Dunstable Downs The Chilterns by Alina Wegher ShutterstockA stunning view over the 5,000 acres of the Dunstable Downs © Alina Wegher, Shutterstock

There are literary connections from top to bottom, from John Bunyan’s ‘Delectable Mountains’ around Sharpenhoe Clappers to Graham Greene’s childhood home town Berkhamsted.

This northern area, incorporating parts of central Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire and Buckinghamshire, offers plentiful attractions. There are literary connections from top to bottom, from John Bunyan’s ‘Delectable Mountains’ around Sharpenhoe Clappers to Graham Greene’s childhood home town Berkhamsted. The hat-making trail in Luton and the lavender fields just outside Hitchin give glimpses into the working lives of our ancestors, while memorials at Sharpenhoe and Whipsnade are moving reminders of the Great War. Wildlife flourishes on the 5,000 acres of the Ashridge Estate and the Dunstable Downs, or can be viewed in more static form in Tring’s extraordinary Natural History Museum. Architecture aficionados can enjoy a movie at the Art Deco Rex Cinema in Berkhamsted or admire the medieval wall paintings in Flamstead’s St Leonard’s parish church.

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