Things to do in the Chilterns

With a boating holiday, it’s all about the journey, not the destination. 

So whatever your interests, you can cruise this southern stretch of the Grand Union canal and explore a variety of days out that the Chiltern Hills countryside has to offer. With historic towns, family attractions, exquisite countryside, and traditional pubs galore, this canal boat trip really does have something for everyone!

Whether your are looking for a peaceful getaway to escape the hustle and bustle, or a boating adventure to keep the whole family entertained, the Chiltern Hills has lots to offer. 

Need some inspiration? Here's a few ideas to get you started...

Also, take a look at our interactive route map and our recommended places to visit pages!

A walkers dream location

Following part of the famous Ridgeway walk, this area of the Grand Union canal will leave you spoilt for choice on places to ramble. You can hike the hills to enjoy the far reaching scenic views from Ivinghoe Beacon, or head on up to Wendover woods to picnic among the trees. And if you prefer something a little more relaxed, there's a great little circular walk to Aldbury where you can enjoy a fantastic lunch at one of the traditional village pubs. Our boat is equipped with a local map book which can give you more ideas on walking routes.

Click here to look at popular walking routes in the Chilterns

Arial view of green fields and hills of the Chilterns

Family Attractions

There are a number of local tourist attractions, all easily accessible from the Grand Union canal. Whether you want to meet the animals at the Whipsnade Zoo, challenge yourself to a high ropes course at Wendover Woods, or visit the Natural History Museum in Tring, we can give you a guide on itineraries and routes to help you make the most of your holiday in the Chiltern Hills.

Or why not extend your trip and plan a visit to one of the great local attractions before or after your boating holiday?

Click here to read more about some of our recommended places to visit during your canal boat holiday

Canalside cottages in Berkhamsted Hertfordshire

Get back to nature...

Nestled at the foot of the Chiltern Hills, the Grand Union canal is the perfect location to explore the beautiful english countryside of Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire and Buckinghamshire. While the canal itself can give you abundance of heron and kingfisher sightings, if you wander a bit further out, there is plenty more to see. Passing directly by Tring Nature Reserve, and Marsworth Reservoirs, these beautiful locations will give you lots of opportunity to enjoy the great outdoors. 

Grey Heron standing in the water

Discover some history

This part of the Grand Union canal has lots of quaint villages and towns to explore along the way. Get out and discover a Roman Castle in Berkhamsted, visit an ancient windmill in Pitstone, or wander the cobbled streets of the historic market town Leighton Buzzard while you peruse the windows of some great little boutique shops.

Historic wooden Black and white windmill in the Chilterns

Relax and Unwind

After a few hours cruising the canals and exploring everything the chilterns has to offer, nobody would blame you for wanting to moor up and relax for the evening. So why not check out one of the many canal-side pubs and restaurants along our route, sit on the bow of your narrowboat and enjoy the evening sun with a good book, or curl up in your cosy boat cabin and enjoy a family board game. After all, we all know that it's those moments that the most treasured holiday memories are made from :)

Selection of delicious food dishes

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