Walk 25 - From Chesham, at the Western End of the Metropolitan Line to Chalfont Latimer via Ley Hill
Walk Distance 11 Kilometres (7 miles)
Underfoot Footpaths and country tracks, may be muddy in winter or after rain.
Journey Time (from Central London to Chesham) 55 minutes
Getting Back to Central London Return by Metropolitan Line from Chalfont Latimer
Points of Interest Chesham, Ley Hill Pubs, Chess Valley
Refreshments - Cafes and pubs in Chesham, Pubs at Ley Hill
Opportunities For Shortening This Walk - Walk can be shortened by turning right at point A and walking back into Chesham.(see walk description)
What To Expect From This Walk
Of all London's tube lines, the Metropolian Line extends furthest into the countryside; well beyond the boundary of the Metropolis. Consequently, this is a country walk rather than a suburban stroll. Direction finding is fairly easy but you might consider taking OS Explorer Maps 181 and 172 with you. You start in the attractive market town of Chesham and it is worth taking a detour (downhill, left from the station,) to see the busy High Street. Soon after starting the walk, you are out into the countryside with fine views back over the town.. There are a few ups and downs but nothing too strenuous and after 3 miles you find yourself at Ley Hill with two excellent pubs on offer. Afterwards you head back towards Chesham but upon reaching the Chess Valley at Point A you turn south east and follow some lovely landscape through to Chalfont Latimer. During the walk, look out for red kites flying overhead, floating on the wind looking for a kill. You should see several.
Information On Things You Will See
The Red Kite is medium sized bird of prey in the family Accipitridae which includes eagles, buzzards and harriers. The Chilterns is one of the best places in the UK to see red kites, thanks to a successful re-introduction project between 1989 and 1994. They were driven to extinction in England by human persecution by the end of the nineteenth century. A small population survived in Wales, but there was little chance of these birds repopulating their original areas. Between 1989 and 1994, kites from Spain were imported and released into the Chilterns by the RSPB and English Nature. Now, there are estimated to be over 1,000 breeding pairs in the area. Since 1999, chicks have been taken from the Chilterns to reintroduction other sites in the UK. The red kite reintroduction has proved to be one of the most successful conservation stories of the 20thC.(See http://www.chilternsaonb.org/red-kites for more information.
Chesham is a market town in the Chiltern Hills in Buckinghamshires. It is situated in the Chess Valley and is surrounded by farmland. The earliest records indicate that it has existed since at least the 10thC. Henry III granted the town a royal charter to hold a weekly market in 1257. The town is best known for its “four Bs” usually quoted as "boots, beer, brushes and baptists." A clock Tower constructed in 1992 stands in Market Square on the site of Chesham's 18th-century town hall which was demolished in 1965. The turret is a reconstruction of the one built onto the original town hall in the 19th century and features the original glass-dialled clock face and clock mechanism from the mid 19th century. Transport connections came to the town. It was not until July 1889 that the Metropolitan Railway connected with Chesham and electrification did not take place until the 1960s.