It is just down the road and mostly free, yet tourism bosses admit ‘it’s easier to get us on a plane to Egypt’ than spend the day in the Chilterns.
However, a team of 10 volunteers aim to change that through a £30,000 new website and marketing strategy which has been unveiled in time for the autumn half term break.
The team came up with the idea of wwww.visitchilterns.co.uk 18 months ago.
Member Mary Tebje says it will ‘promote the Chilterns to the world and people locally’.
Ironically, the 325 miles of outstanding natural beauty on our doorstep is regarded as one of the ‘most accessible’ AONBs.
Mary, who cites the old adage that most of us rarely take advantage of where we live, said: “You don’t have to travel to Egypt or wherever.
“There’s lots to do here. You can just go out for a walk for a couple of hours, it’s not always about spending lots of money.”
The website cites a series of family-friendly activites, such as collecting apples and pressing them into juice (complete with your own label) in Chesham or playing in Roald Dahl’s replica writing hut in Great Missenden.
Other ideas include cycling the eight-mile off-road Phoenix Trail from Princes Risborough to Thame, walking aroung Tring reservoirs, letting children run free at Wendover Woods or flying a kite on the Ashridge Estate – which has free half term kids activities at the visitor centre.
The team behind it stress the site is not a directory and does not list every business. Instead the featured activities will change each month.
Aside from outdoor pursuits, there is also a section suggesting treats for foodies. Many of the area’s one-off events, such as Thame Food Festival or this month’s Tring Apple Fayre, will also be promoted.
For more about the Leader Grant-backed project check out www.visitchilterns.co.uk