Discover the Chiltern Hills AONB

View from Steps Hill across green fields and hills of the Chilterns

The Chilterns Hills is a beautiful and diverse area of natural beauty located across parts of Hertfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire and Bedfordshire in south east England. It is home to a wide variety of wildlife, including rare birds and butterflies, and it is also a popular destination for hikers, cyclists, and horse riders.

Here at Chiltern Canal Boat Holidays, we offer a unique way to explore this stunning part of the English countryside by navigating the Grand Union canal. Whether you are looking for a short break or a longer narrow boat holiday, the Chilterns AONB is a must-visit destination for those who want the ultimate outdoor holiday with a bit of english tradition thrown in too.

In this article we will tell you more about the Chilterns AONB including:

  • location of the Chiltern Hills
  • history
  • wildlife
  • popular activities
  • ideas for extending your holiday in the Chiltern Hills AONB

    Where are the Chiltern Hills?

    The Chiltern Hills AONB is located in southern England, just outside of London. Covering over 2,000 square miles, the area spans parts of Hertfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire and Bedfordshire.

    The Chiltern Hills are easily accessible by car from both the M25 and the M1. Great West Railways and Chiltern Railways also run regular train services to stations across the Chilterns from both London and the midlands.

    Chiltern Hills AONB Location Map

    History of the Chiltern Hills

    The Chilterns Hills are a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, which means that it is recognised by the government as an area of special natural value. Created in 1989, it was one of the first AONBs in England.

    The Chiltern Hills AONB is made up of a variety of landscapes, including rolling hills, dense forests, and open fields. It is also home to a number of historical sites, including Iron Age hill forts and Roman roads.

    Wildlife in the Chiltern Hills

    The Chilterns AONB is home to a wide variety of wildlife, including rare birds and butterflies. Some of the most common birds in the Chilterns AONB include the nightingale, the cuckoo, and the red kite. Some of the most common butterflies in the Chiltern Hills include the purple emperor, the marbled white, and the common blue.

    Along our canal route there are a wealth of nature spots worth a visit including College Lake in Tring, and Tring Reservoirs in Marsworth. In addition, you'll be sure to spot a wealth of wildlife along the towpath and surrounding countryside as you cruise along this quiet stretch of the Grand Union canal that meanders through the Chiltern Hills.

    So, if you're looking for the ultimate wildlife experience for your next trip, the Chilterns AONB is the place to be.

    Canal lock on the Grand Union in the Chiltern Hills AONB

    Activities in the Chiltern Hills

    The Chiltern Hills AONB is a popular destination for a variety of outdoor activities including hiking, cycling, paddleboarding and horse riding. There are also a number of golf courses and fishing lakes in the Chiltern Hills.

    And, if you love the great outdoors, what better way to spend your time than skippering your own boat? You'll get to learn something new as you learn the ropes of how to drive a narrowboat, operate the canal locks and navigate the Grand Union canal in the comfort of one of our bespoke holiday narrow boats.

    Accommodation in the Chilterns

    Our narrow boat holidays offer a unique way to explore the Chiltern Hills, allowing you to travel around at your own pace and wake up to an amazing new view every day. We offer both short breaks and longer narrowboat hire, and with no experience necessary, everyone is welcome!

    If you want to mix things up a little, why not extend your holiday by booking a few days with Chiltern Canal Boat Holidays, and a few days elsewhere in the Chiltern Hills AONB too? There are lots of types of holiday accommodation available and local attractions to visit, so why not take a look at some of our holiday suggestions below.

    Glamping Under the Stars

    Glamping pod at Orchard View Farm in the Chilterns

    Holiday in style on a traditional working farm with a stay at Orchard View Farm

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    Wheels & Water Experience

    Groups of cyclists biking past canal boats on the Grand Union towpath

    Enjoy a bicycle and boat combo with a multi-day gravel adventure from Wild Cycles

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    Hike the Chiltern Hills

    Chiltern Hills landscape with fields, hills and trees

    Discover the hidden beauty of the Chilterns with a guided hiking trip from Nature Kicks

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    Want to find out more about our canal holidays in the UK?

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