Butterfly walks in Thames and Chilterns

A butterfly dancing from blossom to flower in a garden or meadow is always a cheerful sight and we hope that summer at our places will become even more fluttery as this habitat conservation work continues. From the elusive Duke of Burgundy on rough downland hillsides to marbled whites in grassy meadows, see which varieties you can spot on some of our best butterfly walks.

Looking out across the Aylesbury vale from the top of Coombe Hill
Walking trail

Exploring the Chiltern Escarpment 

This 10 mile walk offers a range of panoramic views across the Chiltern Escarpment and the Aylesbury Vale. With several important ecological habitats, ranging from rare chalk grassland to archetypal Chiltern beech woodlands, the grasslands are particularly rich in invertebrates including the marbled white and chalkhill blue butterflies and populations of glow worms.

Gatekeeper - Pyronia tithonus

Bradenham Butterfly Trail

This is a short trail that can be walked at any time of the year, but to see butterflies it is at its best on a warm, dry day, without strong winds at any time between April and September. You are most likely to see the greatest variety of species between May and August.

Ashridge Estate, Hertfordshire
Walking trail

Ivinghoe Hills butterfly walk 

This walk takes in all of the best butterfly habitat to be found on the Ivinghoe Hills. Keep your eyes peeled for the rare Duke of Burgundy as well as other specialists of rough chalk downland such as the chalkhill blue, dark-green fritillaries and the marbled white.

Top of Coombe Hill in Buckinghamshire
Walking trail

The Best of Coombe Hill walk 

This gentle circular stroll takes in the best Coombe Hill has to offer with incredible views across the Aylesbury Vale. Chalk grassland is one of our rarest habitats, during the summer months you can expect to see over 40 different species of wild flowers and up to 15 species of butterfly on these slopes.

Grangelands Nature Reserve in Buckinghamshire
Walking trail

Pulpit Hill and the Grangelands & Rifle Butts Nature Reserve 

Together these sites have been designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest. The Grangelands Nature reserve is known for its rich mix of chalk downland plants providing a home for several species of butterfly, including the brown argus and green hairstreak, throughout the spring and summer months.

A wildflower meadow at Pinkneys Green, Berkshire

Pinkneys Green - Maidenhead Commons  

Meander through our hay meadows to reveal a rich variety of grasses, flowers and buzzing insects. Your best chance of seeing one our marbled white butterflies between the blades is in mid-July. Listen out for the distinctive calls of the skylark, whilst the long grass provides a haven for voles, shrews and field mice.