Trip of the Month – Exploring the Chilterns
Thank you all for your kind comments on our ‘Trip of the Month’ blog. This month I am taking up one such comment suggesting a weekend trip to explore our stunning local region, the Chilterns.
The hardest part was deciding where to go – far enough away to make it feel like an adventure but close enough to make it a very doable weekend break during term time for those who live locally but also those venturing out of London for a weekend in our ‘Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty’.
So the plan is to have GlamperRV stocked up with bikes, general clobber and fine fayre on a Friday, the children collected from school and off we go to our first overnight spot, Hurley Riverside Park. Whilst not the wild camping site we so often enjoy, it is referred to as a ‘Thames-side camping paradise’ and for good reason, it commands an enviable position along a calm stretch of the Thames between Henley and Marlow. A quick tea and cake and it’s off to explore the Thames path, Hurley lock and of course the two excellent pubs in the village for an early evening pint.
Our overnight stop was partly chosen to help my triathlon training so first thing in the morning I’ll be donning my wet suit for a swim in this calm stretch of the river and enjoying the delights of open water swimming. The rest of family are unlikely to brave the fresh river conditions but will certainly join me on the cycle and run stages along the Thames path.
An active morning will set us up for a hearty picnic lunch and the open grasses by the river bank, a buzz with boats, children’s games and ramblers mark the perfect spot.
A more sedate afternoon is planned with a visit to the nearby River & Rowing Museum in Henley. As well as their three galleries dedicated to Rowing, Rivers and the history of Henley on Thames the Museum is also home to the magical Wind in the Willows exhibition which brings to life the much-loved story with 3D models, lighting and music.
Our spot for our second night is further upstream close to the riverside town of Wallingford. Brit Stops recommends a wonderful vineyard a mile out of town that welcomes Brit Stops member motorhomes. Having visited recently, it really is an idyllic spot, perfect to set up the awning and outdoor furniture and enjoy an evening meal (washed down will some of the local wine on offer).
Next morning it’s off to the Waterfront Café in Benson, a short walk away and ideal for a Sunday morning coffee reading the newspapers and watching the pleasure boats cruising by. For the children chasing the ducks will probably be their favourite game!
Then back to base to pick up our bikes, pack up a picnic and enjoy a cycling tour of the area following a superb guide produced by the Chilterns Conservation Board. There’s so much more to do in Wallingford including a trip on a steam railway and visit to the Castle and museum so if the weather isn’t on our side I know where we’ll be.
As we make our way back home, we’ll be sure to stop off in one of the best kept secrets in the Chilterns and one of the few privately owned stately homes, Stonor Park. A great opportunity for an afternoon exploring this wonderful house, home to the Stonor family for over 8 centuries and comes highly recommended by our local what’s on bible, Muddy Stilettos.
I hope that I have whet your appetite for getting out into the Chilterns and exploring this stunning local area. If you have an idea for a Trip of the Month please do get in touch.