The Inconvenient Mule has mapped the Chilterns, showing the Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and the many towns and villages we’ve visited and blogged about. The silhouette of a red kite, something of an unofficial symbol of the Chilterns, can be seen stretching across the area. The map also shows the Ridgeway National Trail, a track used for thousands of year, running from Ivinghoe Beacon, through the Chiltern hills and onward to Wiltshire.
The Easter weekend kicks off a season of events across the Chilterns. The list below attempts to capture some of the largest events in our area, with a focus on those celebrating locally produce food and goods. Leave a comment if you know of an event not listed below.
Calendar of events
Chilterns Easter Festival of Food & Drink, Great Missenden – Fri 6 – Mon 9 April
Cheese Makers’ Market, Old Beaconsfield – Sat 14 April
Artists and Makers’ Fair, Waddesdon Manor – Sat 5th and Sun 6th May
Rickmansworth Canal Festival - Sat 19 & Sun 20 May
Marlow May Fayre - Sat 26th May
Hertfordshire County Show - Sat 2nd & Sun 3rd June
Chenies & Latimer Diamond Jubilee Celebration - Mon 4th June
Marlow Town Regetta & Festival - 9 & 10 June
Tringe Comedy Festival, Tring, 1 – 21 July
Penn Street Beer Festival – Fri 13 – Sun 15 July
Chalfont St Giles Show - Sat 8 September
Berkofest, Berkhamsted, Sat 15 September
Kop Hill Climb, Princes Risborough – Sat 22 & Sun 23 September
Thame Food Festival - Sat 29 September
Other listings for events around the Chilterns
The following websites offer a more comprehensive listing of events, including museum activities and local events:
Visit Buckinghamshire Events
Herts Direct Events
Enjoy Hertfordshire Events
Amersham What’s on noticeboard
Aylesbury Vale Events
Watford Observer Events
The country is becoming increasingly exercised about the proposed high speed railway line that will link London to Birmingham in 45 minutes. In due course it would also see journey times to the north and Scotland cut and provide the backbone to a British high speed rail network. What’s not to like?
By rights I should be heartily in favour of High Speed 2 (HS2), the name given for this new high speed railway line. It would cut the journey time to see family and bring to this country the sort of rail travel I’ve experienced in Germany and Japan. However I find my enthusiasm muted at best and at worst I’m opposed to the plans altogether.
I’m not a NIMBY, the route will not run within sight or earshot of where I live, however it will run through the Chilterns and impact many of our favourite towns, villages, countryside and walks. Furthermore, I question the absolute necessity for the route that is trying to be sold to us. Are there really no alternatives to this massive financial outlay and substantial environment impact?
Losing the peace
As a nation, there’s a good many of us who are intent on finding a peaceful corner to call home. While some are happy in the noisy bustle of the urban jungle, many others are keen for life away from it. While transport is vital, it needs to be measured and balanced with maintaining a healthy national environment; if the land is utterly criss-crossed with noisy trunk routes then there’ll be no respite from the noise. If HS2 were to closely follow existing motorway routes, as the West Coast Mainline does, then I don’t think I’d have such concerns, however much of the route cuts a swathe through some of Britain’s finest countryside. Valleys unspoilt and at peace with the sounds of their natural environment threaten being ruined with the sight of another huge concrete construction, accompanied by the intense noise of high speed trains passing every few minutes. The limited tranquility of this island will be encroached upon further, a development I cannot welcome. Continue reading