Cholesbury is an ancient hill top village situated in the Chiltern Hills, which are officially designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. It has much to interest the visitor, especially the Iron Age Hill Fort, one of the most impressive prehistoric settlements in the Chilterns.
The area is criss-crossed with footpaths and bridleways and additional routes for riders have recently been created across the common land. It is rich in wildlife, including fox, badger and muntjac deer; birds including pheasant, woodpecker, and barn owl; butterflies include marbled white, orange tip, and meadow brown. The beechwoods, bluebells and orchids all add to the great diversity of life to be found here.
This is the long version of the Iron Age Fort walk. For the shorter trail please click here.
Cholesbury is part of a civil parish that includes the villages of St Leonards, Buckland Common, Hawridge and some smaller outlying settlements. There are three churches, four pubs, and a school. Cholesbury Village Hall was built in 1895 and, as well as being a meeting place for local societies, is well known for ‘fund raising’ cream teas during the summer. Cricket has been played on the Common for over a hundred years.
Two large working farms remain, but most agricultural land has been divided up, usually to keep horses or sheep. Highland cattle, alpacas, and ostriches, can also be found. There is a blacksmith, a farrier, livery yards, dog boarding kennels, a car repair business and an agricultural engineer. Brick making was common in this area, and the remains of clay pits can be often seen. HG Matthews Brickworks at Bellingdon still produce hand made bricks.