Walking in the Chilterns

This guidebook describes 35 walks, from 4 to 12 miles long, that explore the Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in southern England.

The Chiltern Hills follow a line of chalk from the River Thames at Goring up to the Barton Hills just west of Hitchin, through Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire, with great views from the north west edge and, on the south east side, a more intimate undulating landscape of rounded hills and valleys, covered in a mix of broadleaved woodland and open farmland. The walks take you on a journey through this classic Chiltern landscape that has been shaped by human activity for thousands of years, visiting interesting historic sites, colourful gardens and picture-postcard villages with thatched cottages, fascinating churches and cosy pubs. Step by step route directions include lots of information about all these sites along the way and are illustrated with clear OS mapping and vibrant photographs.

Publisher: Cicerone Press Ltd

ISBN: 9781786310187 (second edition)

Publication Date: September 2018

(first edition: 9781852847005; published June 2014)

The book is available from the publisher at www.cicerone.co.uk, through local bookshops and online.
The Chilterns cover
The Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) in south-east England, stretches north-east for 70km from the River Thames at the Goring Gap in Oxfordshire through Buckinghamshire and Bedfordshire to Hertfordshire. This chalk landscape is famed for its beech and oak woods (around one fifth of the area is covered by woodland) which give way to a more open chalk grassland along its northern reaches, such as the Ivinghoe Hills and Dunstable Downs. The Chilterns are definitely ‘hilly’ but they don’t rise to any great height: the highest point - albeit a rather indistinct feature surrounded by dense woodland - is Haddington Hill near Wendover at 267m. More prominent hills, with the advantage of panoramic views, include Coombe Hill near Wendover at 260m (Walk 12) and Beacon Hill near Ivinghoe at 249m (Walk 5).

The area of the AONB itself has a relatively low population - around 100,000 - but its boundary skirts around larger urban areas such as High Wycombe and Luton, meaning that a further half million people live within 3km. Good transport links also make the Chilterns easily accessible to people from London.

Yet peace and tranquillity are in abundance: listen to the birdsong in the ancient woodlands or the skylarks singing over the open grassland; be dazzled by the myriad flowers and butterflies; admire the gently rolling landscape that has inspired many over the centuries, from famed authors to artists and poets.

Be inspired, and explore some of the 2000km of footpaths and bridleways that criss-cross the Chilterns.
Some Chiltern plants: cowslip - clustered bellflower - common orchidSharpenhoe Clappers (Walk 1)Church of St Mary the Virgin, Ivinghoe (Walk 5)Ivinghoe Hills (Walk 5)Pitstone Windmill (Walk 6)Church St Peter and Paul, Little Gaddesden (Walk 9)Coombe Hill monument (Walk 12)Lacey Green windmill (Walk 12)Church of St Michael and All Angels at Hughenden Manor (Walk 20)Hughenden Manor (Walk 20)St Bartholomews Church, Fingest (Walk 23)Stonor Valley from Coxlease Farm (Walk 32)
Contents

Introduction covering wildlife, geology and brief history

The Walks:

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 MapledurhamCotswold Way

Appendices: route summary tables; itinerary planner; accommodation near the route; useful contacts; and further reading
The Chilterns map