As an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the Chiltern Hills is home to some beautiful wildlife such as Red Kites, Fallow Deer, badgers and bats. Why not go on a little animal adventure and see what else you can find when visiting the Chilterns?
For over 130 years the Home of Rest for Horses has specialised in providing retirement and respite for working horses and ponies. These hard-working equine public servants have served our nation in the Police, the Army or with charities which use horses to help people. They also provide sanctuary to horses, ponies and donkeys who have suffered from cruelty or neglect and who are in desperate need of specialist treatment and care. It's open to the public on certain days and it's lovely to drive past many horses in the beautiful fields clearly enjoying a peaceful retirement. You can visit some of the horses in their stables and learn their incredible stories, and enjoy refreshments at their cafe with outdoor seating with a view over the countryside.
If you fancy a delicious breakfast, brunch, lunch or afternoon tea accompanied by your pooch, then head to The Grange Restaurant which is at The Hearing Dogs for Deaf People's centre in Saunderton. Dogs are of course welcomed and you can sit inside or in the courtyard or on the terrace. The food is top notch and made with local ingredients whenever possible, plus there's a lovely gift shop. You'll also likely to see some of their famous Hearing Dogs that are specially trained to help people with hearing impairment go about their daily lives.
With its secret garden and cocktail garden, The Crown at Radnage is a little oasis in the Chilterns which is very happy to welcome your dog. Their menus use seasonal and local produce whenever possible and have even been voted 'best Sunday roast in Bucks'. Enjoy a walk in the beautiful Chilterns accompanied by your pooch and then take a well earned rest at this lovely inviting pub.
Another lovely spot to take your dog in the Chilterns is Hughenden Manor, once home to Victorian prime minister Benjamin Disraeli. With over 680 acres to explore, the estate offers the best of the Chilterns with beech woodlands, chalk hills and valleys. Disraeli was a dog lover and if you take a walk to the Disraeli Monument you will pass a pet cemetary with small gravestones marking the final resting place of a number of pets.
This historic village features unique architectural styles dating from the 16th century and you can walk up West Wycombe Hill with your dog to the intriguing Dashwood Mausoleum for great views over the countryside. Other great dog walks in this area include Whiteleaf Hill which has stunning views across Aylesbury Vale and the chalk-hill cross that Whiteleaf is known for; sections of the Ridgeway that was once used by travellers, herdsmen and soldiers. One of our favourite walks along The Ridgeway in Buckinghamshire is from Chinnor to Bledlow. This circular walk takes you through chalky woodland where you can take in the views of the Chiltern landscape. The Icknield Way is another ancient track which crosses through the Chilterns as it makes it way from Dorset to Norfolk, and is a great place to walk your dog.
Elsewhere in Bucks -
This 44 acre rare breeds farm in the Aylesbury Vale is a wonderful place to see all sorts of animals from sheep, goats and pigs, to reindeer, llamas, birds of prey and reptiles. Perfect for little ones with an indoor and outdoor play area and hands-on animal encounters, there is plenty of room to avoid the crowds and visit the varied wildlife dotted about the large site. As well as seasonal events, they also offer animal experiences for all ages, such as 'Farmer for a Day' or 'Ranger for a Day'. Perfect for animal lovers.
This award-winning miniature pig business in Amersham is great fun for any pig lovers. Their hands-on experiences give visitors access into their petting pens to pet and play with the friendly pigs. Throughout the year they breed litters of piglets so if you're lucky you might get to see the cutest babies and proud mother pigs on your visit.
Explore the Animal Barn at this farm near Beaconsfield, where you can see rabbits and guinea pigs, hand-feed some of the sheep and goats and get to know the feathered residents at Chicken World. Oh, and don’t forget to say “hello” to the pigs, cows, donkeys and more, in all of the paddocks during the summer months – you might even catch a glimpse of some lambs and kids springing around in the sunshine. As well as the animals to enjoy, there are acres of outdoor fun to explore, including the extensive Adventure Play Area, Mini Land Rovers, Sand Play Area, Adventure Fort, Go-Karts, H2Odds Water Play, Tractor and Trailer Rides (April to October), Fitness Trail and Under 5's Log Play Area - perfect entertainment for kids.
Set in beautiful grounds in Haddenham, this famous wildlife hospital endeavours to save and return to the wild any injured animal. Those that cannot be returned safely to the wild live in the visitors centre where you can go and see them in a delightful compact setting. Amongst other things, there are Red Kites, ducks, and many other birds (and a lot of babies in the spring which you can see being hand fed), badgers, deer and hedgehogs. You can also visit the unique hedgehog museum! A lovely day out for all the family.