely region by visiting some of its most iconic sites. The Chilterns are home to many grand manor houses, such as Chenies Manor, Chequers, and West Wycombe Park. Each of these manor houses is steeped in centuries of history and offers a fascinating glimpse into the past. Many of these manor houses have beautiful gardens and grounds to explore and some even host special events and activities throughout the year.

The Chilterns also offer a wealth of ancient churches. The Church of St. Mary the Virgin in Chesham dates back to the 12th century, while St. Lawrence Church in Ivinghoe is a 14th-century gem. These historic churches are a great way to get a glimpse of the Chilterns’ past, and many of them feature beautiful stained glass windows and gorgeous architecture.

You can also find ancient monuments, such as the Iron Age hill fort at Ivinghoe Beacon. With so many historic sites to explore, the Chilterns are a great destination for those looking to experience England’s past.

Shopping in Aylesbury

Mural commemorating Friars Club, Friars Square shopping centre, Aylesbury

Uncover the hidden gems of Aylesbury’s shopping district and explore a world of unique finds! Whether you’re looking for a special souvenir to remember your visit or a distinctive gift for a loved one, the shops of Aylesbury have something for everyone.

Take a stroll around the historic town centre and you’ll discover a variety of independent and specialist stores to explore. From vintage clothing boutiques to elegant jewellery shops, the town centre is full of unique items to peruse.

If you’re looking for something a little different, the outdoor markets of Aylesbury are a great way to find something special. Stalls line the streets of the town centre, offering everything from antiques to fresh produce. There’s also a great selection of food stalls, so you can rest your feet and enjoy a meal.

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Aylesbury is a great place for a spot of shopping and it’ll leave you with some wonderful mementos of your trip.

Visiting Waddesdon Manor

Experience the magical world of Waddesdon Manor and be inspired by its beauty!

Located in Waddesdon, Buckinghamshire, the manor has been a part of the Rothschild family for over 150 years, and it shows.

The house is a perfect example of French Renaissance-style architecture, with a stunning collection of art and furniture to match.

Step into the Manor and explore the grand rooms and gardens filled with history and beauty.

Take a guided tour of the house and admire the impressive collections of art, furniture, and silverware.

Marvel at the beauty of the grand staircase, the intricate details of the tapestries and the grandeur of the library.

Then, explore the gardens and the surrounding parkland, which includes a lake, an aviary, and a vineyard.

Whether you choose to spend a few hours or a full day, your visit to Waddesdon Manor will be a truly unforgettable experience.

Exploring Ivinghoe Beacon

Take a journey to Ivinghoe Beacon, a prominent hill in the Chilterns region of England, for breathtaking views and plenty of outdoor activities!

This hill is a great place for a day out with family and friends, with plenty of space to explore and picnic.

The Beacon is the highest point of the Chiltern Hills, offering stunning panoramic views of the countryside.

The hill is also the starting point of the Icknield Way—an ancient track which passes through the Chilterns.

At the Beacon, you can enjoy a range of outdoor activities such as walking, cycling, bird watching, and kite flying.

The top of the hill is also home to a range of wildflowers, including cowslip and oxlip.

If you’re lucky, you may even catch a glimpse of the rare Chilterns Leopard Moth.

For an unforgettable experience, spend some time at Ivinghoe Beacon and take in the stunning views of the Chilterns.

Enjoying the River Thames

Cruise along the River Thames and enjoy the cultural attractions, stunning landscapes, and vibrant wildlife it has to offer.

The River Thames has been an integral part of the English culture and history since ancient times.

Take a leisurely boat cruise and relish in the beauty of the picturesque river, with its rolling meadows, lush forests, and quaint villages.

Along the way, you can spot a variety of interesting wildlife, including swans, geese, ducks, and herons.

Stop off at one of the many towns or villages that line the river and explore the local history and culture.

Enjoy the traditional pubs and restaurants, or take some time to admire the stunning architecture.

The River Thames is a great place to relax and enjoy the beauty of nature in the Chilterns.

Touring the Chiltern Hills

Meander through the rolling hills of the Chilterns and marvel at the stunning views of the English countryside. A visit to the Chilterns is a must for anyone looking for a tranquil escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

Take a leisurely drive along winding roads to take in the breathtaking natural scenery. Stop at any of the quaint villages and towns along the way to explore local shops, eateries, and other attractions. The Chiltern Hills are a great way to get away from it all and enjoy some peace and quiet in an area of outstanding natural beauty.

Head to the top of the Chilterns and enjoy views of the surrounding countryside that stretch for miles. Visit the Chiltern Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and marvel at the diverse range of habitats, wildlife, and plants.

There are plenty of walking trails and picnic spots to explore, and if you’re feeling adventurous, why not try a spot of abseiling or rock climbing? With its stunning views and picturesque villages, the Chilterns is sure to provide a memorable day out.

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Visiting the Hellfire Caves

Embark on a journey into the mysterious Hellfire Caves, a labyrinth of limestone caverns and tunnels that have captivated visitors for centuries.

Located in the Chiltern Hills of England, the Hellfire Caves are steeped in legend and mystery.

Dating back to the 1700s, the caves were once the private meeting place of the notorious Hellfire Club, a secret society of wealthy and influential men who partook in activities of a macabre and dark nature.

Today, visitors can explore this eerie underground world with its many chambers and passages, and discover its fascinating history.

From the eerie initiation chamber to the inner sanctum where members gathered, the Hellfire Caves are a must-see for visitors in the Chilterns.

With its unique combination of history, mystery, and adventure, visitors of all ages will be sure to find something to fascinate them.

Taking a Trip to Stowe Gardens

Stroll through the magnificent Stowe Gardens and be mesmerized by its breathtaking landscape and majestic architecture.

Located in Buckinghamshire, England, Stowe Gardens is known for its breathtaking views, stunning landscaped gardens, and elegant buildings like the glorious Stowe House.

Explore the gardens and admire the beautiful lake, thoughtfully-designed pathways, and magnificent waterfalls.

Relax in the tranquil environment and take a moment to soak in the picturesque views of the surrounding countryside.

Take a guided tour of the Stowe House and discover its rich history.

Marvel at the stunning architecture, exquisite decor, and impressive collection of art.

Learn about the gardens’ fascinating past and its connection to the political history of the country.

Enjoy a delightful afternoon tea in the gardens, or take part in an array of activities for all ages, like the adventure playground or the Geology Walk.

Whether you’re looking for an educational day out or a peaceful stroll through nature, Stowe Gardens has something to offer everyone.

Relaxing at Woburn Abbey

Unwind and relax at the majestic Woburn Abbey, located in the Chilterns region of England.
Built in the 16th century, Woburn Abbey is a stunning example of classic British architecture surrounded by lush green gardens and a serene lake.
As you walk the grounds, you’ll come across a variety of sculptures and monuments that speak to the history of the abbey.
Inside, you can explore the beautiful and ornate state rooms, and even take a guided tour of the abbey’s grand library.
You can also take a leisurely stroll through the rose garden and admire the lush greenery of the surrounding parkland.
Enjoy a picnic lunch in the gardens and take in the peaceful atmosphere of the abbey grounds.
Whether you’re looking for a tranquil retreat or a day of exploration, Woburn Abbey is the perfect place to relax and soak in the beauty of the Chilterns.

Visiting the Roald Dahl Museum

Experience the magical world of Roald Dahl at the Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre, located in Buckinghamshire, UK.

This interactive museum is a must-visit destination for Dahl fans of all ages. From the minute you walk through the door, you’ll be transported into the world of the beloved author and his beloved characters.

You can immerse yourself in the interactive galleries, featuring original manuscripts, props, costumes and more. With activities for kids and adults alike, you can explore the life, stories, and characters of Roald Dahl.

Take a peek into the ‘Ideas Room’ to see how his stories were born and browse the ‘Tales Room’ to find out how his stories were brought to life. Plus, you can even learn how to write your own story in the ‘Story Centre’.

It’s a great place to make memories, explore the imagination, and get creative. So, if you’re looking for a unique and enjoyable experience in the Chilterns, be sure to visit the Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre.

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Shopping in Beaconsfield

Head to Beaconsfield for some unique shopping! From independent boutiques to antique stores, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.

When you’re done exploring the Roald Dahl Museum, why not take a wander around the shops of Beaconsfield’s charming old town?

You’ll find a variety of stores to suit all tastes and budgets, including high-end fashion boutiques, independent jewellers, and quirky vintage stores.

Whether you’re looking for a special gift for a friend, a new outfit or just a little something for yourself, you’ll find it all here.

Take your time and browse the selection of goodies on offer, and you’re sure to find something you’ll love.

Exploring the Ashridge Estate

Take a stroll through the stunning Ashridge Estate and immerse yourself in its rich history and beauty. With miles of trails to explore, you’re sure to be captivated by the gorgeous countryside of the Chilterns.

You’ll be able to explore the ancient woodlands, rolling hills, and lush meadows that make this part of England so beautiful. Along the way, you can take in the historical sites, including the ancient Ashridge House, the National Trust-run estate, and the 13th-century College of St. Mary.

You’ll also be able to spot some of the local wildlife, from deer and badgers to rare birds. You can even take a break and enjoy a bite to eat at the nearby Ashridge Visitor Centre.

With so much to explore, the Ashridge Estate is a must-see destination for anyone visiting the Chilterns.

Visiting the Chiltern Open Air Museum

Discover a wealth of history and culture at the Chiltern Open Air Museum, where you can explore a wide range of exhibits. From recreations of historic buildings to traditional crafts and activities. Step back in time and immerse yourself in the past.

Experience a unique insight into rural life in the Chilterns. Authentic buildings from different time periods have been reconstructed and furnished to replicate the way it was centuries ago. Learn about local crafts and skills, such as blacksmithing and pottery. You can even try your hand at a few of them.

Wander through the landscape and explore the wildlife and gardens. Don’t forget to visit the museum café for some delicious local treats. The Chiltern Open Air Museum offers a truly unique and engaging experience.

Enjoying a Day Out at the National Trust’s Hughenden Manor

Experience a taste of Victorian life at the National Trust’s Hughenden Manor, a grand estate nestled in the picturesque Buckinghamshire hills.

Hughenden Manor is a great day-out for the family!

The manor is steeped in history and its gardens are a delight, with plenty of secret hideaways and peaceful nooks to explore.

The house itself is filled with fascinating artefacts and period furniture from the Victorian era, and there are plenty of opportunities to learn about the lives of the people who once lived there.

The grounds of the manor are equally as stunning, with a network of winding paths and trails that take visitors through some of the most beautiful countryside in the Chilterns.

The sprawling parklands are home to a variety of wildlife, including deer, rabbits, foxes, and various species of birds.

There are also plenty of activities to enjoy, such as cricket matches, picnics, and scavenger hunts.

With its stunning views and rich history, Hughenden Manor is the perfect way to spend the day in the Chilterns.

Conclusion

I’ve had an incredible journey exploring the Chilterns, England. I’ve walked the trails, explored historic sites, and enjoyed shopping in Beaconsfield and Aylesbury.

I’ve marveled at the stunning Waddesdon Manor and Ivinghoe Beacon, and enjoyed a day out at the National Trust’s Hughenden Manor.

Whether you’re looking for a relaxing escape or an exciting adventure, the Chilterns has something for everyone. With its rolling hills, lush green fields, and charming villages, it’s the perfect spot to explore and make memories that will last a lifetime.

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About the author

Will is an avid hillwalker and traveler. You may find him surfing in Cornwall or hiking in the Yorkshire Dales.