We’re fortunate to live in an area that’s home to many fine towns and villages. These are our inspiration for exploratory day-trips most weekends, as we seek out country pubs and restaurants, entertainment, shopping and picturesque places to spend a day.
On the borders of Hertfordshire, Buckinghamshire and London (Harrow and Hillingdon boroughs) the area is best know for the Chilterns Area of Natural Beauty (AONB), the fine hills and countryside to the West; and for being Metro-land, the towns marketed by the Metropolitan Railway in the 1920s and 30s that have defined the fortune and character of much of the area.
Our favourite places: interactive map
Key: The red markers indicate towns and villages, knife and fork for eating places, cup for cafes, camera for picturesque places, green for outdoor areas, yellow for sourcing food. The coloured lines show the routes of walks.
View Inconvenient Mule guide to the Chilterns in a larger map
In the early part of the 20th century, the towns along the route of the Metropolitan Railway were marketed and built-up as Metro-land; mock-Tudor idyls for the modern commuter. Today the line is fairly minor; serving the suburbs of Harrow and beyond takes on a character of a rural branch line, through the Chiltern Hills to Amersham and out to Aylesbury. This Metro-land cuts through the centre of our area and is a principal transport route.
The towns and villages along the route comprise many of the communities we visit. So far we’ve got blog posts on:
- Aylesbury – Buckinghamshire county town
- Wendover – Chiltern market town
- Great Missenden – Chiltern village, home of Roald Dahl
- Amersham – larger Chiltern town, with old town
- Chorleywood – Hertfordshire village with common, near Rickmansworth
- Rickmansworth – current home; Herts Metro-land town, by the Grand Union canal
- Pinner – previous home; historic Metro-land town near Harrow
The Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty are hills stretching across Bedforshire, Buckinghamshire, Hertfordshire and Oxfordshire. These are the towns and villages in or near the Chilterns we’ve visited:
- Berkhamsted – historic Hertfordshire town on edge of Chilterns with ruined castle
- Chalfont St Giles – Chiltern village in Buckinghamshire, former home of Milton
- Chenies – Small Chiltern village, home of Bedford Arms pub
- Flaunden – Small Chiltern village, home of Bricklayers Arms pub
- Gerrards Cross – Buckinghamshire town on edge of Chilterns
- Sarratt – Chiltern village with village green
The main shopping centres in the area:
- High Wycombe