Chilterns & Thames Valley

For us, the Chilterns means travelling along sunken lanes with dappled sunlight peeking through green tunnels of trees, marvelling at the magic carpets of bluebells which appear in the woods in the spring, followed by orchids on chalk grasslands in the summer.

The beauty of the Chilterns & the Thames Valley is that it reveals something different to every holiday-goer willing to take it slow. Some people come for the wildlife hidden in the chalky Chiltern hills, from the red kites that wheel over head all year round to the carpets of orchids that cover the grasslands in the summer. Others arrive in the area to follow in the footsteps of the literary greats, tracing their creative imaginations from the childhood home of Graham Greene in Berkhamsted or the Land of Giants near Roald Dahl’s residence in Great Missenden, to the landscapes along the banks of the Thames that have inspired the likes of T S Elliot and Percy and Mary Shelley.

Away from the hills, the Thames Valley follows one of England’s most famous rivers away from the busy city of London towards more rural attractions. A meander along the Thames takes in highlights such as the royal residence at Windsor and the site of the world-famous Henley Regatta, as well as a sequence of lesser-known villages and market towns, each with its own unique history.

Helen and Neil Matthews, authors of Slow Travel Chilterns & the Thames Valley: the Bradt Guide

Our perfect day out in the Chilterns

Bradt prides itself on publishing books that offer genuine insight – that give the local view, if you will. This year, we’ve taken that philosophy a step further by focusing on our own backyard: the Chilterns in Buckinghamshire. 

Then someone in the office suggested we take it one step further still! And so we closed the doors at Bradt HQ and joined the books’ authors to explore a little bit of the area. These articles tell the story of our day out in and around the beautiful riverside town of Henley. We hope they persuade you to follow in our footsteps.

Dinner at The Maltsters Arms

Carry on Boating: the Bradt Travel Guide to Henley

A day out in Midsomer

Bradt on Britain – our Slow Travel approach

Bradt’s coverage of Britain’s regions makes ‘Slow Travel’ its focus. To us, Slow Travel means ditching the tourist ticklists – deciding not to try to see ‘too much’ – and instead taking time to get properly under the skin of a special region.

You don’t have to travel at a snail’s pace: you just have to allow yourself to savour the moment, appreciate the local differences that create a sense of place, and celebrate its food, people and traditions.

Related articles

Socially distant travel: the Chilterns & Thames Valley

12 of the best ruins in England

Walking for England: 11 of the country’s best walks

On your bike: Our favourite cycle routes in England

Interview with Gail Simmons

To hear a skylark?: An extract from The Country of Larks

Related books