As nature wakes up after winter, why not head to the woodland at Cliveden or Hughenden Park to see the daffodils? Get outside and enjoy the early signs of spring with the trees coming into leaf around Buckinghamshire and the Thames Valley
Walking can be such a tonic for so many of us, whatever your age, and especially when you are older. Besides the physical benefits of exercise, fresh air and valuable vitamin D exposure can lift your spirits and improve overall well being. Make an effort with family and friends and try somewhere new. Enjoy nature as it shakes off its winter coat!
This is truly a stunning spot, with 300 acres of varied but generally gentle landscape. This Palladian style country house is fit for royalty. There is a three-mile walk around the stunning estate that is dog friendly and offers views of the River Thames, rolling countryside, woodland and should take under two hours to complete. Laid out in the mid-19th century, Cliveden‘s ornamental Round Garden orchard has a series of arches — forming tunnels across the diameter and around its edges. Apple and pear trees have grown over the arches, creating tunnels of blossom in spring. The white blossom of the pears comes out first in March, followed by the apples, with white flowers and pink centres. During bluebell season, you can go into the woodland where you will see the seas of blue. Elsewhere on the estate, there are magnolias and ornamental cherries in the Water Garden.
Lovely location by the river with plenty of grass for your picnics (weather permitting), there is also a large play area for families (all free but there is a parking charge). Take a walk along the river path and enjoy looking at the wonderful riverside houses with their private moorings and boats.
This park has a huge lake with designated picnic areas with tables. With over 500 acres of woodland, heathland and open spaces it’s a great spot for the family to get a nature fix, plus they can hire bikes and potter about for hours. It is free except for parking costs.
The highest point in the Chilterns is a great place to stop and take in nature where you’ll find grassland filled with wildflowers in the summer. If it is cooler, be prepared for a blast of fresh air that will clear away the cobwebs. There’s a gentle one-mile circular walk with panoramic views across the Aylesbury Vale and Chequer, the prime minister’s country residence.
Great for wooded walks but there are also some open areas with plenty of views. There are four well-marked walking routes to choose from of various lengths. The gentle, 2.8-mile Firecrest trail is a favourite for dogs. There is a car park, though it’s currently running at reduced capacity.
What a pretty place. Burnham Beeches is a registered charity, a Site of Special Scientific Interest, a National Nature Reserve and a Special Area of Conservation. Discover the splendour of the ancient beech pollards, explore the rare and diverse habitats or take in the outstanding natural beauty that surrounds these beautiful, scenic sites.
Many of the trees are several hundred years old, and it’s no wonder this ancient woodland is a nature reserve. There are plenty of picnic tables, a cafe and many pathways through the woods. It’s also has been a favoured Pinewood filming location for films such as Harry Potter and Goldfinger to name a few.
This unspoilt English wildflower meadow is brimful with wildlife, including bright yellow daffodils at this time of year. There are 4.6 acres you can wander around the marked paths for as long as you like, or take the circular self-guided tour that starts and ends at the entrance. If it’s just you and mum you could pick up a treat from the nearby family-run The Kitchen Larder.
This rather unknown south Bucks park has a nationally recognised Rhododendron collection, which is in its prime from April to June. Strolling through the park passes the pretty bright flowers in the Temple Gardens as well as ancient woodland, the lake and Arboretum.
If you want a great view then head to Haddington Hill with this walkthrough of Wendover Woods. It climbs to the highest point in the county and has views for miles across the Chilterns. Look out for the rock marking the highest altitude at the summit.