Chorleywood to Chesham walk

The Chess Valley, one of the most beautiful and tranquil parts of the Chiltern Hills, yet never more than a couple of kilometres from the Metropolitan Line. The walk dips in and out of the valley, with a number of fine panoramic views


This is a list of previous times this walk has been done by the club (since Jan 2010). For more recent events (since April 2015), full details are shown.

Date Option Post # Weather
Sun, 18-Feb-24 Sunday Walk: Chorleywood to Chesham 10
Sat, 30-Sep-23 Saturday Walk: Chorleywood to Chesham 15 mostly cloudy with some sun
Wed, 31-May-23 Wednesday walk - Chorleywood to Chesham 19 cloud and a cool breeze in the morning warming with sunshine
Sat, 01-Oct-22 Chorleywood to Chesham - Check out your mates in the beautiful Chess Valley 15 mainly sunny
Wed, 08-Jun-22 Wednesday Walk Chorleywood to Chesham - a walk through the Chess Valley 13 fine sunny day
Sat, 27-Nov-21 Farewell to Autumn: Chorleywood to Chesham 7 grey and overcast with
Wed, 26-May-21 Wednesday walk Chorleywood to Chesham - the Chess Valley 15 started overcast and cool but improved cum lunchtime
Wed, 11-Mar-20 Chorleywood to Chesham 11 sun cloud breeze
Sat, 21-Dec-19 Saturday walk - Chorleywood to Chesham 10 sun till lunch then cloud and later rain
Sun, 15-Sep-19 Sunday Walk – The Chess Valley to Chesham 10 warm and sunny
Sat, 06-Jan-18 Saturday walk - Chorleywood to Chesham - The Chilterns by Tube 12 fine dry mostly with a hint of icy rain nearing Chesham
Sat, 25-Feb-17 Saturday walk - The Chilterns by Metropolitan Line 17 damp start getting damper some rain pm a bit blowy
Sun, 06-Nov-16 A beautiful and tranquil Chilterns ramble. 5 sun then cloud then rain at 3pm
Sat, 26-Dec-15 Boxing Day Walk - Chorleywood to Chesham
Wed, 28-Oct-15 Midweek Day Walk - Chorley Wood to Chesham 7
Sun, 18-Oct-15 Sunday Walk 1 – the Chess valley 10 cloudy but bright
Sat, 08-Nov-14 Chorleywood to Chesham 3
Sat, 09-Nov-13 ? Chorleywood to Chesham, with short cut to Chenies 11
Sun, 14-Oct-12 Chorleywood to Chesham
Sat, 07-Jan-12 Chorleywood to Chesham
Sun, 13-Feb-11 Chorleywood to Chesham
Sun, 07-Nov-10 ? Chorleywood to Chesham, with short cut to Chenies
Sat, 15-May-10 ? Chorleywood to Chesham, with short cut to Chenies
Wed, 07-Apr-10 Chorleywood to Chesham
Sat, 16-Jan-10 Chorleywood to Chesham
Mr M Tiger
Mr M Tiger

15.8km (9.8 miles) or with shortcut, 14.2 km (8.9 miles). Difficulty 5 out of 10
A meander along the Chess Valley , a beautiful and tranquil part of the Chiltern Hills, with some panoramic views.
For lunch the walk climbs up to the village of Chenies, followed by a pleasant stretch, high along the valley rim on a permissive path. Then, just when you think it’s all over, a bravura finish takes you up and over the hills and down into the heart of Chesham for tea.
Trains Metropolitan line to Chorleywood from Baker Street 9:49 (or Liverpool St 9:35). Arrive at 10:32.
(You could also get a 9:57 Chilterns train from Marylebone arriving at 10:24).
Return from Chesham on the Metropolitan line at xx:00 and xx:30
Chorleywood is in tfl zone 7, Chesham in zone 9.
Lunch: There are two possible places in Chenies.
We usually stop at the Red Lion (01923 282 722) a smart, friendly pub with a somewhat gastro menu.
The Bedford Arms (01923 283 301) larger than the Red Lion, has recently re-opened after a lengthy refurb.
Tea: The Drawing Room Frances Yard, Chesham (01494 791 691) is a SWC favourite. There’s also a Caffe Nero, a Costa’s, at least one pub, the Queens Head, and, in the Market Square, a Mad Squirrel micropub. t=swc.81
Directions: here
Early in the walk there are sections of lane that can be flooded after heavy rain. Should that be likely, “Option A, Short Cut to Chenies” avoids those sections.

  • 19-Feb-24

    9 , according to the Railwayman

  • 22-Feb-24

    By my reckoning it was 10 - 8 on the appointed train, 1 in a car and 1 who came on a later train and caught up in the pub.

    The weather was sunny and for February remarkably warm. But oh the mud. Prizes to the two walkers who walked in wellies and a different pair who brought sticks.

    In the morning, the water was lapping at the edges of bridge by the cress farm. Ingenuity was shown by most who somehow managed to keep their feet dry in ankle deep mud. Made for some mirth and a Dunkirk spirit.

    The trials of the morning were more than made up for by an excellent lunch at the Red Lion in Chenies. Thanks to the foresight of one of our number who booked ahead, 7 squashed round the table and managed to be fed by 1345. The 3 picnickers managed a drink so we set off more or less at the same time.

    3 wise walkers peeled off before Latimer House to head for the tube at Chalfont & Latimer. Little did the hardy rump of the group know what lay ahead. Plenty of wading and mudskating. Thank goodness for the wonderful views, the company of red kites and a late afternoon light on the hill overlooking Chesham. A photographer with a tripod certainly agreed about the light.

    The one who had speeded ahead managed to scoff a cake so all bar 2 got the 1700 tube from Chesham bidding farewell to the driver and one who went in search of tea

Mr M Tiger
Mr M Tiger

15.8km (9.8 miles) Difficulty 5/10

A meander along the the Chess Valley, a beautiful and tranquil part of the Chiltern Hills with a number of fine panoramic views. For lunch the walk visits the village of Chenies followed by a pleasant walk high along the valley rim on a permissive path. Just when you think it’s all over, there is a climb over the hills, then down again into the heart of Chesham for tea.
Trains: Get the 10:34 Metropolitan line (Amersham direction)from Baker Street (Liverpool St 10:15). Arrive Chorleywood at 11:16.
Return from Chesham at xx:00 and xx:30
Chesham is in Tfl zone 9, and Chorleywood zone 7. Freedom Passes valid.
We usually stop at the Red Lion (01923 282 722) a smart, friendly pub with outside seating.
An earlier stop is possible at The Cock Inn in Sarratt (01923 282 908) (though this is not on the short cut).
Note that the later Bedford Arms is closed till November.
Tea: The Drawing Room Frances Yard, Chesham (01494 791 691) is an SWC favourite. There’s also a Caffe Nero, a Costa’s and at least one pub, The Queen’s Head.
Directions here.
The "Short Cut to Chenies" (option a) offers a shorter morning and conveniently avoids areas prone to flooding after heavy rain.

  • 01-Oct-23


     15 plus an exuberant dog on a day mostly cloudy with some sun

    6 who had caught earlier trains set off ahead but all sort-of met up in Chenies. The Red Lion was busy but a few had managed to book a table. Others lunched near the chapel. Although today’s walk was timed to avoid starting at the same time as a Clog group, there were plenty other groups encountered during the day. DoEs, meet-ups, random assortments, you name it. Vast skeins of walkers threading across the hills. Some were even clutching SWC directions. “Last time I come here for a quiet walk” said one bemused blackberry picker.

    Eventually Chesham was reached. Mr Tiger, as you know readers, would be quite happy to finish with a cup of tea and a piece of cake. But no. He was practically frogmarched to the far end of the High Street and into the Mad Squirrel and made to choose from a wide range of interesting ales and ciders. Poor thing!

Length: 15.8km (9.8 miles) - shortcuts available
Difficulty 5 out of 10
Catch the Metropolitan Line from King's Cross at 9.53, Baker Street 10.01, Aldgate 9.45 or other stations on the line to arrive at Chorleywood at 10.50.
Return trains from Chesham are approximately two an hour. At the moment, the TFL website is showing a replacement bus from Chesham to Amersham for journeys before 4pm but trains are showing as running from Chesham from 16.24 onwards.
Chorleywood and Chesham are in zones 7 and 9 respectively but are covered by Freedom passes and 60+ Oyster cards.
Lunch: The Red Lion (01923 282 722) in Chenies, 6.4km (3.9 miles) into the main walk, is now a smart, friendly pub with a somewhat gastro menu, served from 10am to 11pm daily. It has some outside seating in a sheltered courtyard.
The Bedford Arms (01923 283 301) in Chenies is larger than the Red Lion and and serves food in a table service restaurant from 12-2.30pm, with a more limited menu available in its bar area and its very pleasant garden.
Tea: The Drawing Room in Chesham is highly praised. There is also a Cafe Nero and Costa.

For directions, map and GPS click here

  • 01-Jun-23

    12 arrived early and set off ahead of 7 on the posted train giving a total of 19 . There was cloud and a cool breeze in the morning warming with sunshine in the afternoon. This is a proper country walk at the outer edges of the Metropolitan line and it took us through fields carpeted with buttercups and daisies and laneways lined with pink and white hawthorn blossom. We passed a sleeping horse standing motionless in front of a stable with one rear hoof slightly raised as if to take a step. After watching for several minutes we started to doubt whether he was alive but just as we moved away, he woke up and did a long stretch - forelegs fully extended in front like a yoga stretch. We later passed a large field with lots of cows and young calves grazing. The later group caught up with the earlier starters at Chenies. Three or four had lunch at the Red Lion, everyone's else picnicked. The afternoon offered lovely views of the Chess valley and birdsong in the woods. It felt like the perfect time of year for this walk. The first group to reach Chesham caught the 15.28 train, the rearguard of 6 caught the 16.26 after three had tea at the Drawing Room and three had drinks in the pub.

Length: 15.8km (9.8 miles) - shortcuts available: see below
Catch the 9.49 Amersham-bound Metropolitan Line train from Baker Street (9.43 Kings Cross) to arrive at Chorleywood at 10.32.
Later start: You could plausibly leave 40 minutes later (eg 10.28 Kings Cross, 10.34 Baker Street) and do the Shorter Start: see below.
Tickets: Oyster, Contactless etc
For walk directions click here, for GPX click here, for a map of the route click here T=swc.81
Another Saturday, another rail strike. (Sigh...) But this Chilterns outing, reached entirely by Underground, is not at all second best, being a fine walk up the beautiful Chess Valley, with plentiful views, and passing through the interesting historic village of Chenies.
The usual lunch pub is the Red Lion in Chenies, a fairly small place which usually manages to accommodate us. If not, while I have reports that the Bedford Arms down the road is basically a restaurant these days, it describes itself on its website as a "country pub and hotel" and has a large garden with plenty of tables if the weather is fine.
There is in fact a third lunch option, the Cock Inn (only on the main walk: not on the shorter options), which is a perfectly pleasant place with a spacious, if slightly bland, garden: but it is only 2 miles into the walk, unfortunately.
If you don't want to get up so early, the Shorter Start from Chorleywood (option B in the walk directions) saves two miles off the walk and is a perfectly pleasant walk through a beech wood and up a quiet bridleway to Chenies village. If you leave 45-50 minutes later, you should hook up with the main group at one of the Chenies pubs.
If you are too full after lunch, or the weather turns bad, there is a shorter ending to Chalfont & Latimer station - again, mainly wooded.
Otherwise, after more nice downland scenery, the walk deposits you in Chesham. Reports of the demise of the quirky Drawing Room cafe are much exaggerated (ie wrong), but it does music events on Saturday nights and shuts its tea room early to prepare for them. That leaves tea addicts to the tender mercies of the chain outlets. My spies (ie Google) says Caffe Nero now shuts at 4pm, but Costa Coffee is open until 6pm. The town also has various pubs.
Metropolitan Line trains back from Chesham are at 00 and 30 past the hour.
  • 01-Oct-22

    15 on this walk, including one late starter who caught us up at lunch. A mainly sunny day (a bit cloudy for a while in the afternoon, but it cleared again) on which it was a joy to be out walking. As always, the surprise with this walk was how rural it felt despite suburbia lurking just out of sight over the hills.

    At least two other walking groups - the Hampstead Ramblers (?), a MeetUp group - were out doing the same or similar routes, but we easily disentangled ourself from them. The MeetUps came to eat at the same pub as us, the Red Lion in Chenies, but we had got there first and were well into our meals by the time they arrived. Nine of us ate there, split between Insiders and Outsiders. Nice food, efficient service.

    In the afternoon it became apparent we were in danger of finishing rather too early. So at the top of one of the hill climbs a few of us did a very radical thing and laid down on the grass to have a snooze and contemplate the wispy high clouds. This also allowed three stragglers to catch up. Shocking behaviour I know. It won’t happen again.

    Approaching Chesham there was some fragmentation. Which is to say, some people who I though were right behind me suddenly were not. Did they miss a turning? A few of us did manage to hook up and have tea at Costa (faute de mieux). Since the 16.30 train from Chesham was cancelled, we also met up with another walker on the 17.00. Whether because of the cancellation or the rail strike, the platform at Chesham was ten times busier than I have ever seen it. But the train was not too bad as we clattered back to reality in the late afternoon sunshine.

  • 02-Oct-22

    The 3 behind did (briefly)take at least 2 wrong turns. Soon corrected, so not ‘L-word’ wrong. And, as ever, not Mr Tigers fault. He was merely following the others, having lost his place in the directions. They were soon back on track and caught what must have been the 1600, two needing to connect with trains and one eager to avoid yet another down and up, even if it was just to the High Street.

SWC 81 - Chorleywood to Chesham

Length: 16 km (9.9 miles) Options to shorten
Toughness: 5 out of 10 No steep hill but several ups and downs to keep you honest
London Marylebone: 10-27 hrs Chiltern Railways service to Aylesbury Harrow-on-Hill 10-39 hrs
Arrive Chorleywood: 10-54 hrs
Baker Street: 10-05 hrs LT Met Line to Amersham
Arrive Chorleywood: 10-47 hrs
....and please wait for Maryleboners to arrive
Chesham to Baker Street: LT Met Line trains at approx 00, 26 & 54 mins past the hour
Rail ticket: Chorleywood is in LT Zone 7 and Chesham is in LT Zone 9 - for Oyster users
Leaving Chorleywood station you are soon crossing Chorleywood Common as you head for the River Chess and the Chess Valley. Lunch is best taken in the village of Chenies at the Red Lion pub or the more upmarket Bedford Arms. Picnickers can enjoy their sandwiches in the village.
After lunch we head for Latimer House and Broadwater Bridge before ending the walk in Chesham. For tea options pleased refer to the Directions.
Walk Directions are here: L=swc.81
  • 08-Jun-22

    At least 13 turned out today on a fine sunny day . Group cohesion nvg. I think two or three lunched in the Red Lion while two pressed on and the rest of us picknicked at the baptist church. Three went elderflower picking and I didn't see them again. After a leisurely lunch in the sun, the remaining group went slightly off piste in the wood after Chenies (actually we followed the way to Chalfont & Latimer by mistake) but found the way back to the route and, after a further mini-split, regrouped on the 4pm tube from Chesham. Thanks for posting a very nice walk for a summer's day.


Length: 16km (10m)
Toughness: 5 / 10
Transport: Take either the train from London Marylebone to Chorleywood, leaving at 10:27 and arriving at 10:54, or, take the Metropolitan Line from e.g. Bakerstreet to Chorleywood, leaving at 10:17 and arriving at 10:58. Return trains from Chesham are at xx:26 and xx:56.

A lovely walk in the tranquil Chess valley with one of the more quirky teashops at the end in Chesham: The Drawingroom.

  • 27-Nov-21

    Hi, will anyone come to this walk? As the weather is not the most pleasant.

  • 27-Nov-21

    no, incy wincy bit of snow or some high wind will probably cause havoc on both rail and met lines 🙄last time I braved rail travel in high winds got stuck for over 24 hrs!

  • 30-Nov-21

    7 gathered at the station off different trains, most wearing waterproofs for the morning section, and indeed, the last colour of autumn. The ground was fairly soft, but not excessively muddy, and there was light drizzle until lunch, but the weather gradually brightened throughout the day. grey and overcast with low_cloud We enjoyed seeing the Alpacas that are now a feature of this walk. we all ate at the Bedford Arms in Chenies, which was welcoming, with a good menu and the consensus was ‘up market’. Some of the group stopped to admire the effigies in the church there, and the C19 ceiling, they lingered long enough for the organist to attempt to convert them to Christianity. Leaf coved the paths which could be slippery, the rolling hills gave good viewpoints to the valley and manor house, and of course the chess river. There was for sure an icy wind from the north, as we hastened into Chesham, and Costa Coffee before the train home.

SWC 81: Chorleywood to Chesham

Length: 16 km (9.9 miles) with options to shorten
Toughness: 5 out of 10 Several steady inclines but nothing too strenuous
London Marylebone: 10-27 hrs Chiltern Railways service to Aylesbury
Arrive Chorleywood: 10-54 hrs
Return: Chesham LT Metropolitan (branch) Line to Chalfont & Latimer, changing for main Met Line or Chiltern Railway service back to Central London. Trains from Chesham are every half an hour.
Rail ticket: options set out in Directions
Covid-19 Compliance: please note the current guidance on this website and observe social distancing. You should all come prepared to exchange contact details for track and trace purpose. You can either pre-register for this walk (not essential ) by e-mailing me at or, if you prefer, please write your name, e-mail address and contact 'phone number on a small piece of paper for handing to me on the train or when we assemble at walk start. Thank you.
My walking notes tell me the only time I have been on this walk was in January 2012. I can recall the lovely views along the Chess Valley, and some opening fields prone to becoming waterlogged: I hope after the rain during May footbeds are not too damp today.
Lunch is best taken in the pretty village of Chenies, just over 4 miles into the walk. I dined at the Red Lion back in 2012.
There are several good tea stops in Chesham, per the walk notes. I recall the Drawingroom is popular with SWC walkers
Rather than witter on, I leave it to you to read the description of the walk's highlights in the Walk Directions here L=swc.81
  • 26-May-21

    You can also catch the Piccadilly line to Rayners Lane and change to the metropolitan line for Harrow on the hill direction Chorleywood if living near a west london tube line.

  • 27-May-21

    15 of us showed up for this walk on a day which started overcast and cool but improved cum lunchtime when the sun broke through, making for a very pleasant afternoon.

    The Chess Valley was green and lush with fields blanketed with buttercups. Lots of cow parsley and other Spring flowers - someone please help me identify the little blue jobbies which accompanied the buttercups in some fields - to add a lovely additional splash of colour.

    Some twenty minutes after we arrived at the Red Lion in Chenies, with five of us sitting down at a comfortable table inside and looking forward to a pub lunch, the entire village suffered a power cut - and the pub's all-electric kitchen went down. The pub's manager could have suggested we left but full marks to her and her chef for improvisation - they "borrowed" the gas stove of their neighbour and our orders duly arrived without too long a delay. Some of us left a generous tip as a thank you.

    Meanwhile our sandwichers, some of whom had stopped for a drink at the Red Lion or at the more up-market Bedford Arms Hotel down the road, had moved on, most I believe on the main walk to Chesham. Four in my group took the short-cut walk to Chalfont and Latimer, leaving four of us to tackle the main walk. Once again we were lucky with the weather - the rain forecasted for late afternoon never arrived save for the few drops which fell on us on reaching Broadwater Bridge.

    Waitrose in Chesham was our stop for walk-end drinks - and the 16-57 hrs Met Line train took us back to London. To our amusement, our train started as a semi-fast service to Aldgate, then a fast service from Moor Park to Harrow-on-the-Hill when it changed to an all-stopping service. The indicators could barely keep up with these changes.

    Possibly because of the inclines along the way which kept us honest all day the main walk seemed longer than the stated 9.9 miles but no matter, it is a delightful walk through some glorious countryside. Note to self: do not wait another nine and a half years before posting it again.

  • 27-May-21

    The little blue flowers were speedwell - not that they’ve ever had any effect on me.

    I staggered off from the Red Lion suffering from the effects of a pint of Old Rosie. Will I never learn? Might as well have been hit over the head with a hammer. And because of the power cut I had to pay with real money. It’s a nice walk but one thing I’ve said before and no doubt will say again. That ‘bravura’ finish should come in the middle. You’re tired, you can almost smell Chesham, your poor little legs are dreaming of a comfy seat on the Metropolitan Line /- and what happens? “Go uphill 600 metres” . 600 metres?!? (insert emoji) That’s just psychologically wrong. Who are we? The SAS? And there’s still a bit more up and down. The finish is ‘bravura’ though.

Wed, 11-Mar-20 : Chorleywood to Chesham 11
Chorleywood to Chesham T=3.081

Length: 16km (9.9 miles) 5 out of 10

"The Chess Valley is one of the most beautiful and tranquil parts of the Chiltern Hills. This walk explores it thoroughly, dipping in and out of the valley, with a number of fine panoramic views. Approaching Chesham there is a bravura finish over the hills that takes you right down into the heart of the town for tea."

Trains: Get the 0957 Marylebone to Aylesbury Vale Parkway train (Harrow-on-the-hill 1009) arriving 1024. Use Oyster cards. You can also get the Metropolitan line.
Return trains are: 1527, 1557, 1627, 1654, 1725, 1753, 1825, 1859.

Lunch: The Red Lion (01923 282 722) in Chenies, 6.5km (4 miles) into the main walk, is now a smart, friendly pub with a somewhat gastro menu, served from 10am to 11pm daily.

Tea: Various options in Chesham
  • Anonymous

    Sandwich eaters can turn left at the Red Lion and in a few doors come to the village Methodist church with benches out the back which are south facing.

    They also leave open a toilet with hot and cold running water.

  • 14-Mar-20

    A fine day for a walk sun cloud breeze , with 11 off the train & tube. The morning was relatively mud free, & we arrived at the pub 10mins before opening. Sandwiches enjoyed the churchyard. Most of us had a drink in the friendly pub, praised for its beef sandwiches.

    The afternoon had a lot of mud, which was disappointing. We scattered in Chesham, but most went for the train.

  • Anonymous

    This was a lovely walk with plenty of expansive country views. The bright sun at times lit up the clouds and made the Chess river glitter. As expected it was too early for the celandine wood - instead we had plenty of horses, geese, kites and at least three lots of llamas. Very enjoyable, thank you to PeteG for posting it.


Length: 16km (9.9 miles) - shorter options possible: see below
Toughness: 5 out of 10

9.57 Metropolitan Line train from Kings Cross (10.05 Baker Street) to Chorleywood, arriving 10.46

Tickets: Use Oyster or contactless: DON'T FORGET to tap out at Chorleywood: it has no barriers and the tap out machine is AFTER the subway from the arrival platform

For walk directions click here. For GPX click here. For a map of the route click here.

I thought this simple Chilterns valley and ridge walk might appeal to those who have Christmas stuff to attend to and don't want to back to town too late. It dips in and out of the Chess Valley, and though it has some mud, as all December walks do, this is Chilterns chalk and so reasonably well-drained for the most part.

A late start option is to do option b) the shorter start from Chorleywood, cutting the morning to 3.1km (1.9 miles) and making the whole walk 12.6km (7.8 miles)

For lunch, the Red Lion in Chenies, 6.5km (4 miles) into the walk, is under new management - a bit more gastro than before, but still nice, with the nearby Bedford Arms as an alternative. Vegans might be interested to learn that the earlier Cock Inn - on the main walk only, not the shorter start - has a complete vegan menu (five starters, five main course, four puddings), though it is unfortunately only 3.6km (2.2 miles) into the walk: it serves food from midday,

If you are really pushed for time, there is a shorter ending to Chalfont & Latimer (option c) which ends the walk 3.4km (2.5 miles) after Chenies, making a total walk of 9.9km (6.1 miles).

Otherwise, it is 9.5km (5.9 miles) from Chenies to Chesham, where the Drawingroom is a popular and quirky tea stop.

Trains back from Chesham are at 23 and 53 past (the most infrequent service on the Underground!) T=3.81
  • Anonymous

    Hi. Will there be a Boxing Day walk? Thank you.

  • 17-Dec-19


  • 21-Dec-19

    I could see only two of us on the specified train, but at Chorleywood nine materialised, and one turned out to have gone on ahead, so 10 in all. The weather forecast turned out to be spot on. I read they had a tornado in Chertsey, but we had sun till lunch then cloud and later rain , the rain not really persistent till near the end of the walk.

    In the morning there were particularly fine views near Sarratts and for a while the sun felt quite warm. Two places in the valley that might have been flooded were not, and in general the ground on this walk was reasonably firm underfoot, though of course muddy at times.

    Four lunched at the Red Lion (three having the roast turkey, one saving himself for the big day...) and one more watched us eat. The sandwich eaters went to a Baptist church, apparently, and used the loos. In the afternoon we saw lots of rather disconsolate horses.

    At least five of us had tea at the Drawingroom in Chesham, whose proprietors must have been disappointed that we eschewed their chai lattes, Assam and peppermint teas, and hot chocolates with orange liqueur in to have good old English Breakfast. We then got on the Mighty Met and talked of signalling systems and other topics of urgent national import as the train slowly filled with shoppers, partygoers and sulky youth on the long run to Baker Street.

Extra Walk 81 – Chorleywood to Chesham
Length: 16 km (9.9 miles), with shorter options (†). Toughness: 5/10

10:12 Aylesbury train from Marylebone (Harrow-on-the-Hill 10:24), arriving Chorleywood at 10:39.

There are also (slower) tubes from Baker Street to Chorleywood every 15 minutes: the 09:50 gets there at 10:31. If you arrive on a later train/tube, you could do the "Short Cut to Chenies" to catch up.

Returning from Chesham, there are Metropolitan line tubes to Baker Street at xx:27 & xx:57.

Chorleywood is in TfL Zone 7 and Chesham in Zone 9, so buy a Zones 1-9 Travelcard or use your Freedom Pass/Oyster/contactless (and remember to touch out at Chorleywood).

The illustrative photos for this walk show a sodden landscape but that's hardly surprising as this walk has had a long run of winter postings. Let's hope that someone can upload some more cheerful examples after this outing.

The number of possible lunchtime pubs in Chenies has oscillated between one and two but it's recently been reported that the Red Lion has re-opened again, so you can choose between that and the Bedford Arms; Chenies is less than halfway through the walk so you'll get there just after noon. Chesham offers the usual set of tea places plus one that's anything but commonplace, The Drawingroom.

† If you want a shorter afternoon, the Chess Valley Walk takes a more direct route along the valley from Chenies to Chesham. If anyone decides to try following the route in this leaflet, please let us have some feedback about it.

You'll need to download the directions from the Chorleywood to Chesham walk page. T=swc.81
  • 14-Sep-19

    The gpx file needs amending ; a random straight line seems to have insinuated itself onto the map.

  • 17-Sep-19

    Nine walkers at the station plus a regular who turned up to wave us off. One walked with the group at the beginning then peeled off to do his own thing (Chess Valley?) - we crossed paths again later. Another caught up with us at lunch time to make 10 walkers in total. Four ate at the Red Lion, one who had the full roast meal finding that it would have served two. Others went for a picnic in the churchyard where reportedly they were force-fed free tea and cakes. This was an enjoyable walk on a warm and sunny day with some wooded sections providing welcome shade but possibly an excess of fields to cross in the afternoon. In Chesham the front group of three went to the interesting and pleasant Drawing Room for tea and cake and were later joined by a couple of stragglers (one presumably weighted-down by the roast lunch).

  • 17-Sep-19

    I was the Chess Valley peeler-offer as this would be a shadier option on a hot day and I've only done this easier route once before many moons ago. The path follows a woodland trail and attractive water meadows before connecting with the nmain route for the ridge section near Latimer House. In truth the ending is a bit dull - a path through a narrow linear park with a main road 20m to your right. there are a couple of decent looking pubs on the way though. Possibly aesthetically better to stick with the main walk route. Coffee in Chesham then a 3pm tube home. Easwy route finding and well-signed alternative to the main walk.

  • 18-Sep-19

    @PeteB thanks, gpx fixed

  • 20-Sep-19

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  • 20-Sep-19

    As the walk poster said, this walk is normally completed in the winter, no doubt because it is not too long and its closeness to London makes for a short journey time. Done at this time of year, it has long stretches of scenery every bit of spectacular as better known alternatives, and I will definitely do this one again. I thought it was remarkable to see such countryside while still being inside the underground system.

    The Drawing Room had run out of chocolate cake. Since this is the best cake on any of our walks, and the main reason for choosing this option on this day, I considered this a considerable blow. The owner spent some time with us, talking about the events that he puts on on a stage set up in the yard outside the café. He said that historically Simon & Garfunkel performed for the first time as a pair under that name on that stage .

Chorleywood to Chesham
Length: 16km (9.9 miles) - with shortcuts possible - see below
Toughness: 5 out of 10

9.50 Metropolitan Line train from Baker Street to Chorleywood, arriving 10.31

Best ticket: Oyster

For walk directions click here. For GPX click here.

Given that it is never more than a kilometre or two from the Metropolitan Line, this walk is amazingly rural. You get your quota of fine Chilterns views, dipping in and out of a peaceful valley, and see some historic houses en route (fans of The Crown might recognise Chenies Court as the location it used for Winston Churchill's house at Chartwell). Mud there will be, but chalky soils can mean paths are not so afflicted with it. On the other hand mud on chalk can sometimes be a slippery combination, so take care

The Red Lion is the usual choice for lunch but the Bedford Arms down the road is more competitive on price than you might expect. Both are popular, but the walk start time is timed to get you to lunch quite early, hopefully giving more choice of seating. For tea the hippyish Drawingroom is very comfortable and has great cakes, but Caffe Nero et al provide a backstop.

Shortcuts: a shorter morning is possible if you get up a bit late (it is a perfectly pleasant route). There is a minor short cut as you approach lunch if you want to catch up with the main group. And (new feature!) there is now the option of ending in Chalfont & Latimer, though this gives a very short afternoon: useful if the weather turns bad, maybe... For details of all three, see the walk directions.

Trains back from Chesham are at 27 and 57 past the hour T=3.81
  • Tom

    Great walk - thanks. Natasha - are you ok? (felt unwell at lunchtime)

  • Ian T

    12 fine dry mostly with a hint of icy rain nearing Chesham

    Nice walk with good Chiltern views though I can’t help feeling it should reach Chesham sooner than it does. Maybe they should move it a bit closer. Slightly unusual to walk through a field of alpacas near the end but they were docile. The Red Lion wasn’t open but the Bedford was welcoming and people seemed pleased with what they got. There were plans to visit the Drawing Room at the end. I myself didn’t.

SWC Walk 81 - Chorleywood to Chesham
Length: 15.9km (9.9 miles) with shorter options possible
Toughness: 5 out of 10: some hills, lots of flat bits

9.57 Metropolitan Line from Kings Cross (10.05 Baker Street) to Chorleywood, arriving 10.46.

Chorleywood is in London Transport zone 7, Chesham in zone 9, so you can use Oyster or contactless. There once also was a zone 1-9 travelcard which you could buy from Underground ticket offices with a Network Card and get a 30% discount, but now there are no ticket offices, I have no idea how you get this.

For walk directions click here.

This is an easy and pleasant walk in the Chilterns with nice views in several places, during which you will also learn the origin various street names in Bloomsbury. It all feels very rural, making it all the more surprising that you are never more than a couple of kilometres from the Metropolitan Line. In fact, if you want to be hyper-lazy, the walk document now includes an option that takes you to Chalfont & Latimer station just 2.1 miles after lunch (reducing the walk to 6.2 miles in total), though I am assuming that red-blooded SWC types will ignore this.

There are also two shorter options in the morning - see walk document - option a) being just a slight trimming of the main route and option b) being a different start altogether (useful if you get up late and want to catch the group up at lunch).

The usual lunch stop is the small but recommended Red Lion in Chenies, but I was recently tempted by a walker comment to try the larger Bedford Arms up the road. This is now a hotel and has table service for meals in its bar, but is in other respects just like a pub: the food and prices are perfectly pub-like and if the sun decides to shine it has a big garden.

In Chesham the delightfully quirky Drawingroom cafe is always the top tea choice, though Messrs Costa and Nero will be happy to take your refreshment dollar if it proves wanting.

Trains back from Chesham are at 27 and 57 past. Do look out of the window to enjoy the longest gap between stations on the Underground and its most scenic views.

  • 21-Feb-17

    Now I might do the Walk on Saturday. But I can't Guarantee I will. According to the Pub Restaurant. The website Address is

  • Anonymous

    The Red Lion in Chenies is temporarily closed, due to the retirement of the landlord and his wife. However the Bedford Arms has lots of room, and the local ale from the Marlow brewery is very good.

  • Ian T

    17 set off. Due to the Red Lion being closed and the Bedford Arms being unable to accommodate us (already had taken 2 group bookings), most of the group made a diversion to Sarratt, where there are two pubs. The Cricketers was a good choice. People seemed to like their food and there was a wide choice of beer. Mr Tiger liked his beer so much he had to have another half. The diversion was straightforward – easy to follow. It turned the walk into a 12 mile one. 2 had diverted to Faundon and were never seen again. The group were intending to visit the Drawing Room for tea but 'yours truly' lagged behind and cannot confirm this occurred. Going was good, even if Doris had had a go at a few trees. If anyone’s missing a glove, I found one. Nice walk. damp start getting damper some rain pm a bit blowy

  • If its dark blue Ian hang on to it, I came home with just the one

  • IAN T

    It is indeed that colour.

  • 26-Feb-17

    We were told by one of the group that The Drawing room has the best chocolate cake in the world. To misquote Jasper Carrot, falsely attributed to John Lennon, The Drawing Room doesn’t have the best chocolate cake in the world. It isn’t even the best chocolate cake in the Chilterns.

    Though I admit that it was very nice. Five of us supped there and all five of us had a piece and I think that we all thought it was very nice.

    The walk was great

    As the Red Lion was closed and The Bedford arms was fully booked we had to use the Cricketeers

    excellent venue only about 400 metres off the route so and extra 10 minutes walking. Good food and service - very nice.

  • David Colver

    As proponent of the claim that the Drawing Room in Chesham serves the best chocolate cake on any of our walks (a step short of best chocolate cake in the world) I am delighted to learn that there is even better to be found not far away and look forward to being led purposefully and accurately to the location of this wonder at a very early date.

Download walk 81. Chorleywood to Chesham
Distance 15.9km (9.9m); toughness 5/10, some gentle gradients
Travel by Metropolitan underground line from Baker Street 09.50 arriving at Chorleywood 10.31. (Alternatively and if it is more convenient you could take the 09.57 from Marylebone station arriving at Chorleywood 10.24.and wait 7 mins for the tube.)
Return journey: there are two metropolitan line trains an hour from Chesham at xx:23 and xx:53

Your best travel bet is an Oyster card or contactless payment
The Chess Valley is one of the most beautiful and tranquil parts of the Chiltern Hills – which makes it all the more amazing that along its whole length it is never more than a couple of kilometres from the Metropolitan Line of the London Underground. This walk explores it thoroughly, starting in Chorleywood, whose station and common already have a very rural feel, and afterwards dipping in and out of the valley, with a number of fine panoramic views.
Your recommended lunch pub is the Red Lion at Chenies. No need to rush as it is just 6km into the walk.

Click here for further details about the walk and the pdf tab for the full walk instructions.
  • 31-Oct-16

    A good report was also received recently of the Bedford Arms for lunch

  • 01-Nov-16

    Thanks Walker; the Bedford Arms is just 200m down the road from the Red Lion

  • 07-Nov-16

    5 on t his walk with the weather sun then cloud then rain at 3pm . Also chilly breeze .

    3 were pub lunchers but 2 of us pressed on to the church at Latimer for a sandwich lunch and to try to get a head start on the rain which the weather apps were predicting to start at 1pm. We got back to Chesham at 3pm and were having a a coffee when the rain began. Hope the pub lunchers managed to avoid the worst of it.

    This is a lovely walk, particularly the ridge stretch through Latimer Park where there are some lovely views. A fine walk to do at any time of the year and it has inspired me to do the full Chess Valley trail from Rickmansworth next Spring.

    Finally, thanks to the generosity of local sponsors all the stiles have been replaced with kissing gates so a completely stile-free waqlk.

SWC Walk 81 Chorleywood to Chesham

There seems to be next to no useful trains running so another tube based walk. This walk was posted on a Wednesday in late October, and we got to Chesham around sunset, so you might want to take the option 1 shortcut, saving 1 mile. You could also start a bit later with the option 2 shortcut, saving 2 miles. If you find yourself too early in Chorleywood, there is a cafe down the hill from the station and turn left under the railway bridge.

The full walk is 9.9 miles (15.9km) with lunch after 3.8 miles (6.1km), rated 5/10.

Trains Take the 1005 Metropolitan Line starting from from Baker Street (1026 Harrow on the Hill) arriving Chorleywood 1047. There are no Chiltern trains on this route, and no Circle line or Metropolitan line trains on the Hammersmith to Aldgate route. Return trains from Chesham are xx26 and xx56.

Lunch There are two lunch pubs in Chenies, The Red Lion

Tea Plenty of options in Chesham

  • Anonymous

    Unfortunately, it's no longer possible to buy a zone 1-9 travelcard with the network railcard discount.

Mike A
Mike A

Chorley Wood to Chesham

The Chess Valley, one of the most beautiful and tranquil parts of the Chiltern Hills

Book 3* Walk 81

* online only

Length : 16 km or 10 miles

Toughness : 5 out of 10

Getting there : Catch the 10:02 am Metropolitan Line from London Aldgate to Chorley Wood.
The main calling stations are:

  • Liverpool Street 10:04
  • Kings Cross 10:12
  • Baker Street 10:20

Meeting point : Chorley Wood Station at 11:02

Tickets : Buy a zone 1-9 travelcard/oystercard unless you have a freedom pass.
Travelcard prices are here

Brief Description

I suspect the walk is not really 10 miles but more like 8. Yes it's hilly, but I'd say the toughness was more like a low 4.
Anyhow you may find full details here and a printable PDF here

Suggested Lunch stops

The Red Lion in Chenies t: 01923 282 722
The Bedford Arms also in Chenies t: 01923 283 301

Suggested Tea stop

The Drawing Room in Chesham t: 01494 791691 (open late)


OS Explorer : 171 and 181

Return train times

Metropolitan Trains return from Chesham twice an hour at :22 and :52 minutes past the hour.

  • Anonymous

    Lovely, intending to go

  • Anonymous

    this sounds lovely, am going

  • Anonymous

    How does one log walk reports now?

  • 27-Oct-15

    The same way you asked this question! By adding a comment against the walk. The walk transfers to the "recent walks" page shortly after it's happened so you'll probably have to look for it there. (Click the big red "Recent Walks" button). There is guidance on the page on how to add walk number and weather info. The only other think to remember is if it was a walk posted by Mr Tiger, you say nice things about it. Anybody else, say what you like.

  • Anonymous

    Thank you for that jfk

  • Marion

    7 plus 2 late runners arriving at lunchtime. W= Mild and mainly dry underfoot despite rain early am before setting off-sunny pm. Pub food excellent but very long waits for food-40-50 mins!

    Wonderful scenery no problems with route directions and a very enjoyable day out in excellent company.

Extra Walk 81 – Chorleywood to Chesham
Length: 15.9 km (9.9 miles). Toughness: 5/10

10:12 Aylesbury train from Marylebone (Harrow-on-the-Hill 10:24), arriving Chorleywood at 10:39. [If you miss this hourly train, head for Baker Street and take the tube, then do one of the morning short cuts to catch up.]

Metropolitan line tubes go from Chesham to Baker Street at 22 & 52 minutes past the hour.

Chorleywood is in TfL Zone 7 and Chesham in Zone 9, so buy a Zones 1-9 Travelcard or use your Oyster card (and remember to touch out at Chorleywood).

This attractive walk in the Chess valley should provide some early autumn colour without you having to venture beyond the capital's underground network. There's a choice of two pubs in the lunchtime village of Chenies (the Red Lion and the Bedford Arms); it's less than halfway through the walk so you'll get there just after noon. Chesham offers the usual set of tea places plus one that's anything but commonplace, The Drawingroom.

You'll need to print the directions from this pdf document.T=swc.81
  • Anonymous

    anyone going on this please?

  • Anonymous

    yes hope to go

  • JohnE

    10 cloudy but bright

    An excellent walk on a good day. Wonderful mix of autumn colours. 5 lunched at the Red Lion at Chenies and reported favourably. 4 took tea and cakes at the quirky Drawingroom in Chesham - definitely a more interesting option than the standard high street chain cafés.