The countryside at Hughenden

Whilst Hughenden Manor has stories to tell about its Victorian past and role in the Second World War, the tales in the surrounding countryside go back much, much further. The hills, walks and woodlands change each season and every type of weather gives a different chapter.

Take a stroll

Whether you come to wander the leafy lanes and wide expanses or to admire our champion tree we hope you’ll return throughout the changing seasons. Visit by yourself, with family or with your four-legged friend to explore Hughenden's wider estate. Follow a downloadable walk from a 1 mile stroll to a 6 mile hike.

During the war, Hughenden was known as Hillside and most longer walks will include a slope or two. The reward for climbing higher is frequently a lovely view. If you're an artist or photographer you will probably want to pause not just to catch your breath but also capture the view. Our colour coded waymarked walks are a great way to start exploring the estate. And our cafe in the stableyard makes a good start or finish point.

The chalk stream at Hughenden Manor

Dry valleys and the chalk stream at Hughenden

Why there are very few streams or rivers in the valleys of the Chiltern Hills? Why does the small stream at Hughenden dries up from time to time, even after periods of heavy rain, and then starts flowing again at an unexpected time? The answer to these questions can be found in the chalk rock that underlies Hughenden Manor.

Chalk grassland at Coombe Hill

Discover Chalk Grassland in the Chilterns Countryside

Up to forty species of flowering plants can be found in one square metre of chalk grassland, and many species are unique to the habitat, including many beautiful orchids, gentians, wild candytuft and other wildflowers. In turn, the variety of wildflowers attracts many species of insect, including rare butterflies such as the Adonis Blue and the Duke of Burgundy

Lined with trees

Disraeli was very fond of the Bohemian forests and this influenced the planting of trees on the estate with a German Forest full of yew, laurel and pine. The beauty of the native trees can be seen in the large areas of Chiltern beech woods surrounding the Manor and in the undulating landscaped park. Some of our walks were favourites of Disraeli whilst others arose from country life traditions, such as the Coffin Walk followed by many taken to there final resting place at the parish church where Disraeli is also buried.

Autumn colours at Coombe Hill

Discover beech woodlands in the Chilterns Countryside

The landscape of the Chiltern Hills is surprisingly wooded, and those woodlands are dominated by beech trees. Many parts of the Chilterns have been covered with woodland for hundreds of years, and today the Chilterns are still one of the most wooded parts of England, with over one fifth of the land area covered by trees.

Measuring the champion horse chestnut tree

Hughenden's champion tree

Hughenden is the home to the UK's largest horse-chestnut tree, named a Champion Tree by the National Tree Register that's over 300 years old. Come and see this special tree for yourselves.

Outdoors with our rangers

For those who like to be guided rather than wander independently, our rangers have regular events throughout the year. From wild woodland walks to children's trail trackers and mini beast and butterfly spotting, there's something for everybody. Visit our events page to see what's coming up.