The Chilterns: home of epic family days out & mini-breaks
Hey, we've got an AONB on our doorstep, so let's make the most of it! From adventures with animals to timeless traditions, here's what to do in the Chilterns this summer.
Not everyone is lucky enough to have an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty on their doorstep, but here in Bucks and Oxon, we’ve got a veritable pastoral playground in the shape of the gorgeous Chilterns (which of course stretches right into Beds and Herts as well!) and Chilterns Tourism is a great resource for family days out in the hills.
Beyond the breath-taking grassland walks, wild woodland cycles and gorgeous picnic spots, don’t forget this is living, working countryside and there’s also the quirky and pretty villages and market towns of the Chilterns too. Let’s whet our appetite for a local day out with Chilterns Tourism, shall we?
Soooo much for families to do in the Chilterns (but also check out the vineyard tours, spa days etc for when you haven’t got small people in tow). If your gang is big into adventure, there are a number of bushcraft days throughout the Chilterns area, from shelter building and fire lighting in Little Chalfont, making rope from foraged stalks in Ipsden, to axe throwing in Stokenchurch (for the ninja in your life).
We all know kids love animals so you can only imagine how cu-rrazy they go for micro-pigs! Head to a family-run farm near Amersham, in the middle of the Chilterns and they can meet, groom and cuddle the gorgeous little oinkers (and leave them very much there at the end of the day – best not let on that this farm sells pigs too!). Goats more your thing? Or ducks, chickens, alpacas or foxes even? They’re all there and ready to be cuddled at a bonkersly brilliant farm near Stoke Mandeville.
Cycling is big in the Chilterns, whether that’s the road warriors or the off-road brigade, but have you ever thought of going beyond the usual circuit and trying a multi-day cycle break… with kids? Yup, it can be done. A self-guided family cycle tour on traffic free, gentle and flat tracks and roads is one of the family highlights of the Chilterns Tourism experiences and something that would be tricky to put together without the help of a pro. Four days exploring the cycle paths, bridleways and canal towpaths north of Wendover with a hotel bed to stay in each night? That’s a holiday they’ll remember for years.
TRADITIONAL PAST TIMES
Too much like hard work? Then sit back and let the steam engine do the hard graft in your very own Railway Children moment (but with less peril and more cream teas). Absolute dream for wannabe train drivers (and big kids) alike.
Want to deep dive into local history? Then the museum experience in Chalfont St Giles will be just the ticket – the one where historic buildings from around the Chilterns have actually been moved – brick by brick – and reconstructed to explore and live history. Or there’s willow weaving or and even the chance to be a blacksmith for an afternoon.
ARTS & CRAFTS
Arts and crafts are big in the Chilterns, from the many makers to the experiences to have a go yourself, like jewellery making, knitting, life drawing, painting, woodwork and pottery, all available and reasonably priced another one of the experiences that I’ve popped on my wish list.
Want to know more?
Get the details of all these days out, mini breaks and more on the Chilterns Tourism website.