The Sweetest Stretch of all the River

Itching to get away from my desk and take a walk to enjoy a warm autumnal afternoon, it was a tweet that spurred me into action to head over to Cliveden Reach, between Cookham and Boulter’s locks, the fabled stretch along the River Thames. I have visited the formal gardens at Cliveden many times, but … Continue reading The Sweetest Stretch of all the River

Penn House and Holy Trinity, Penn

For hundreds of years, Penn House and Holy Trinity Penn have shared a close heritage, and when I visited, it was the rain that brought them together.

Tools of the Trade

The weight of history is upon Jon Tyler’s broad shoulders as one of the last producers of watercress in the Chilterns. Located in the beautiful Chess Valley that links Chesham in the Chilterns with Rickmansworth just inside the M25, E. Tyler & Son’s Crestyl Watercress farm is something of a novelty; in a high tech … Continue reading Tools of the Trade

Sharpenhoe Clappers: what’s in a name?

I wonder how many of the declarations of love carved on the beechwood tree trunks, still hold true today? Anonymous initials, an evocative place name and the ghost of a Celtic tribal chief? It seems fitting that such a place, whilst no longer occupied, still draws visitors who wish also to leave their mark, and a former … Continue reading Sharpenhoe Clappers: what’s in a name?

Tastes of the Chess Valley

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! The Chilterns is a living, working area of beautiful countryside whose character has been shaped by agriculture, industry and the people who have lived and worked here over … Continue reading Tastes of the Chess Valley

The Charming Chess Valley

We stop to tickle the horses’ noses and listen to the birdsong along the valley before cutting up to walk back through the chocolate box hamlet of Latimer and the extraordinary Boer War memorials on the green that hints of battles fought and lost in a far-off land and a horse's heart buried in Latimer.

No. 132 Piccotts End. A cautionary tale of why it’s not a good idea to smoke in bed.

This Chilterns village has one of the most remarkable stories I have ever heard. And the most sensational 16th century murals in the country. Extremely rare and of national importance, these Pre-Reformation Catholic paintings, were hidden behind a sheet of course hand-woven linen until they were discovered by Arthur Lindley in 1953.

Simple Orchids. Simply Beautiful

Forget M&S orchids, manicured to within an inch of their pampered lives and head instead to the nearest Chilterns summer meadow. The footpath glistens underfoot as it cuts through the drooping wild grasses, my wet boots and trouser legs a magnet for seed dispersal. The daisy petals are splayed under the relentless June rain, which … Continue reading Simple Orchids. Simply Beautiful

Wormsley Estate, home to cricket and opera

Like Nuffield Place, Wormsley Estate is also typical of the Chilterns: slightly bonkers, intriguing and tucked away in a beautiful place you have probably only cycled past along the boundary-hugging Bridleway. The home of cricket and opera, not two pastimes I would associate with the same venue, but hey, that’s the Chilterns for you. I should … Continue reading Wormsley Estate, home to cricket and opera

Nuffield Place – the epitome of understatement

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. Born in 1877 in Worcester, … Continue reading Nuffield Place – the epitome of understatement