The Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty is blessed with over 2,000km of rights of way including many ancient tracks going back to prehistoric times, drovers routes and hillforts. To celebrate this abundance of walks through time, these will be an important part of the first ever Chilterns Walking Festival which is organised by the Chilterns Conservation Board and features over 90 different walks and activities.
There are several walks taking in stretches of the Ridgeway National Trail and the Icknield Way, Britain’s oldest road dating back to Neolithic times. Some of the events will take you back in time 2,800 years to the Iron Age, exploring the Chilterns hillforts, many of them tucked away in the rolling beechwoods. Your walking guides will bring these ancient and fascinating landscapes to life. Here are some of the highlights, spaces are limited and need to be pre-booked – they are filling up fast so to guarantee a place book now:
- Walk with Stone Age Woman (Sunday 21st May) Ideal for families
Archaeologist-actress dressed as a Stone Age woman will take you on a leisurely 3 mile walk in lovely countryside around Ivinghoe Beacon. Discover how people in the area have lived and travelled since the last Ice Age, visiting features such as The Ridgeway National Trail, Grimm’s Ditch and Ivinghoe Beacon hillfort.
- Captain’s Wood Walk (Wed 17th May)
Starting at the Black Horse Inn, Chesham Vale, this wonderful, varied 4 mile walk takes in ancient field patterns and hedges, old earthworks and the home of a famous author.
- Colonisation of the Chilterns (Tues 23rd May)
A 3 mile walk starting at Coleshill, looking at the various Chiltern settlers throughout history and the marks they have left on the landscape.
- Supper Talk (Thursday 25th May)
Join local author Hugh Thomson in the fantastic surroundings of St Katharine’s, Parmoor (near Marlow) for a 2 course dinner and a talk by Hugh on his book, ‘The Green Road Into The Trees’. The book tells of his journey along the Icknield Way where he takes the drover-paths and tracks, the paths and ditches half covered by bramble and tunnelled by alder, beech and oak.
- Ivinghoe Archaeological Walk (Friday 26th May)
A fascinating 7 mile walk and talk featuring the archaeological and geological landscape around the Ivinghoe Beacon area, a region heavily influenced by the pre-historic peoples of the Bronze and Iron Ages.