In the best village tradition, there are several pubs in Chinnor and some excellent local restaurants.
If you’re meeting friends for coffee, the café at Godwin’s Bakery or the Wee Bookshop are ideal venues but if you head to the coffee shop at The Village Centre, you’ll be supporting your local community. Selling morning coffee and cake and fresh, home-made lunches, The Village Centre Coffee Shop is not-for-profit.
The 300-year-old Red Lion has been refurbished but with wooden beams and low ceilings, the atmosphere remains warm and cosy. The pub serves locally brewed real ales, wines and gins. Regular visits from food vans provide opportunities to sample a range of different cuisines. The Wheatsheaf, in the heart of Chinnor, is hosts Top Mandarin Chef, a Chinese take-away offering a menu of authentic dishes. The Wheatsheaf quiz nights, live music and its own music festival. The 17th century Crown Pub has a bar area, sports bar, dining room and garden with children’s play area. The menu includes sandwiches, light bites and snacks, burgers and pub classics.
If you’re celebrating something special or entertaining friends, the Sir Charles Napier restaurant, on Chinnor Hill, is an exceptional menu. It has a wonderful atmosphere, beautiful gardens adorned with sculptures and an outstanding menu. Events include spring and autumn ‘fungi forays’ followed by lunch – with a morning’s walk in beechwoods gathering fungi under an expert eye, followed by a cookery demonstration.
Chinnor offers a wide range of open spaces and is surrounded by an extensive network of footpaths and bridleways which making it easy to explore the countryside on foot or by bike.
As Chinnor is set on the Icknield Way, the oldest road in Britain, you’ll be able to follow the prehistoric paths, splendid tracks and green lanes along the chalk ‘spine’ of England. Running from the end of the Ridgeway National Trail at Ivinghoe Beacon, near Tring to the start of the Peddars Way National Trail at Knettishall Heath, the Icknield Way covers 110 miles. Even if you only follow the paths for a short way, you’ll be able to enjoy panoramic views over Chinnor and the surrounding countryside and watch the Red Kites soar above Chinnor Hill.
Chinnor Hill and Oakley Hill Nature Reserves both lie within the Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, rich in grassland and shrubland, with wildflowers, butterflies and a variety of insect life.
At Chinnor Hill, you’ll come across the Chinnor Barrows – bronze age burial mounds. Excavating a twin barrow on the Icknield Way, archaeologists discovered the weapons of a Saxon warrior dating back to the 6th century. Chinnor’s oldest find, however, was a 120-million-year-old shark’s tooth discovered in Chinnor Quarry.
Chinnor offers a lively social life and, with over 40 clubs and societies, there’s always something to do.
The Village Centre is a meeting place for the whole community and Chinnor Village Hall hosts clubs and classes. There’s a local branch of the U3A, a Women’s Institute, a Darby and Joan Club as well as adult social events, a wine circle, jazz club, award-winning silver band, bell-ringing, community choir, tap dancing and more.
The Chinnor Players put on amateur dramatic productions including an annual pantomime. The whole community enjoys the Chinnor Summer Festival and the Christmas Beer Festival.
Chinnor’s Community Sports Pavilion is used for senior keep-fit classes and yoga and Chinnor Playing Field has a floodlit pitch, tennis courts and children’s play area. Not only can local enjoy football and tennis, there’s also cricket, rugby, badminton, short mat bowls, rifle and pistol shooting. There’s nowhere better for walking and cycling – and for golfers, there’s the Princes Risborough Golf Club or the Oxfordshire Hotel Spa & Golf Club within easy reach.
There’s musical theatre and drama on offer at Chinnor’s Village Hall but if you’re heading out for an evening’s entertainment, you could head to Thame where The Thame Players Theatre hosts Thame Cinema 4 All – a not-for-profit organization run by a team of local people who love good films.
Oxford has an impressive cultural scene with music from local bands and well-known artists performing at the O2 Academy and classical concerts at The Sheldonian Theatre, Holywell Music Room and St Michael in Northgate.
The two main theatres, The Oxford Playhouse and The New Theatre put on a variety of productions and there are a range of smaller theatres which offer workshops and courses including The Old Fire Station, The Pegasus Theatre, The Creation Theatre and the North Wall Arts Centre.
In the warmer months, performances take place in the college gardens and the Bodleian Library quad. To catch the latest film, head to Oxford’s Vue or Odeon multiscreen cinemas.
This is an area with plenty to offer railway enthusiasts.
The award-winning Chinnor and Princes Risborough Railway is a heritage railway operating steam and vintage diesel trains alongside the Chiltern Hills with a 1 to 1½ hour round trip from Princes Risborough to Chinnor and back. At Chinnor, there’s the Station Café and Gift Shop and its an easy walk from the station to Chinnor Windmill.
National Trust properties include Waddesdon Manor, a French Renaissance-style chateau built by Baron Ferdinand de Rothschild in 1874 to house his fine art collection. The gardens are a delight with fountains, statues, an aviary and woodland playground. The Stables Café and the Manor restaurant provide seasonal menus and there’s also a gift and wine shop.
Hughenden is a delightful place to spend a day out.
This red brick manor set in the Chiltern Hills was former home to Benjamin Disraeli and a secret World War Two operation.
The beautiful gardens are formal Italianate-style gardens with an apple orchard and walled garden. The open parkland has a wealth of beech, oak and chestnut trees and beyond are 600 acres of woodland and farmland.
The Stableyard Café serves light lunches and home-made cakes and the stableyard shop sells gifts, homeware, local produce and seasonal plants.
From the heart of Chinnor, it’s approximately 20 miles to Oxford, 16 miles to Henley-on-Thames and 12 miles to High Wycombe.
By road, the B4009, which runs through the village, connects with the M40 providing access to London, Birmingham and the Midlands and to the northwest via the M42 and M6, the M42 and the M1.
Hourly bus services run between Thame and High Wycombe, stopping in Chinnor and, from Thame, there are services to Aylesbury and Oxford. Redline provides a bus service to and from Princes Risborough railway station for commuters and Red Rose offers a service between High Wycombe and Oxford via Chinnor, with three return journeys each weekday.
Princes Risborough is the nearest station providing services to London Marylebone, Aylesbury and Banbury with some services continuing to Stratford-upon-Avon. If you don’t feel like driving, Chinnor Taxis is on hand.
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