Things to see and do in the Chilterns Countryside
The group of sites that make up the Chilterns Countryside are popular beauty spots, each with its own atmosphere and hidden corners waiting to be discovered. From rambling walks through ancient woodland and picturesque villages to wildlife spotting, there’s much to explore on a visit to the Chilterns.
Walking in the Chiltern hills
There are plenty of opportunities for some fresh air and exercise on a walk in the Chilterns countryside. Admire the views from Coombe Hill, Pulpit Hill or Watlington Hill, discover the charm of Bradenham Estate or the woodland at Juniper Bank.
Explore the sites
The highest point in the Chiltern hills, Coombe Hill has extensive views over the Aylesbury Vale. A great place to spot wildlife, there's also a play trail to explore and a war memorial to see.
The grasslands, farmland and woodlands of the Chilterns countryside are rich in wildlife. Several sites contain areas of rare chalk grassland, where the thin soil supports a huge variety of wild flowers. These, together with beech woodlands and carefully managed farmland, attract a large variety of birds, mammals, butterflies and other insects.
Butterflies in the Chilterns
The careful management of habitats in the Chilterns means that many have the right conditions for butterflies to flourish. During the warmer months you can see a range of common and not so common species, including the Duke of Burgundy, speckled wood, silver-washed fritillary and the adonis blue. Some of the best spots to look for butterflies are Coombe Hill, Bradenham and Pulpit Hill.
Birds of the Chilterns
Discover the top five birds to look out for as you explore the countryside sites of the Chilterns.
Now a familiar site in the Chiltern Hills, red kites have a reddish-brown body, angled wings and deeply forked tail. Some of the best places to see these birds include Watlington Hill, Bradenham, West Wycombe, Hughenden and Coombe Hill.
These woodland hunters are quiet and agile. Their presence is usually announced by the alarm calls of worried smaller birds as they dash for thick cover.
Robins are familiar garden birds but they're a woodland species often seen around the Chilterns countryside. Apart from their bright colouring, robins are known as one of the few songbirds that sing nearly all year round.
With a strange, eerie, laughing call green woodpeckers spend most of their time feeding on the ground. They can often be seen at Watlington Hill, Bradenham and Coombe Hill feeding on ants: their favourite delicacy.
Great spotted woodpecker
The great spotted woodpecker nests in mature trees. In spring you're likely to hear the sound of its distinctive 'drumming’ on the trunks or boughs of trees. Look out for its distinctive bouncing flight.
Explore the ancient remains of a hidden Iron Age hillfort in this atmospheric woodland.
Discover Aston Wood and Juniper Bank in the Chiltern Hills. These woodland sites are ripe for exploring, with wildlife to spot and trails to follow.
The countryside of the Chiltern Hills is steeped in history. Explore the past of some of our sites, from royal visits to ancient hillforts.
Find out more about our work to manage ancient woodlands, hedgerows and meadows to create a diverse habitat that enables a wide variety of wildlife to thrive.
Plan a visit to one of the special countryside places in our care and discover the benefits of being in the great outdoors. Pack your walking boots and get ready to explore woodlands, valleys and rivers.
Explore some of the finest landscapes in our care on coastal paths, accessible trails, woodland walks and everything in between. Find the best places to walk near you.
From dappled beech woodlands to wildflower-rich chalk grasslands in The Chilterns, a wide variety of countryside landscapes awaits you across Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire and Berkshire.