Amersham is less than an hour's drive from central London, along the M40, and at the junction of the A355 road from Slough and Beaconsfield, the A404 that continues to Maidenhead and High Wycombe.
London Luton Airport is approachable to and from Dunstable, via the M25. The Chilterns are also close to Heathrow and Birmingham airports.
Chiltern Railways has two main lines: one between London Marylebone and Aylesbury and the other between London Marylebone and Birmingham/Stratford-upon-Avon, calling at High Wycombe (www.chilternrailways.co.uk). Amersham is on the Tube, at the end of the Metropolitan line.
Country code for the UK: +44
William Cowper will set you up for a romantic view of the Chiltern countryside, lovingly depicting its natural beauty through 18th-century poetry. Anything by Enid Blyton: she lived in Bourne End and Beaconsfield while writing her much-loved children's books. John Milton's most famous poem, Paradise Lost, was penned here in 1667.
Do go / Don't Go
Visit in May to catch the bluebell seasons in full bloom, when the woodlands are carpeted with flowers.
Vegetarians may leave feeling hungry in these parts, where 'eat the view' is the predominant local philosophy, and meat gluts the menu in most restaurants and farmers' markets. Aylesbury duck is a historic favourite - in the 18th-century, farmers would walk their flocks the 40 miles from Aylesbury to London to be sold. The Chilterns is also known to house some of the cosiest inns and eateries outside London. Make sure you sample the local brew to accompany your meal - creamy Chiltern Ale and nutty Beachwood Bitter are on draught at most local pubs.
Cabs aren't easily flagged down in the street; try Crystal Cars in Amersham (+44 (0)1494 434949), Chesham Taxis (+44 (0)1494 784 182), or Linfield Taxis (+44 (0)1494 766228).
About 12.5 per cent is appreciated in restaurants.
A colourful kite - be sure to get yours noticed among the many that fly through the skies. Your watercolours. Who knows maybe you'll find you end up at an exhibition in the 17th-century market hall in Amersham sometime.
With its history of writers, artists, kings and queens, the Chilterns has some cultural clout. Discover remnants of the past at Hughenden Manor, the country home of Victorian statesman Benjamin Disraeli, admire extraordinary interiors of Claydon House in Middle Claydon and flashback to your youth at the magical Roald Dahl Museum in Great Missenden (www.roalddahlmuseum.org). Make sure to snuffle up some snozzcumber sandwiches at the museum's playful Café Twit. Gen up on mediaeval martyrs and lace-making at Amersham Museum, tucked away in a Tudor hall on the High Street.
The Chilterns is all about regional produce and local markets. The historic town of Aylesbury hosts a daily market in its town centre, selling fruit, vegetables, clothes and garden ornaments. A French market also operates on some weekends, bringing with it cheeses, bread and other Continental deli delights. Wend your way through the village antique shops in search of the seriously delicious chocolate from Rumsey's in Wendover (www.rumseys.co.uk). Inspired by the film Chocolat this coffee house is the perfect place to relax and graze on gourmet hand-made pralines, creams and petits fours.
Coombe Hill is the highest in the Chilterns and overlooks the glorious grasslands of Aylesbury Vale. Take binoculars and act the twitcher, spotting red kites, yellowhammers, firecrests and the rare Chiltern gentian all soaring and swooping the valleys.
Hill-walking is as free as the sunshine, and there are no limits to the variety of trails you can stroll along. Bring your mountain-biking gear and head to the Aston Hills for some free-riding splendour.
April The Chilterns Easter Festival of Food is held each year at the Memorial Hall Park in Buckinghamshire. June/July The Henley Royal Regatta was first held in 1839 and has been an annual event ever since. Make the most of the Champagne, Pimms and oyster bars while watching the boats sail by. The Roald Dahl Festival (+44 (0)1296 585210), with its parade of giant Dahl characters, is held on the last Saturday of June in Aylesbury town centre. August The Chilterns Craft Show (+44 (0)1425 272711) takes place at Stonor Park in Henley over the August bank-holiday weekend. The show includes live cookery theatre, free antique valuation, live music, steam engines and unusual crafts and gifts. September On the first Thursday of the month, the Buckinghamshire County Show takes place at Weedon Park, just North of Aylesbury. Varied attractions include a military band, farm animal show, a food hall, show jumping, and hot air balloon rides. Meanwhile, the bunting and the fairground attractions come out for Old Amersham's Charter Fair.