It’s the skylarks and snowdrops that increases the heart rate and knowledge that spring is not far off. It is the season when the world is renewed, we shake off the gloom of winter and head out to enjoy the gardens at Cliveden, listen out for a cuckoo, or poking around a charming National Trust country house or heading off searching for bluebells to the woods.

Here are my favourite places to explore in Spring. 

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 – not from French siege engines, but from those bringing a new prosperity to the Chilterns countryside.

We have the heritage weirdos to thank

“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

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

Parson’s Fee

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

Musically unexpected

 Nuffield Place is 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

England went mad: with the Easter weather forecast of doom for three of the four-day 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

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

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

Loving the original flavours

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!

How a wild boy without a birth name, was found in a German forest, adopted by a English king and came to live in the Chilterns, the story of Peter the Wild Boy is just an astonishing story. So astonishing it comes in two parts: part one and two.

From German forest to Chilterns farm