Walk 19 - From Watford, at the Western End of the Metropolitan Line to Chorleywood via Whippendel Woods and the Chess Valley

Walk Distance   11 Kilometres (7 miles)

Underfoot  Mainly woodland paths and field edges with minor mud

Journey Time (from Central London to Watford)   55 minutes

Getting Back to Central London   Return from Chorleywood Tube Station

Points of Interest   Whippendel Woods, M25, Chess Valley

Refreshments -  Cafe in Cassiobury Park, pubs at Chandlers Cross, Sarratt and Chorleywood

Opportunities For Shortening This Walk  None


Route Directions

1.   Turn right from Watford Tube Station and walk 150m to the traffic lights. Turn left into Shepherd Road and enter Cassiobury Park. Go ahead to a junction of paths and turn left.  Curve to the right between trees. Walk for about 400m to another junction.  Turn left and walk gently downhill along an avenue of trees.  After 300m there is a café on the left near a children’s play area.  Continue down the path and reach two bridges and some signposts.  Follow the direction "Whippendel Woods" and cross the bridges

2.  The first bridge is over the River Gade and the second crosses the Grand Union Canal.  Turn right immediately after the second bridge and follow a broad track which, at first,  runs parallel to the canal but soon swings away to the left and rises to cross the West Herts Golf Course.   A sign indicates this is Lime Avenue. Continue along this broad straight track across the golf course until you reach a junction with a sign declaring it to be “Rond Pont”. Take the broad path straight ahead which is signposted "Chandlers Cross".  Descend through woods and keep ahead on this well-walked track for the next kilometer ignoring all turnings left or right.  Reach a gate at Rousebarn Lane. 

3.  Turn right on the lane and walk for 600m to reach a junction of roads at Chandlers Cross. Turn left and ignore a road coming in from the right.  Walk to the left of a pub called Prime Steak and Grill.  After 20m, where the road takes a sharp bend to the left,  continue straight ahead on a track between hedges signposted  "Micklefield Green". Continue on this track for 1.8Km. Soon you are walking beside the M25 Motoway.  Continue to a road. Turn right and cross a bridge over the M25.  After 100m turn left on a driveway which intersects the path.  Cross the road to a stile with two signposts.  Climb the stile, turn right and follow the sign which points right towards "Sarratt".  

4.  Walk along the field edge for 250m. Cross the gateway to New Model Farm and return to the field edge for another 250m.  At the end of the second field do not go through a metal gate ahead of you. Instead, turn left and walk, with the hedge on your right, to the first corner.  Go through a gate in the hedge and walk diagonally right across a field.  At the far side, go right and then climb a stile with a sign showing that you are on Sharratt Parish Footpath. Turn right to reach the car park of the Cock Inn.

5.  Emerge on a lane and turn left.  Pass the pub on your left and Holy Cross Church on your right. Leave the road almost immediately to walk past a row of six terraced cottages with ecclesiastical doors. At the end, enter an enclosed path.  Cross a driveway and walk downhill with a hedge (later a metal fence) on your right.  You are now descending into the valley of the River Chess with good views.  At the bottom of the hill, turn left on a car-wide track. This is the Chess Valley Walk.

6.  Cross a small road and continue ahead on the path which soon swings right and crosses the river by way of wooden walkway and bridge.  After crossing the bridge turn left and walk for 300m to a point where there is a junction of paths.  The path you are on swings left. Instead turn right and walk uphill just inside an area of woodland.  At the top, leave the woods and continue straight ahead on a broad track. After 350m the track reaches a junction. Turn right and then immediately left on to a paved driveway which, first goes downhill but then rises again. There is a large green field on your right and (later) a small cemetery on your left.

7.  Reach a busy road and cross with care. On the opposite side, walk diagonally right along a broad grassy area between trees. Ahead you can see the outskirts of Chorleywood.  Reach a road coming in from the right and walk beside it along the grassy common.  Where the road swings left there is a car park. Immediately after the car park there is a green signpost pointing the way to the station.  Cross the road and descend in the direction indicated through the gates of Betjeman Gardens.  Follow the driveway as it swings right and then turn left between houses. Reach some steps which descend to Chorleywood Station.