amenities: Historic Houses

Experience Chipping Norton

Experience Chipping Norton

Distance 1 mile (1.6 km)                      Duration 1 hr             Calories 150 (est.) This historical tour will explore the bustling, Cotswold market town of Chipping Norton located at the ‘Gateway to the Cotswolds’. ‘Chippy’, as it is known to the locals, boasts its own museum, housing a large collection of town related artefacts, an award-winning theatre and is renowned for its antique shops, boutiques, diverse shopping and a great choice of places to eat. The town’s working market town atmosphere not only makes it a fantastic place to visit but an ideal base for exploring the wealth of nearby attractions such as The Rollright Stones, Blenheim Palace and the Cotswold Wildlife Park. To get the walk: Install the Handheld Tours app (free) – iTunes App Store or Google Play Store. Select tour using list or map view Click download button Enjoy an excellent day out! The highest town in Oxfordshire, Chipping Norton, simply referred to as ‘Norton’ in the 1086 Domesday survey, is situated on the western slopes of a hillside that was once the site of a Norman castle. The site of the castle is now Scheduled as an Ancient Monument. In 1205 King John granted the town a Royal charter no doubt helping it to become a centre for the Cotswold wool trade and by 1224 ‘Chipping’, old English for market, was added to the town’s name. Success continued and by the first half of the 14th Century Chipping Norton was one of the most prosperous market towns in Oxfordshire. Today the town is known for its heritage, including 126 listed structures, stunningly beautiful countryside and its lively year...
Guildford Historic Trail

Guildford Historic Trail

Distance 1.5 miles (2.4 km)                      Duration 1 hr 30 mins             Calories 200 (est.) Guildford is the historic county town at the heart of Surrey with great shopping and dining options as well as a vibrant cultural scene which includes the renowned Yvonne Arnaud Theatre, Electric Theatre and G Live. To get the trail: Install the Handheld Tours app (free) – iTunes App Store or Google Play Store. Select tour using list or map view Click download button Enjoy the trail! Sitting on the River Wey and nestled in the Surrey Hills, the town dates back to Saxon times when there was a ford that allowed travellers to cross the river. At one time serving as home to the Royal Mint, the town’s prosperity took off with the completion of the Wey Navigation in 1653, opening up a trade route to the river Thames. Today the town is known for its heritage, countryside and excellent university, as well as being a very popular day trip destination for tourists and shoppers. This 1.5 mile historic trail takes you from the bustling high street up to the Norman Castle, down to the river and then back up to the town centre, taking in 1,000 years of history. Images from the tour Guildhall The Great Tower Alice and the White Rabbit statue Millmead Lock Quarry Street The Angel...
Frieth Walk

Frieth Walk

Distance 5.6 miles (9 km)                      Duration 2:30 hrs             Calories 850 (est.) This Country Ale Tour will take you up and down the beautiful Chiltern Hills, a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Expect rounds of good, old-fashioned ales in ‘ye olde’ public houses, delicious homemade food and quirky anecdotes to keep you going. To get the walk: Install the Handheld Tours app (free) – iTunes App Store or Google Play Store. Select tour using list or map view Click download button Enjoy an excellent day out! If you are not into beer but just tagging along with a partner or a mate, the villages of Frieth, Turville, Fingest and Skirmett have a lot to offer besides good beer. Many of the eye-catching properties are Grade I and II listed and there are archaeological sites and natural areas to discover too. Turville and Fingest have appeared in many TV shows and Hollywood films, including classics like ‘Chitty Chitty Bang Bang’ and the more recent ‘The Monuments Men’. Local folklore includes ghosts and a young girl who slept for nine years and attracted worldwide interest. This is England at its best: idyllic villages, quaint pubs and glorious countryside to discover at a leisurely pace. Going back to beer, several Brakspear pubs are en route, so you can take part in Brakspear’s Country Ale Trail, collect stamps and get free beer. Bear with us on this Tour, we promise that there is something for everyone. Not sure you’re ready to go solo? Here’s the OS map covering the tour area: Chiltern Hills West, Henley-on-Thames and Wallingford (OS Explorer Map – 171) Buy Now at Amazon Images...
Jane Austen Literary Walk

Jane Austen Literary Walk

Distance 4.4 miles (7.1 km)         Duration 2:00 hrs             Calories 750 (est) Jane Austen – A walk from Chawton to Farringdon “…and the plan is that we should all walk with her to drink tea at Faringdon” Letter to Cassandra, 29 May 1811 Home to Jane Austen from 1809, the charming village of Chawton and the picturesque Hampshire landscape create a magical setting for this literary tour. To get the walk: Install the Handheld Tours app (free) – iTunes App Store or Google Play Store. Select tour using list or map view Click download button Enjoy an excellent day out! Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice, Mansfield Park and Emma were all published during Jane’s time in Chawton, with the local surroundings and her lifestyle reflected in these works. The Jane Austen Literary walk visits Jane’s house, her brother Edward’s residence, Chawton House, St Nicholas Church (the final resting place of her sister Cassandra and her mother) and much more.  Follow in Jane’s footsteps by visiting the nearby village of Farringdon, a route she would have taken to call on family friends. Walk with Jane in the lovely setting of Chawton, enjoy its literary connections with this inspirational author on what will be undoubtedly a memorable day out. Not sure you’re ready to go paper-free? Here’s the OS map covering the tour area: Haslemere & Petersfield (OS Explorer Map – 133) – Buy Now at Amazon Images from the tour Pasture Lands All Saints Church Upper Farringdon Chawton House Jane Austen’s House Giant...
Theatrical London Walk

Theatrical London Walk

Distance 3.3 miles (5.3 km)          Duration 1.5 hrs             Calories 450 (est.)          Audio: No This three-mile Tour of London’s West End and South Bank starts in world-famous Leicester Square, which is where the red carpet is rolled out for film premieres. These cinemas were originally theatres and music halls or were built on the site of theatrical establishments long gone. But fear not, there are still plenty of working theatres to discover on the Theatrical London walk, many with intriguing stories to tell, some haunted by ghosts and others moving with the times, from music halls to 21st-century multimedia venues. To get the walk: Install the Handheld Tours app (free) – iTunes App Store or Google Play Store. Select tour using list or map view Click download button Enjoy an excellent day out! Walk on cobbled streets where celebrities, performers and artists mix with tourists, office workers, journalists, TV personalities and language students. We will also be walking through the ages, from the glorious Elizabethan Age, when Shakespeare and his company performed to rowdy crowds, to the modern day, when musicals tend to monopolise central London’s cultural offerings. Theatres were noisy places in Shakespeare’s times. People would meet there, talk during the play and even interact with the actors. Shakespeare introduced jokey references to amuse and captivate his audience. For instance, the ‘romantic’ line in Romeo and Juliet “A rose by any other name would smell as sweet” would have provoked huge hilarity – this was an inside joke because of nearby Rose Alley, which had an open sewer running to the Thames. The Theatrical London walk starts by...
Cuddington Village Tour – Coming Soon

Cuddington Village Tour – Coming Soon

Distance 6 miles (9.6km)               Duration 2:20hrs              Calories 780 (est.) The walk starts in the village of Cuddington, its name of Anglo Saxon origin, is mentioned in the Domesday Book of 1086 seems annually to be in the mix either as a runner up or winner of the coveted Best Kept Village in Buckinghamshire award.  The village is also a favoured film location with various Agatha Christie adaptations, Midsomer Murders and Oliver Twist all being filmed there. The walk is largely over fields of flat ground affording excellent views of the countryside as it takes in the picturesque mediaeval village of Nether Winchendon, location of the Medieval and Tudor Nether Winchedon Manor house set in 600 acres of Parkland (chargeable entry) the imposing Church of St. Nicholas and the River Thame (not to be confused with the Thames) on its way towards the nearby village of Chearsley. Parking is on-street in Cuddington Village with both food and drink available at the characterful Grade II listed pub The Crown with its low ceiling beamed...
Hughenden Manor Tour – Coming Soon

Hughenden Manor Tour – Coming Soon

Distance 5.50 miles (8.8km)         Duration 2.40 hrs             Calories 900 (est.) We are continuing our Chiltern Hills’ Series with a tour of the Hughenden Valley and surrounding area. One of the key attractions and first recorded in 1086 is Hughenden Manor.  Remodelled in 1862 the present mansion is now a 19th-Century red-brick Victorian building owned by the National Trust since 1947. The Manor was the country seat of Prime Minister and writer Benjamin Disraeli. Disraeli spent his younger years in the nearby village of Bradenham, which features in our West Wycombe Tour. This tour starts in the Hughenden Valley and takes in wonderful woodland, rugged and teeming with wildlife, unspoilt countryside and stunning landscape. Along the 5.5 mile-route, you will discover natural and man-made sites of historical interest in the commons along the route, while learning about local traditions and folklore. The route passes along the edge of Downley Common affording an opportunity to drop into the charming Le De Spencers Arms a Fullers pub with its large garden area, low beam ceilings and open fire, welcoming those looking for food or a pint or both (dogs on leads welcome). Please note that access to the Hughenden Manor Estate is free (including the Stable Tearooms) but there is a charge for non-National Trust members to visit the mansion and its garden. This is optional but we dare you not to be intrigued by the house that was on Hitler’s secret hit list.  We advise you to confirm opening times and dates in advance to avoid disappointment.  National Trust properties in particular are not open year round and others vary...
Greys Court Tour – Coming Soon

Greys Court Tour – Coming Soon

Distance 7.35 miles (11.8 km)     Duration 2:30 hrs             Calories 1,200 (est.) The picturesque 16th century mansion, Greys Court with its idyllic gardens is now a National Trust property and with the enchanting Chilterns as a backdrop.  Other buildings on the property such as the Great Tower date from the 12th century.  Greys Court is free to visit for National Trust members, otherwise a charge applies. The walk crosses the mansions grounds on public paths as it carries on taking in the exceptional beauty of the Chilterns rolling hills and the unique charm of the low beamed ceilinged 17th Century Rising Sun Pub in the small hamlet of Witheridge Hill for those looking for a bite to eat or pint or...
Blenheim Palace Tour – Coming Soon

Blenheim Palace Tour – Coming Soon

Distance 6.0 miles (9.6 km)          Duration 2:15 hrs             Calories 800 (est.) Built in the 18th century to celebrate the victory over the French in the War of the Spanish Succession, Blenheim Palace a masterpiece of Baroque architecture home of the 11th Duke and Duchess of Marlborough is set in more than 2,000 acres of stunning parkland. The Blenheim Palace walk is set largely in this parkland following public paths affording exceptional woodland, field and lake views and the magnificent palace itself albeit from a distance.  Why not make a day of it and see the palace as well it’s certainly worth a visit, the palace entry fee is separate to the cost of this walk, but it’s valid for year representing very good value. The walk starts in the charming Georgian town of Woodstock (means clearing in the woods), described in the Domesday Book as a royal forest, with its many attractive cotswold stone period buildings.  The town is well known for its antique shops but also boasts the Oxfordshire Museum and St Mary Magdalene Church (the spiritual and geographical hear of Woodstock for a thousand years) with its beautiful stain glass.   Wander along its interesting streets and you’ll find a selection of other shops and galleries, as well as some excellent pubs, restaurants and tea shops, there is plenty to do and see making this walk an excellent day out!   Image from the Walk View of Blenheim Place Bridge at Blenheim Blenheim Lake Lambs at Blenheim Woodstock St Mary Magdalene Church,...
West Wycombe Village Walk

West Wycombe Village Walk

Distance: 4.5 miles (7.2 km)         Duration: 2:00 hrs            Calories 700 (est.) This Countryside walk based in the Chiltern Hills, a designated area of outstanding natural beauty, takes in the National Trust villages of Bradenham and West Wycombe. You will be exploring woodlands, discovering ancient areas, visiting heritage sites and enjoying panoramic views of glorious, unspoilt countryside. To get the walk: Install the Handheld Tours app (free) – iTunes App Store or Google Play Store. Select tour using list or map view Click download button Enjoy an excellent day out! The West Wycombe Village walk starts and finishes in Bradenham, a historic village founded by Saxon settlers and renown not only for its postcard-pretty cottages but also as the birthplace of Prime Minister and writer Benjamin Disraeli. Highlights include a visit to the quaint Village Green, the Manor and ancient St Botolph’s Church. From there, you will stroll to West Wycombe, a medieval village, close to the Oxfordshire border and one of the most important conservation areas and historic landscapes in Buckinghamshire. The jewel in the crown is an elegant Palladian mansion home of the Dashwood family (additional charge for non-National Trust members) with Grade I listed parkland, often featured in costume dramas, such as Little Dorrit, Cranford and, more recently, Downtown Abbey. The village’s narrow streets are lined with rustic cottages and fine examples of architecture of the 15th and 18th Century, including several inns and buildings of different styles. The prominent hill overlooking the village offers breath-taking views of the valley landscape and is the location of a charming historic church whose tower is topped with a...