Here are our top 10 Chilterns' winter days out:
1. Midsomer in the Chilterns
The majority of Chilterns Midsomer locations are tucked away in lovely market towns such as Henley-on-Thames, Wallingford and Amersham. Now you can tour the villages and see where dark deeds were committed or raise a pint in some of the pubs frequented by DCI Barnaby himself.
Download the free top 10 Chilterns' Midsomer self-guided walking trails.
2. Natural History Museum Tring
A staple with local families, the wonderful galleries of this beautiful Victorian museum present everything from tiny dressed fleas to a smiling polar bear and domestic dogs. The fascinating range of animals were collected by Lionel Walter Rothschild, a remarkable character who kept an astonishing variety of live animals in the grounds around the Museum and in nearby Tring Park. Lionel Walter was a familiar sight in Tring, riding around town in his zebra-drawn carriage.
3. Tring Brewery Tour, Tring
Beer on a Saturday morning. Why not? This popular tour is designed for groups of all sizes. They are run twice a month and provide you with an opportunity to discover more about Tring brewery, their beers and how they are made. Included in the price are samples to taste during the tour or a bottle to take home with you. Time 11.00am to 12.30pm, Price £5 per person.
Over 18's only. Pre-booking required. http://www.tringbrewery.co.uk/tours/
4. Ashridge Forest
Ashridge Estate comprises 5,000 magnificent acres of woodlands, commons and chalk downland, rich in wildlife and offering splendid walks and cycle rides through outstanding scenery. The Bridgewater Monument, visitor centre and café form the focal point of the estate, and are a good place to set up your base from where the group can explore by bike, climb trees, build a den, or spot a fairy on a toadstool perhaps….
5. Follow the Lapwing Trail at College Lake
College Lake Nature Reserve on the Upper Icknield Way near the market town of Tring, is a former chalk quarry that has been transformed into a thriving wildlife centre. It is a haven for migrating birds visiting the lake and notable for beautiful orchids and unusual cornfield flowers. Bring your binoculars, cameras and wellies, to stroll along family-friendly easy access trails around the lake, visit the many bird hides, or take part in the holiday events programme.
Donations welcome www.bbowt.org.uk/reserves/college-lake
6. Make a move in the Chess Valley
The Chess Valley has some of the most attractive countryside in the Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. This is a landscape rich in wildlife, with a long and fascinating history. You'll discover the site of a Roman farm-villa at Latimer, pass the 13th century Chenies Manor visited by Elizabeth I and see the watercress beds at Sarratt, the only commercial watercress farm left in the Chilterns. And when you're near the River Chess, keep an eye out for kingfishers, water voles, brown trout and dragonflies. You can reach the Chess Valley Walk from either Rickmansworth or Chesham stations. If you would like a shorter walk, you can access the walk from Chalfont & Latimer or Chorleywood underground stations. Pack your wellies, camera and a picnic.
Free Download a copy of the walk here: www.chilternsaonb.org/explore-enjoy/interactive-map.html#381
7. River and Rowing Museum, Henley
Follows the story of rowing and the River Thames from Olympic heights to the minutiae of life on the river banks at Henley on Thames, the jewel in the Chilterns crown. Special exhibitions include The Wind in the Willows, a family favourite, or chose from a calendar of temporary art and photography exhibitions and a year-round calendar of nature trails, craft workshops and family days. This museum can be combined with a walk along the banks of the River Thames, or lunch in a nearby riverside pub.
Admission charge. http://rrm.co.uk/visit
8. Follow the Trail to find a Phoenix
Popular with the locals, this disused railway line that runs between the market towns of Thame and Princes Risborough, marks the Phoenix Trail, the perfect place to enjoy the Chilterns countryside, with views of the mysterious Whiteleaf Cross carved into the hillside above Princes Risborough and a very active Red Kite population, swooping and diving as they hunt for prey. Off road all the way, there is no worrying about four-wheeled traffic and young cyclists can get to grips with the sport. There is a wonderful collection of 30 original sculptures built by Angus Ross and six furniture students from Thame's Rycotewood College, which draw on the trail's railway heritage and the landscape towards the Chiltern Hills, but are subtle and sometimes easy to miss, as they are not all at head-height. Pack a picnic. Free
9. Adventures at Hughenden Manor
The wily Benjamin Disraeli, Queen Victoria's favourite Prime Minister, boosted his social status by choosing Hughenden Manor near High Wycombe as his country seat. Now in the care of the National Trust, Hughenden Manor has an excellent family events programme and nearby country walks around the lovely estate.
NT membership or admission charges apply. https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/hughenden
10. Beaconsfield is a town of two halves
Historic Old Beaconsfield boasts elegant wide streets lined with coaching inns and grand houses, offering a tempting array of shops and eateries. New Beaconsfield grew up around the railway station a mile away and is home to Bekonscot model village, the first model village in the world and now a popular visitor attraction.
Bekonscot model village opening times: Open for 3 weekends only from 10am-5.30pm until 10/11 December 2016 and then they re-open on Saturday 11 February 2017.
Admission charges: http://www.bekonscot.co.uk
Getting to the Chilterns:
From train to Chilterns trail, you can escape from London and be in the countryside in under an hour. Well served by four main rail lines, the River Thames and the London Underground Metropolitan line, with frequent trains.
Notes to Editors
- This release has been distributed by the Chilterns Tourism Network, a not-for-profit company representing over 220 local Chilterns tourism businesses who work together to promote this Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty as a desirable place to visit.
- www.VisitChilterns.co.uk has loads of ideas and inspiration for your readers and a press room www.visitchilterns.co.uk/press.html
- The Chilterns stretches from the Thames in Oxfordshire through Buckinghamshire and Bed- fordshire to Hitchin in Hertfordshire, 23 miles north-west of London.
- Accessible on Chiltern Railways, London Midland and the Metropolitan Line on the Underground.
- For Chilterns events @VisitChilterns and on Instagram www.instagram.com/thechilterns/
- High-res images are available on the website. www.visitchilterns.co.uk/gallery or contact mary@VisitChilterns.co.uk
- A Chilterns press pack is available on request, and for further information or to discuss press trip opportunities, please contact Mary Tebje 07941 841058 or contact firstname.lastname@example.org