Are you planning a trip to the Chilterns?
Although you might just be visiting to take a look at the countryside, it’s worth checking out some of the cultural places that you could see whilst you’re here.
We’ve got everything here from classy art galleries to museums on celebrated British authors. Why not break up your day of activities with something a little different and see what cultural wonders the Chilterns has to offer?
Modern Artists Gallery
It doesn’t take a genius to figure out what happens in this gallery in Reading. Whilst the city of Reading is technically just outside of the Chilterns, it’s worth diving in for half day at least just to check out this quirky place. Although you won’t find any sculptures here to compete with those found at the York Ice Trail, there’s still plenty of interesting stuff to look at.
Featuring works from some of the best people working in modern art today, this gallery is open to all visitors from 10am-6pm Tuesday to Saturday and is completely free of charge. What you see there will largely depend on what’s been sold or not – but you can almost guarantee that you’ll see something memorable.
Chiltern Shakespeare Company
Putting on one run of shows a year for the last 28 years (23 of which have been at the open air Hall barn venue) the CSC is made up of dozens of amateur actors and performers from all across the Chilterns. Each year they perform one of Shakespeare’s works and draw in hundreds of spectators who are always happy to pay for a night’s entertainment under the stars. Performances are usually held in the June, you can find more details on their site here.
River & Rowing Museum
The River & Rowing Museum is the only one of its kind in the UK. Aptly positioned on the edge of the Thames this venerable institution aims to educate its visitors about the noble heritage of river travel in the United Kingdom.
Winding its way through the Chilterns, the Thames has played a crucial part in the history of the Area, acting as a valuable transport link. This constantly changing exhibition highlights the usefulness of the river as well as showcasing artistic works from some of the UK’s most prolific creatives.
The Hellfire Caves
Also known as the West Wycombe Caves, this man-made series of chalk and flint caverns were excavated in the mid-eighteenth century by Francis Dashwood who used the spaces as a meeting place for a notorious gentleman’s club of his own making: the Hellfire Club.
Dashwood spent years excavating and developing the Hellfire Caves in an attempt to ape architectural designs that he had seen in Italy and Greece, creating a striking series of caves that can be visited today. Kitted out with bespoke lighting design, the current incarnation of the Hellfire Caves is well worth a visit.
The Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre
Housing a complete collection of the works of one of Britain’s most iconic writers, this Museum is aimed squarely at the young readers of the great man’s books. In a ramshackle arrangement of buildings you can find Dahl’s original writing shed, as well as exhibits detailing his life and an interactive story centre aimed to get youngsters writing stories of their own. This award-winning centre is a must-see for any families who have grown up with Roald Dahl’s timeless classics – you can find it in the town of Great Missenden, where he lived for 37 years.