Please use the links below to view full route information including descriptions, elevation profiles, interactive maps and GPS downloads.
You can also view an overview map of all the routes in the using the Chilterns Walk Map
|Ashridge Boundary Trail||16 miles (26 km)||This walk takes you on a tour of the National Trust owned Ashridge Estate in the Chiltern Hills. The estate consists of 5,000 acres of woodlands, commons and chalk downland which supports a rich variety of wildlife. |
The walk starts at the Ashridge Estate Visitor Centre next to the Bridgewater Monument, erected in 1832 to the Duke of Bridgewater. You can climb the monument for fabulous panoramic views of the estate before starting the circular tour of the beautiful grounds.
Highlights on the walk include the Golden Valley to the north-east of Ashridge house which was created by famous landscape gardener Capability Brown in the 18th century. You will also visit Ivinghoe Beacon, with its splendid views of the Vale of Aylesbury, Berkhamsted Common and Dunstable Downs.
|Aston Rowant Nature Reserve||5 miles (8.5 km)||Enjoy a circular walk around this wonderful nature reserve in the Chilterns and climb Beacon Hill on the way. The reserve is a splendid place for walking with miles of good paths taking you through woodland, chalk grassland and some lovely Chilterns countryside. It's a wonderful place for flora and fauna with flowers such as orchids, the Chiltern gentian and various wildflowers. The attractive mixed woodland includes beech, yew, and juniper. As for wildlife look out for Red Kites soaring above and butterflies such as the silver-spotted skipper and the Adonis blue. You may also see Dartmoor Ponies, Roe deer, feral goats and buzzards. |
This walk starts in the good sized Cowleaze Wood car park and takes you through pretty bluebell woods before reaching Beacon Hill where you can enjoy wonderful views of the reserve and Chiltern Hills. The route then descends on the Ridgeway, before passing Bald Hill and returning to the car park.
If you'd like to continue your walking in this lovely area then you could head to the nearby Christmas Common and Watlington Hill where there is more beautiful flora and fauna.
|Aylesbury Ring||31 miles (50 km)||This circular walk takes you on a tour of the Aylesbury Vale. The path starts and ends in Wendover first heading towards Great Kimble and then onto Dinton where you will find the impressive Dinton Hall. The route continues to Eythrope, crossing the River Thame and passing Eythrope Park and Eythrope Manor House. You continue through the countryside past Waddesdon, Hardwick, Long Marston and the Aylesbury Canal before joining the Wendover Arm Canal near Aston Clinton for the final waterside stretch back to Wendover.|
|Barton Hills||2 miles (3 km)||Visit the Barton Hills National Nature Reserve and enjoy peaceful walking trails in the Chilterns. A series of footpaths take you to the attractive downland, chalk grassland and beech woodland. It's delightful in the summer months with a variety of wildflowers attracting butterflies such as marbled white and dark green fritillary. Look out for vegetation including wild thyme, horseshoe vetch, marjoram and orchids as you make your way along the paths. It's a great area for wildlife too with lots of different birds and mammals such as stoats, weasels and hares. You can start your walk from the little town of Barton-le-Clay which lies just to the north of the reserve. Follow the John Bunyan Trail through the town and south to the reserve. |
To extend your walking in the area you can follow the John Bunyan Trail and the Icknield Way Path through the surrounding Bedfordshire countryside. The trails can take you east towards Hexton, Pegsdon and Pirton or south towards Luton. The video below shows an exploration of the Barton and Pegsdon Hills from Hexton. From there you can enjoy a climb with wonderful views over the surrounding area. Also nearby is the village of Streatley and Sundon Hills Country Park. This includes the climb to Sharpenhoe Clappers where there is an Iron Age Hillfort and more great views to enjoy.
|Bradenham Woods||2 miles (3.5 km)||This circular walk explores the woodland and countryside surrounding the pretty village of Bradenham in the Chilterns. The area is run by the National Trust so there are good, waymarked footpaths and facilties.|
The walk starts in the car park in Bradenham. It's a typically lovely English village with pretty cottages, a village green, village pond and a cricket pitch. You will pass Bradenham Manor House and the fascinating St Botolph church which has sections dating from the 14th century. The footpath then gently climbs away from the village with wonderful views over the Chilterns. You then pick up woodland trails through the deciduous woodland of Park Wood. The wood is in an elevated position above the village so there are nice views back towards Bradenham, including the Manor House and the Church. After leaving the wood you descend back towards the village and the finish point at the car park.
If you are coming by train then Saunderton train station is only about a mile from the village.
If you would like to extend your walking in the area then both Hughenden Park and West Wycombe Park are great options. You could also explore Naphill Common which has many woodland footpaths.
|Chiltern Link||8 miles (13 km)||Travel through the beautiful Chiltern Hills on this path which links the Chess Valley Walk and the Ridgeway National Trail. The route runs for 8 miles between Wendover and Chesham passing through some really splendid countryside and the lovely Wendover Woods.|
|Christmas Common and Watlington Hill||4 miles (6 km)||This circular walk takes you around the lovely area of Christmas Common in the Chilterns.|
The walk starts from the decent sized car park on Hill Road and takes you to Watlington Hill. Here you will find nice woodland paths and an abundance of wildlife. Red Kites are often seen gliding above while the hill is one of the last sanctuaries of the extremely rare silver spotted skipper butterfly. Also look out for rabbits on the attractive chalk grassland and redwings and fieldfares above. The hill commands great views of the Chilterns and the Oxfordshire Plain.
This walk makes use of the Swan's Way and the Oxfordshire Way to take you through some of the countryside and woodland surrounding Watlington Hill and the little village of Christmas Common. There is a nice pub in the village where you can enjoy refreshments at the end of the walk.
|Coombe Hill||5 miles (8 km)||Climb to the 260 m (850 ft) summit of this lovely hill in the Chilterns. Coombe Hill is the highest viewpoint in the Chiltern Hills and commands wonderful views over Aylesbury Vale and the Cotswolds. |
This circular walk starts in Wendover, near the train station, and follows the Ridgeway long distance trail to the summit. It's a nice, grassy footpath taking you over the delightful Bacombe Hill. There's a series of nice woodland paths and the area is also a nature reserve so look out for pretty wildflowers and over 20 species of butterfly. The summit is a special place with the iconic Coombe Hill Monument. It was erected in 1904 in memory of 148 men from Buckinghamshire who died during the Second Boer War. As well as the great views over the Chilterns AONB you can also see Chequers, the country home of the Prime Minister from the summit.
From the summit you descend on more nice woodland paths to Dunsmore and then back into Wendover.
|Dunstable Downs Country Park||4 miles (6.5 km)||Climb Dunstable Downs and enjoy breathtaking views over the Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty on this circular walk in Whipsnade. There are miles of footpaths crossing the chalk grasslands of the Downs visiting a number of interesting sites including:|
The Five Knolls - a Bronze Age cemetery constructed over 4000 years ago
Whipsnade Heath - a mosaic of grassland, scrub and woodland, with a fantastic variety of wildlife.
Whipsnade Tree Cathedral - an extraordinary 10 acre park in planted in the form of a cathedral.
The area also includes the Chilterns Gateway Visitor Centre which has a wealth of information about the area, a cafe and fabulous views in a sheltered environment.
If you'd like to continue your walk you could follow the Icknield Way Path which runs through the park. This will take you north east into Dunstable or south into the countryside.
|Hughenden Park||2 miles (4 km)||The 1,500 acres of parkland surrounding the red brick Victorian mansion of Hughenden Manor is great for a short walk in lovely surroundings. There's woodland trails, pretty formal gardens and riverside paths to enjoy. The area is also surrounded by some beauitful Chilterns countryside. |
The house and parkland is run by the National Trust so there are four good waymarked paths to try. There also beautiful formal gardens with an Italian influence, a walled garden, a willow maze and orchards.
Hughenden Manor was home to Prime Minister, Benjamin Disraeli during the 19th century. You can explore the house with its wonderful collection of personal memorabilia and Victorian playroom.
If you enjoy this walk then you could head to the nearby West Wycombe Park to extend your exercise.
|Ivinghoe Beacon||5 miles (8 km)||Climb to the top of this iconic hill in the Chilterns on this walk in Buckinghamshire. Ivinghoe Beacon stands at 233 m (757 ft) and commands fine views over the Chiltern Hills and the Vale of Aylesbury.|
The walk starts from the car park next to Pitstone Windmill and makes use of the Icknield Way Path to take you to the summit. The Pitstone Windmill has been restored by the National trust and is well worth a visit before you begin your climb to Beacon Hill. On the way you'll pass through chalk grassland and woodland with a wide variety of wildlife to look out for.
If you'd like to continue your walk then you could enjoy waterside walking along the nearby Grand Union Canal or pick up the Icknield Way Path which runs past the hill.
|John Bunyan Trail||77 miles (124 km)||Follow in the footsteps of John Bunyan, the Puritan Evangelist and author of the book 'Pilgrim's Progress'. The walk visits many historic villages associated with Bunyan. It starts at Streatley and visits Sharpenhoe, Harlington, Westoning, Steppingley, Flitwick, Ampthill, Millbrook, Ridgmont, Cranfield, Bromham, Stevington, Pavenham, Oakley, Clapham, Bedford, Elstow, Shefford, Meppershall, Shillington, Hexton and Barton le Clay before returning to Streatley. There's some beautiful Bedfordshire countryside to enjoy including Sharpenhoe Clappers, the Barton Hills and views of the Chiltern Hills for much of the walk.|
The walk is waymarked with a white disc featuring a silhouette of John Bunyan.
|Mapledurham House||4 miles (7 km)||The Mapledurham estate is a wonderful place for a relaxing afternoon walk. The house is located on the River Thames with the picturesque Old Watermill right beside it. The mill is still operational and dates from the 15th century. The route below is circular, starting at the house and taking you on a tour of the woodland and countryside in the estate. The park is located near Caversham in Oxfordshire.|
The estate is located on the Thames Path so you could continue your walk along the river. For example if you head east you will soon come to the delightful Caversham Court Gardens.
|Sharpenhoe Clappers||3 miles (5 km)||Visit this classic chalk escarpment in the Chilterns and enjoy wonderful views across this beautiful area. This circular walk makes use of the John Bunyan Trail and the Icknield Way Path to take you on a tour of the Sharpenhoe Clappers and the Smithcombe Hills. There's a degree of climbing involved with the route hitting a peak of just over 500ft at the high points.|
You can park at the Sharpenhoe Clappers car park on Sharpenhoe Road to start your walk. Then head north towards the Iron Age Hill Fort and beech wood which sits atop the area. In the summer months the chalk grasslands are covered in pretty wildflowers which attract a variety of butterflies. Look out for orchids, primroses and an uncommon rose, Rosa stylosa, found in scrub areas.
After exploring the hill fort you can head south through the Smithcombe Valley along the Icknield Way Path. You'll pass Smithcombe hill as you make your way to the village of Streatley. From Streatley you pick up the John Bunyan Trail to take you back to the car park.
There's lots of good options for extending your walking in the area. Just to the east is the lovely Barton Hills National Nature Reserve where there's lots more interesting flora and fauna to see. Just to the west if Sundon Hills Country Park with lots more walking trails and great views to enjoy.
|The Swan's Way||65 miles (105 km)||The Swan's Way long distance bridleroute runs from Salcey Forest in the north to Goring on Thames in the south, a distance of 65 miles (105km). From the Northants border, the route crosses the Vale of Aylesbury to meet the Ridgeway near Princes Risborough and then follows the chalk slopes of the Chilterns to the Thames at Goring. It passes through varied countryside from beech woods on chalk scarp to low vales and ancient woodlands.|
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|Wendover Woods||4 miles (7 km)||Enjoy miles of great cycling and walking trails in this large forest in Buckinghamshire. The cycle trail is a moderate 5 mile route on waymarked surfaced tracks. It has some steep sections but is generally suitable for all abilities/families. |
For walkers there are several waymarked trails including a lovely easy access trail for all abilities. On the way you can see sculptures, deciduous trees, evergreen trees and many woodland flowers. There are also splendid views of the surrounding Chilterns countryside.
Other attractions in the woods include a splendid cafe and a Go Ape forest adventure with Zip Wires, Tarzan Swings and a variety of Crossings. For children there is a fun Superworm trail from the creators of the Gruffalo.
If you'd like to continue your outing then several long distance trails run past the forest. You could pick up the Icknield Way Path, the Chiltern Link or The Ridgeway or head to the nearby Grand Union Canal.
The woods are located near Aylesbury and Tring.
|West Wycombe Park||5 miles (8 km)||Explore the beautiful estate surrounding West Wycombe House on this walk in the Chilterns AONB. The Palladian house has 45 acres of landscaped gardens with a lovely large lake, views of the River Wyre, woodland paths and sweeping lawns to enjoy. Look out for attractive temples and follies such as the Temple of the Four Winds. |
After strolling round the grounds you can climb to West Wycombe Hill for wonderful views over the Chilterns countryside. At the top of the hill you will find the 18th century Mausoleum. It is also a great spot to look out for the Red Kite.
After descending the hill you can then continue your walk through miles of surrounding woodland and head towards nearby Bradenham.
The village of West Wycombe also has many interesting features such as the Grade I listed church and the popular Hellfire Caves. This extraordinary network of man-made chalk and flint caverns is well worth a visit.
If you'd like to extend your walk then you can head to the nearby Hughenden Park with its gardens, parkland, woodland and and riverside paths.
|Wychwood Forest||4 miles (6 km)||Explore this large area of forest near Charlbury on this woodland walk. The forest can be reached from the nearby village of Finstock or from Charlbury. There are rail stations at both.|
The forest consists of hundreds of acres of attractive woodland, pretty streams and a series of lakes and ponds. The area is also a nature reserve so look out for a variety of interesting flora and fauna. These include several species of wildflower such as celadine, kidney vetch and bluebells. These flowers attract butterflies such as Barberry Carpet and Pale Shining Brown.
Wychwood fair is a popular event which takes place in the forest at Cornbury Park. The fairs are centred on rural communities and crafts.
The Oxfordshire Way passes through the area so you could pick up this long distance path to extend your walk. If you head east along the path you will come to Woodstock and the beautiful Blenheim Park. If you head north west from Charlbury you can enjoy a walk along the River Evenlode to Ascott-under-Wychwood.