Themed Chiltern Walks
Our themed Chiltern walks take place throughout the year and combine a walk with a special event dependent on the season. From Burns night, to Yoga we have a weekend for all. Our latest themed weekends can be found on our offers page.
Burns Walk Midsomer Murder Walk Bluebells Walk
Autumn Strolls Festive Steps Glow Worm Walks
Windsor Walk Summer Walk and Swim
Distance - 8/9 miles
Area - Chalfont St Giles
A walk with Sassenachs galore so close to Burns Night which celebrates Scotland’s famous national bard Robert Burns, usually held on 25th January– it’s just too tempting. During the walk will you dare try that finest of Scottish delicacies a small taste of Haggis on an oatcake accompanied by gods own drink – a wee Scots dram. Mind you to enjoy the later you might need to get a wee bit interactive – here is a clue,
“Wee sleekit, cow'rin, tim'rous beastie,
O, what a panic's in thy breastie!
Thou need na start awa sae hasty,
Wi bickering brattle!
I wad be laith to rin an chase thee,
Wi murdering pattle!”
“Fair fa' your honest, sonsie face,
Great chieftain o the puddin'-race!
Aboon them a' ye tak your place,
Painch, tripe, or thairm:
Weel are ye wordy of a grace
As lang's my arm”.
More of this cunning plan on walk day but I let it be known well performed interactivity might earn you an upgrade to a fine malt whisky!
“Farewell to the Highlands, farewell to the North,
The birth-place of Valour, the country of Worth ;
Wherever I wander, wherever I rove,
he hills of the Highlands for ever I love”.
The haggis and whisky is sponsored by Walkfree Breakfree but I will ask for a voluntary contribution which will be donated to the BBC Children in Need Charity.
We will start in the picturesque of Chalfont St Giles which was once home to the famous poet John Milton. He wrote Paradise Lost whilst staying in the village to escape the Plague of London. We follow the Chiltern Way with a gentle 100 metre climb to Coleshill (time for refreshment) continuing downhill to historic Old Amersham then follow the South Bucks Way alongside the River Misbourne back to Chalfont St Giles.
Distance - 10 miles
Area - Great Missenden
Following the South Bucks Way we soon climb to get some good views of The Chilterns and onwards to the unspoilt Hamlet of The Lee featured in many episodes of Midsomer Murders. The village has two churches side by side and in the graveyard we have examples of wooden “bedstead” grave markers …. Lee a Midsomer Murder location makes a great place to stop for lunch.
Onwards to Ballanger and returning to Great Missenden via its church where we may be lucky to see a great display of crocus flowers. Don’t worry we will count you out and count you back – it is never nice to lose more than one.
Distance - 5-7 miles
Area - Wendover
Join us on our annual Bluebell Walk where we seek to explore ancient woodland and discover the glory of our Chiltern woodlands when the Bluebells are in flower. Starting off on The Ridgeway National trail we pass through Hale and Lordling woods hopefully covered in a carpet of bluebells onto Dundridge Manor via the quaintly named Arrewig Lane. On to Cholesbury Common where buried in the church lies a sailor from one of Nelsons ships, passing the Iron Age Fort to join the Ridgeway again and re trace our steps to Wendover.
Distance - 8 Miles
Area - Ashridge
Join us on our annual Autumn walk when we seek out these glorious colours found in the Chilterns every autumn. Starting at the Bridgewater monument we wend our way through the beech woods hopefully now in great autumn colours. On this walk we will also enjoy fine views of the Aylesbury Vale to Ivinghoe Beacon one of the highest points of the Chilterns and the western end of the Ridgeway. If it’s not too windy a good place for lunch and maybe watch model aircraft being flown.
Then on via the Ridgeway west towards Aldbury which maintains its old English village appeal and still has stocks by the village pond seen in several films and TV programmes. Luckily the keys are never anywhere to be found so happily your leader can continue onwards with a steady climb back to the monument.
Distance - 7/8miles
Area - Chorleywood
Do join us on our annual Festive Steps walk where we will enjoy mulled wine and mince pies with the compliments of Walkfree Breakfree. Leaving the 200 acre Chorleywood Common we make our way through the grounds of Chorleywood House past tennis courts and lawn cemetery down to the River Chess. Here we continue upstream to the last remaining water cress beds on the river (sorry too late in the year to buy any but it is good!), through a conservation area where water voles are being re introduced after being virtually wiped out by American mink. A little climb now but worth the views passing an amateur observatory on to Flaunden church a good spot for lunch. Walking on through Flaunden village we soon join the Chiltern Way and head to Saratt and Church End and back to the River Chess and a small climb back to Chorleywood common
Start time - 10pm – we need the dark!
Area - Aston Rowant & Beacon Hill
Distance - 3 miles
A late evening short stroll around Aston Rowant Nature Reserve starting from the (Cowlease Car Park) to see if we can spot the resident Glow Worms – their luminous lights is a fascinating feat of nature. Glow worms are incredible rare – as they depend on a specialised eco-system to survive and the females do not fly – so migration is a problem. Seeing them glow is problematic – we need a reasonably dark evening and more importantly we depend on the circumstances of their sex lives. The females only glow to attract a male – once the performance is completed – that’s it – no more interest in males – no more glowing. At least unlike some species of spiders they don’t eat the male afterwards! So fingers crossed – our Glow Worms at Aston Rowant have had a few boring evenings prior to the 1st July.
Remember we will need to minimise the use torches (but please do take your torches) so you will have to take extra care as you walk.
Area - Windsor
Distance - 5-7 miles
Enjoy a visit to the Stanley Spencer Gallery in Cookham with a one hours guided tour of the village, a setting for many of his famous paintings and a walk in the beautiful countryside and along the lovely river Thames. We will then head for Eton, see its famous public school and stroll into Windsor to enjoy a meal in the lee of Windsor castle… do you have the energy?
Imagine a day in the fresh air,
the smell of grass and
the bark of a dog.
Imagine a boy crossing a field,
His mind a ferment of thoughts
Imagine those ideas on canvas, brush strokes,
Colours and passion.
Imagine Stanley Spencer
Growing up in Cookham
Sir Stanley Spencer (1891-1959) is now recognised as one of the great British artists of the 20th Century and the gallery was opened as a memorial in 1962, shortly after his death. Run by volunteers it is home to a fine collection of work and is housed in a small former Methodist Chapel where Stanley’s mother took him as a boy.
Today, we can enjoy much the same views as inspired the artist Stanley Spencer as a young boy.
Our walk today offers a gentle start to the New Year as it is mostly across flat, open meadow and marshland, with fine views across the surrounding countryside. In Cookham we will visit the museum and spend time in Cookham on the Spencer walk where we can view the locations that inspired some of his work. After Cookham the route heads for the Thames and continues along Cliveden Reach, a beautiful stretch of river below the glorious hanging woods of Cliveden, and on to Boulter’s Lock. We will have an opportunity to view Cliveden House, which was the property of the Astor family and was associated with the political intrigues of the “Cliveden Set” in the 1920’s and later with the Profumo scandal of 1963.
Area - Clifton Hampden/Dorchester
Distance - 10 miles
Dorchester: Wittenham Clumps & Clifton Hampden –An attractive village, an ancient abbey, riverside meadows, an Iron Age settlement, a medieval church, a prehistoric hill fort and fine woodland plus the pretty bridge and pub that featured in Jerome K Jerome Three Men in a Boat. Enjoy a walk and a wild swim in one of the locations identified by Daniel Start in his book Wild Swimming where many an Oxford don used to swim. “.. We all talked as if we were going to have a long swim every morning. George said it was so pleasant to wake up in a boat in the fresh morning, and plunge into the limpid river. Harris said there was nothing like a swim before breakfast to give you an appetite” Three Men in a Boat, 1906.