Leap into Spring
by Fran Momen
This year the 20th March is the vernal equinox, when day and night are of equal length. With Springtime flowers beginning to bloom, longer days, and rising temperatures, March is the perfect time to explore the beautiful Chilterns.
And it’s not just bulbs and wildlife waking up; many attractions around the area are re-opening for visitors. Here are a few suggestions to help you celebrate the natural joys of Spring, some great local events and of course Mother’s Day on 19th March.
Asked to picture Spring and most people will come up with daffodils! But in fact there are loads of Spring bulbs popping out from woodland leaves and wild flowers sprinkling the hedgerows with colour. Look out for crocuses, celandines, anemones, bluebells, red campion, violets… these will emerge gradually depending on the weather, and the exact locality.
Discover nature on walks like these:
- Chinnor Circular Walk to Bledlow is 5.5 miles long but can be shortened to 2 miles. Starting at the Village Centre in Chinnor, the walk incorporates varied scenery and landscapes including grasslands and woodlands, and great panoramic views. The Churchyard in the historic village of Bledlow is a good place for spotting flowers and bulbs, and the adjacent Lyde Water Gardens is a real delight. Call in for refreshments at The Lions of Bledlow pub.
- For something longer start in Ewelme and discover Chilterns commons and woodlands between Ewelme and Ibstone. Plan your route as long or as short as you like and don’t forget to book a pub for lunch or stop for refreshments – plenty to choose from including: the Shepherds Hut in Ewelme, The Fox and Hounds at Christmas Common or the Five Horseshoes at Maidensgrove.
- Rennie Grove Hospice Care is holding its Daffodil Walk on Sunday 12th March in West Wycombe Estate. Tickets cost £5 for adults and £3 for under 16s. This is a special family day out, from strolling through the daffodils to children’s entertainment and guided tours of the parkland.
- Visit the Chilterns AONB website and use the interactive map to discover loads of new walks this Springtime.
Kick back and enjoy warm Chilterns Hospitality!
Don’t forget there are several Farm shops with cafes that pepper the Chilterns countryside and make for great stops on walks.
Amongst others, check out these cafes serving local nutritious food: The Cheese Shed in Nettlebed is great for a cheese toastie treat; the Barn Kitchen at Peterley Manor Farm in Great Missenden offers brunch, lunch and afternoon tea menus and this month has a special Mother’s Day menus; Mead’s Farmhouse Kitchen at Wilstone also offers breakfasts, lunches & afternoon teas.
Visit Chilterns favourites – reopened and refreshed:
- Chiltern Open Air Museum reopens on 18th March, with fun and activities for the whole family. The fun is in the detail: surprising and familiar artefacts inside historic buildings; opportunities to dress up; themed trails and much more. There are also experience days and workshops for adults, introducing traditional crafts such as straw plaiting and weaving.
- Chinnor and Princes Risborough Railway steams off from 19th All-Day Rover tickets are valid on every train on a go-as-you-please basis for a whole or half day, or just one trip. On Mother’s Day book a special dining experience as well and enjoy a cream tea in the Restaurant car.
- The Horse Trust at Speen will be available again for visits in March, open weekly Thursday to Sunday. Meet some of the retired and rescued horses, ponies and donkeys that come from a variety of backgrounds including the police, military and Royal Mews. There’ll be some special behind the scenes tour days where visitors can learn about the horses’ interesting backgrounds. The Black Beauty Tea room is available for hot drinks and cakes.
- Amersham Museum has various singing groups and talks arranged during March and is organising guided walks from the museum from 2nd
- Queen’s Park Arts Centre is hosting Brenda Hurley, Amanda Curbishley and Jess Ranieri exhibitions during March.
For an extra special Mother’s Day treat…
So there are loads of ideas for days out with the family in the Chilterns, but what if you’re looking to thank Mum with a relaxing experience especially for her? Try these!
- Missenden Abbey is hosting Mother’s Day Afternoon Teas. Treat your Mum to an indulgent afternoon at Missenden Abbey and enjoy a relaxed atmosphere with an elegant afternoon tea.
- For something relaxing and a little different, choose a yoga class from the selection offered by Yoga By Candlelight. On Saturdays there’s Soulful Vinyasa at Danesfield House & Spa, or even Cocoon Meditation on Anti-Gravity Hammocks at Lane End.
- For a creative afternoon in Marlow, visit Bobbie Blue Badge’s website and book your Mum a walking tour round Marlow followed by a Lacemaking Workshop. This is great for history and craft enthusiasts and anyone who enjoys a cream tea!
A chalk stream, far-reaching valley views, a tucked-away Manor House and the mewing of red kites for company on this circular Chess Valley walk.
We’re delighted to introduce you to some talented individuals who are passionate about their products and services.
Summer sorted with the National Trust’s Summer of Play in Buckinghamshire, Berkshire and Oxfordshire sponsored by Starling Bank
The National Trust’s Summer of Play invites families over the summer school holidays to experience Trust places in new and exciting ways.