Its highest point is at Coombe Hill near Wendover. A prominent hill is the nearby Ivinghoe Beacon, the starting point of the Icknield Way and The Ridgeway long distance path, which follows the line of the Chilterns for many miles to the west, where they merge with the Wiltshire downs and southern Cotswolds. To the east of Ivinghoe Beacon is Dunstable Downs, a steep section of the Chiltern scarp that is the site of the famous London Gliding Club and Whipsnade Zoo.
The more gently sloping country to the south of the Chiltern scarp is also generally referred to as The Chilterns, containing much Beech woodland and many pretty villages. Due to the quality hardwood, the area was once renowned for its chair making industry, centred on the town of High Wycombe.
This area is also known as the Chiltern Hundreds, an administrative area of convenience used to subvert an archaic rule, which permits a member of parliament, who is not allowed to resign, to apply for tenureship of the Chiltern Hundreds, thus relieving him of his parliamentary duty.