North Chiltern Trail
The North Chiltern Trail has been developed as part of the Chiltern Society’s campaign to raise awareness of the opportunities for walking and other activities in the north Chilterns. It was launched with a walking festival event in September 2014. The North Chiltern Trail builds on the success of the Chiltern Way, the long distance walking route around the Chilterns which was established by the Chiltern Society in 2000.
The ‘North Chiltern Trail’ was created by combining the original and extended routes of the Chiltern Way footpath in the North Chilterns to provide a 67km/42 mile circular walking route through some of the delightful Chiltern countryside of Bedfordshire and north Hertfordshire, including parts of the Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The Trail is waymarked.
The route starts in the village of Lilley, crossing in Warden and Galley Hills, passing through the nature reserves at Sharpenhoe Clappers, Barton Hills and Pegsdon Hills and visiting the villages of Great Offley, Preston, St Paul’s Walden, Whitwell, Peter’s Green and Breachwood Green. There are extensive views and outstanding landscapes, plenty of wildlife and some intriguing industrial and agricultural archaeology. Much of the countryside is quintessentially English, and the rolling chalk hills provide outstanding wildlife habitats and distant views. As a bonus, the route is handsomely provided with a fine range of country pubs – in fact there are 21 opportunities either on or nearby the path to take some refreshment and that doesn’t include the tea shops!
The route can be divided into 9 sections making it ideal to walk over a series of days. Alternatively, the Trail can be completed in four day walks as follows:
Stage 1 Lilley to Whitwell, taking in the delightful undulating countryside around Great Offley, Preston and Whitwell. Approximately 11 miles.
Stage 2 Whitwell to Great Offley, working a way from Whitwell northwards to Great Offley, and taking in some pleasant, rolling countryside.
Stage 3 Great Offley to Barton le Clay, finishing with fantastic views and pleasant walking across Sharpenhoe Clappers.
Stage 4 Barton le Clay to Lilley, covering the delightful hills around Barton and Pegsdon. Quite a few hills with some steeper ascents and descents. Approximately 10 miles.
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