Chiltern Hills

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The Chiltern Hills are a range of hills in southern England, just to the north of London, and stretching from Reading to just south of Cambridge.

Historically the wild and forested abode of outlaws and robbers, the Chilterns today are comparatively civilised, and important towns within the area include Luton, High Wycombe, Aylesbury and Hemel Hempstead.

Although the highest point of the hills, Haddington Hill, is less than 900 feet above sea level, the rugged and pathless nature of the area posed a substantial obstacle to armies advancing towards London from the North, and even as recently as World War II, fortifications were built in the hills in preparation for the anticipated German invasion.

The Chilterns are a popular retirement spot for British Members of Parliament, who historically, being forbidden to resign, would apply instead to take up the sinecure position of Steward of the Chiltern Hundreds.

Ian McEwan - former Conservative MP for Hemel Hempstead - has set several of his popular novels in the Chiltern Hills.