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Visitor Itineraries

Three itineraries have been produced with interesting and exciting ideas about how to enjoy the beautiful countryside of the northern Chilterns.

Called CAReFREE in the Chilterns, the itineraries encourage visitors to leave their cars at home, or at their accommodation and enjoy stress-free, traffic-free days out. This also has benefits for the local environment and the local economy.

Full information on how to get there, where to stay, where to eat and what to do is provided in each itinerary.Grand Union Canal towpath

Itinerary 1: Grand Union Canal and Tring Reservoirs

This itinerary is for visitors wishing to explore the waterways around the old market towns of Tring and Berkhamsted. The serenity of the Grand Union Canal and Tring Reservoirs provides an excellent aspect from which to appreciate the rolling chalk hills and quiet woodlands of the Chilterns. Whilst they are an engineering feat of significant historical importance the waterways are now a valuable habitat for birds and other wildlife.

There is a selection of walks in this itinerary of varying lengths which also incorporate some of the wonderful villages and hamlets along the waterways.

Grand Union Canal and Tring Reservoirs itinerary (258 KB)

Itinerary 2: Northern Chilterns villages by bicycle

Cycling is an excellent way to explore the Chilterns and provides an opportunity to visit some of the most picturesque villages in the area.Aldbury

Starting in Berkhamsted and travelling north this itinerary passes through some breathtaking scenery including Berkhamsted Common, the Ashridge Estate and the stunning views from the top of the Chilterns escarpment at Whipsnade. Returning south the route takes you through the quintessential English village of Aldbury with its duck pond and ancient stocks, eventually passing over the Grand Union Canal back to Berkhamsted.

Northern Chiltern villages by bicycle itinerary (222 KB)

Itinerary 3: Walking and cycling in the Northern Chilterns and HitchinPegsdon Hills

There are many walking and cycling opportunities in the Northern Chilterns around the historic market town of Hitchin. The Pegsdon Hills, Barton Hills National Nature Reserve and Sharpenhoe Clappers are the gems of this area, swathed in wildflowers in spring and summer. They also provide stunning viewpoints over the rolling hills.

This itinerary includes several circular walks easily reached by bus from Hitchin and starting from the picturesque villages of Pirton and Offley. Hitchin station is regularly served by trains from London.

Walking and cycling in the Northern Chilterns and Hitchin itinerary (226 KB)

If you are a local tourism business and would like to write your own itinerary for visitors an example can be downloaded here.

CAReFREE in the Chilterns was funded by the East of England Development Agency as part of a wider project to promote sustainable tourism in the special landscapes of the East of England. Itineraries have also been developed for The Brecks, The Broads and three other AONBs: Norfolk Coast, Suffolk Coast and Heaths and Dedham Vale.

Your comments

The itineraries have been developed as a pilot project and we will be evaluating their success. We would be very interested to hear your comments – please email cforrest@chilternsaonb.org

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