Spring into the Chilterns

Spring in the Chiltern hills is the season when we shake off the gloom of winter and look forward to renewal. It’s the skylarks, snowdrops and then bluebells that increases the heart rate and knowledge that spring is not far off.

Not really spring, but that testing time in-between winter and spring when we dare to hope that warm, sunshine-filled days are not far away. February is month of hope.

Snowdrop detail
A cluster of snowdrops
Bluebells are synonymous with an English and Chilterns spring
The ubiquitous bluebells

“…spring in England is like a prolonged adolescence, stumbling, sweet and slow, a thing of infinitesimal shades, false starts, expectations, deferred hopes, and final showers of glory.”

Laurie Lee, Village Christmas And Other Notes on the English Year
Getting caught in a rainstorm, forgetting that nettles string no matter the size, and a muddy walk, are some of my favourite spring things. 

Seen mostly from commuter trains, I expect Berkhamsted castle is one of those landmarks that is just no longer noticed. Now a scheduled ancient monument, the castle had a lucky escape from those bringing a new prosperity to the Chilterns countryside.

We have the heritage weirdos to thank

Cliveden Rose Garden

“The Rose Garden at Cliveden was described by designer Sir Geoffrey Jellicoe as a vegetable form, like a cabbage, with each bed intended to envelop the visitor and draw them deeper into the garden,” explained Cliveden head gardener Andrew Mudge.

A resting Satyr leans on a stump amidst the 9,000 blooms in the restored Rose Garden at Cliveden
Meeting a relaxed Satyr amidst 900 blooms

Chilterns Chalk

A virtuous circle: life became rock that supported our lives, literally, and has once again become abundant life. Read the story of Chilterns chalk – a mere 90 million years in the making.

Industrial archeology
A face in the crowd


Appreciate the quiet streets of Aylesbury in spring, yes, they do exist!

Parson’s Fee

Chilterns Woodland

A day to discover what lies beneath turned into an altogether unexpected musical encounter as I headed out to spend a spring morning discovering the archeology that litters the floor of an ancient Chilterns woodland at Pigotts Wood.

Musically unexpected

Nuffield Place

Nuffield Placeis typical of the Chilterns: modest, intriguing and tucked away in a beautiful place you have probably near heard of. The William Morris of the British Arts and Crafts Movement-fame casts a huge shadow on this William Morris who brought affordable motoring to Britain, and this is his story.

The Chilterns are so cool

Stowe House

With the Easter weather forecast of doom for three of the four-day spring bank holiday weekend, today was the day to get out. And get out everyone did! Up and down the land, queues formed for just about everything, including Stowe House and Gardens near Buckingham.

Mine and Leo’s favourite garden

Spring into the countryside

Whilst out on our walk this morning, two vivid speckled birds with yellow faces and breasts, burst out of the undergrowth and landed on a branch nearby.

Getting caught in storms

Chess Valley Watercress

Drinking before lunchtime is not without risk; needing a loo whilst out on the trail, not finding the trail, even failing to turn up for lunch! We were off to discover the flavours of the Chess Valley.

Loving the original flavours

British Schools Museum

One master, three books, 300 boys and 30 monitors, this is the inspirational story of one man’s vision to provide basic education to the children of Hitchin.

School report: must try harder!

Peter the Wild Boy

The astonishing story of how a wild boy was found in a German forest, adopted by an English king and came to live in the Chilterns. So astonishing this tale comes in two parts: part one and two.

From German forest to Chilterns far

A is for Amersham

Spending an afternoon pottering around Amersham, where all around are signs of past lives; graves in the shape of wool sacks, an 18th water pump (although ale was preferable), window openings at unhelpful heights and a red lion above a lintel where a pub used to be.

A is for Amersham
A is for Amersham

Chilterns Gifts

Take home memories of a Chilterns spring and find your favourite photographic print, tea-towel or stationery. Buy online here.