One of the most uplifting ways of experiencing the beauty of the Chilterns is to fly over them in a hot air balloon.
The premier Chilterns balloon flight company is without doubt the European Balloon Company.
The family run European Balloon Company offer flights that generally take off from a field adjacent to the Black Horse pub in Great Missenden. This is a magnificent starting point, since whichever way the prevailing wind takes you, you are assured of a wonderful Chilterns balloon flight. Returning to the Black Horse balloonists are treated to a glass of champagne with the captain and crew.
Champagne Flights are located just north of the Chilterns escarpment on the vale of Aylesbury. Depending on wind direction their balloon flights can take passengers over the scarp and across the Chiltern Hills. At the time of writing their flights were a little cheaper with champagne and sandwiches being served in flight.
A ballon flight is absolutely the best start or end of a perfect day out in the Chilterns.
The Chilterns are synonymous with the red kite and its said that the fun kites we fly get their name from this magnificent bird of prey.
There are two brilliant places for kite flying in the Chilterns, both on the Chiltern escarpment overlooking the Vale of Aylesbury.
Coombe Hill has the delightful medieval town of Wendover on one side and the splendid country residence of the Prime Minister, Chequers, on the other.
Approaching from Dunsmore Lane there’s a car park and a level walk of around ten minutes to the Boer Monument which is a wonderful view point and good kite flying spot. Much more fun though to arrive by train or bus in Wendover and climb on foot to one of the Chilterns highest points, Coombe Hill.
Theres always a good breeze on Ivinghoe Beacon though kite flyers may find themselves competing for air space with model aircraft flyers. The Beacon is an iron age hill fort and the start of the Ridgeway Path. This must surely be the Chilterns premier kite flying location.
Why not take a picnic, fly the kite and enjoy the red kites for free all at the same time?
Cycling has always been very popular in the Chilterns. The constant ups and downs are a challenge to the amateur and pro alike.
Some major one day and stage races, including the Tour of Britain, can be seen powering up the Chiltern hills.
One of the most challenging climbs is Kop Hill above Princes Risborough.
Every weekend bike riders from across the Chilterns turn out in huge numbers to tackle the steep Chilterns scarp slopes before descending to the villages for a well-earned coffee.
The Chilterns are a great area for mountain biking with so many trails and dedicated mountain biking areas.
Chilterns mountain biking just doesn’t get any better than at Aston Hill Mountain Bike Park. High above Tring in the hills of Wendover Woods several stunning mountain bike courses for all abilities have been created taking advantage of naturally sloping and undulating ground.
Except in the driest summer months the shaded ground under the beech trees is always a quagmire of mud and leaf mould. Throw in the overhanging branches and the ludicrously banked woodland trails offer some of the most extreme mountain bike riding in the Chilterns.
Aston Hill, managed in partnership with the Forestry Commission, is easily accessible from either Wendover or Tring stations and is criss-crossed by some of the finest trails in the Chiltern Hills.
The Chilterns are a wonderful place for both novice and experienced horse riders, as well as fans of pony trekking, show jumping and horse racing.
There are many scenic and historic bridleways traversing the Chiltern Hills. Riders will be familiar with the Icknield Way and the Ridgeway bridleways but even the less well known Chiltern Link was once a traditional pack horse route from Wendover to Chesham.
There are riding stables throughout the Chilterns offering horse riding lessons, stabling and paddocks. Riders need to be over five years of age; riding hats are usually provided. Many stables offer opportunities for pony trekking in the Chilterns.
In the summer months there is no town in the Chilterns which does not have its own highly competitive gymkhana event.
The Chilterns is a perfect place to stay for a trip to Ascot Races. In June the famous old racecourse hosts its showcase Royal Ascot event.
In the picturesque Chilterns village of Aldbury Walter Swinburn Racing offers the chance to part own a race horse and also arranges public visits to the exclusive racing stables.
On a less august scale, every May at the foot of the Chilterns in the Vale of Aylesbury the Kimble Point to Point event is a very enjoyable marker in the local horse riding and social calendar.