Outdoor Activities For All The Family

Get ready to get muddy on your next trip to the Chilterns!

Whilst the Chilterns is a great place to visit if you’re looking for a relaxing weekend break, there’s more than enough to satisfy the appetites of outdoor enthusiasts too.

By all means, come to the Chilterns to relax in an indulgent five-star hotel or take a load off at one of our many excellent pubs – but why not earn your pub lunch first?

Now you should be warned that these activities are more than likely to get you a little muddy. You’ll find that there won’t be too many laundromats in the Chilterns area, as setting up a cleaning business in the area has proven to be a challenge that not many entrepreneurs are up for taking on. So, before you jump headfirst into an activity it’s best to make sure that you’ve got a spare set of clothes at the ready and that wherever your staying has some sort of laundry facility.

These outdoor activities might get you muddy, but they’re also guaranteed to get your heart beating and build an appetite:

Chilterns Walking Festival

Each year the volunteers behind the Chilterns Walking Festival offer visitors the opportunity to take part in a wide programme of hikes and guided tours. You can either make some new friends by joining up with a group of walkers or set off by yourself on one of over 200 planned routes.

Discover the filming locations of the iconic Midsomer Murders in the Henley area or find your way onto a trail that takes you past one of our iconic chalk streams.

Go Ape

Coniferous and broadleaved trees make up the woodland near Wendover, you’ll have plenty time to admire the foliage whilst you’re tackling the high ropes, climbing walls and scrambling nets that Go Ape have to offer at one of their largest locations in the UK.

This is the only Go Ape site in the UK to offer an ‘Extreme’ route, so for those looking to live dangerously this might just be the ticket. With platforms reaching up to dizzying 13.5 metres and a total length of 685 metres, this is a great way to get a grips with lush woodland that the Chilterns has to offer.

Aston Hill Bike Park

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It should be noted that a handful of the routes at this acclaimed mountain bike park might be a little too gnarly for young ones, but considering that it only costs £7 to work up your courage for a whole day you might be surprised by the hairy down-hill routes that your kids are taking on by the end of the day.

You will need to bring all the necessary equipment with you that means mountain bikes and helmets.It’s worth thinking about bringing body armour too if you really fancy pushing your limits on one of the more extreme routes.

Chiltern Society Volunteering

Although you might only be visiting for a few days, there’s no reason why can’t try and make the Chilterns a better place whilst you’re here. The Chiltern Society are always looking for volunteers to lend a hand with litter picking, maintaining the box and repairing fences.

Doing outdoors DIY is not exactly what most people would consider a fun way of spending their spare time, but it’s a great way to give back and also meet some like minded people!

5 Must-Visit Gastro Pubs in the Chilterns

There’s nothing quite like a wholesome pub lunch or dinner and we reckon that our gastro pubs’ grub is the best in the country.

Whether you’re in the frosty depths of Winter looking for a safe refuge, or if you’re simply looking to take a load off during a day’s hiking, these gastro pubs all serve some of the best local ales as well as offering classy yet down-to-earth food that is guaranteed to put a smile on your face.

The Hand and Flowers

Credit: @Adamdegg

Opened in 2005 by renowned chef Tom Kerridge, this was the first pub to be awarded two Michelin stars and the team here has continued to build on this reputation with an approachable (yet pricey) menu of carefully refined pub classics. Despite the plaudits and acclaim, The Hand and Flowers is first and foremost a pub in the most traditional of moulds. During the summer you’re more than welcome to drop in for a pint and there’s even a Set Lunch on offer for those wishing to get a more affordable taste of the Michelin-star standard on offer.

The Jolly Cricketers

Credit: @Amanda Lillitou

One of the most celebrated pubs in the Chilterns – The Jolly Cricketers is a real treat for any lover of the game itself or a just a well poured pint. The food (served Monday to Sunday) is of a high standard but the prices are notably affordable. Awarded the Bib Gourmand in 2012, the Michelin inspectors singled out The Jolly Cricketers as a favourite noting it as ‘offering good food at moderate prices’.

The Sir Charles Napier

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Named after the distinguished British officer of the same name (you would have seen a statue of him if you’ve visited London’s Trafalgar Square) this gastro pub is known for its quirky use of sculpture and wonderfully landscaped garden. Although you might have a bit of difficulty finding this charming spot, armed with a top of the range satnav you should be able to stumble across it alright.

The Crown Inn

Credit: @CrownSydenham

Dating back to the 17th Century, The Crown Inn encapsulates everything that you’d expect from a traditional English pub. Hand-carved wooden beams, roaring fireplaces and excellent ales all contribute to the spirit of old world charm that is at it’s strongest during the Autumn months. Stop by for food and you’ll be pleasantly surprised by both the value and the quality on offer. Mains start at around £12 whilst a pint of the excellent Rebbelion Beer Co. ale will only set you back around £4.

The Alford Arms

Credit: @The Alford Arms

One thing you can expect from a visit to The Alford Arms is an abundance of smiling faces, along with some truly excellent pub grub. The food here aims to comfort you whilst surprising you at the same time, that’s why you’ll find such varied items on the menus as Salt and Szechuan pepper squid sitting next to a char-grilled thyme and garlic pork chop. Prices are very reasonable, considering the quality of service on offer and you can guarantee a great pint in a a stunning location as well.