Chilterns Tourism

Creative thinking along the way from train to Chilterns trails

Collaboration

Making small budgets work really hard

Sustainability and development

When I moved out of London into the countryside, there was very little collaborative tourism activity, nor a recognised or well established sector, no tourism network or business support.

Everyone was busy doing their own thing! Some still are.

How times have changed, and I am very proud to be a part of this busy, thriving sector that boasts a wonderful mix of the traditional rural products with new, experiential businesses opening their doors, gates and websites. We still have much to do, but the difference is that we are doing it together.

I run the local Chilterns Tourism Network, develop new audiences and tourism sectors, travel writing, create travel videos and photography and recently co-creating a new range of gifts and souvenirs.

Inclusive Business NEtworking

In response to a low level of destination awareness and tourism marketing, I began to seek out and find friendly faces working locally in tourism in the Chilterns, who together over coffee and cake, co-founded the Chilterns Tourism Network. 

10 years later, we are one of those ‘unofficial DMO’s’ that can be found in increasing numbers across the UK, working hand in hand with a wide range of sectors including; farming, transport, retail, accommodation, events, food & drink, sport, museums and the arts promoting the Chilterns as a visitor destination; somewhere to stay, explore and enjoy throughout the year.

I have successfully developed local strategies, effective, collaborative marketing campaigns, new festivals, sector and audience development, web content and impactful social media platforms. 

A Year in the chilterns

The travelogue A Year in the Chilterns has become well established home for the thoughtful telling of the story of the Chilterns Hills, with places, people and what is local and special. I publish a post once a month, and try to follow the seasons and local events when I can. The most popular posts from last year included; Keach’s Meeting House, the Grande Dame of Ewelme, Goring & Streatley, Sharpenhoe Clappers and People Watching in Purple. Stories from places as far apart as Winslow, Ewelme, Goring & Streatley and Hitchin.

I also watch, write, photograph and video the 52 micro seasons that unfold on my doorstep in a new weekly newsletter; just because four seasons don’t present enough reasons to write! You can subscribe to Micro Travels with Mary.

chilterns gifts

The business I co-created with Zoe Mingos during the first 2020 Covid-19 lockdown is also an important part of the Chilterns tourism scene. We have developed new ranges of unique gifts and traditional souvenirs in a retail marketplace where there is very little for visitors to buy, and our residents to show their friends and family where they live and what they love. Chilterns Gifts are sold online and through a growing partnership of local retailers including farm shops and museums.

I grew up in the Chilterns. My Mum moved away 3 years ago and really misses the hills….so nice to have given her something to bring back happy memories and lift her spirits. Thank you for your beautiful products.

Helen – Chilterns resident

business support

I have worked with Susan Briggs for many years on all sorts of wonderful tourism projects. We will continue to develop her brand of fresh tourism ideas, business support and sustainability to the business community through the TourismKnowhow.

new ideas

If you have any ideas you want to discuss, or campaigns you are trying to get off the ground, then please use the contact me page. I look forward to hearing from you.