This is my second summer living in London, and it’s been a big goal of mine to explore places near the city. Since the weather has been so great this year (hot, hot, hot), doing walks and hikes has been a huge part of the adventure. As I’m not an experienced hiker, I opt for easier walks that are around 10 miles at the most, which is why the Chess Valley Trail seemed like the perfect way to spend a Saturday! Read on for a beginner’s guide to walking this trail and a few suggestions for your journey!
Where to start.
I find that circular routes are usually the best bet for doing walks, so I started and ended my journey at Chorleywood. You can take the underground to Chorleywood Station, or buy a train ticket that goes from London Marylebone to Chorleywood. It all depends what part of London you’re going from. I took the train from Marylebone to Chorleywood, and it was a short 30-minute ride. That’s what makes the Chess Valley Trail such a great choice for a quick weekend getaway!
Beginning the walk.
When you exit Chorleywood Station, look across the street. You should see a set of stairs leading up to a parking lot. Climb those stairs and walk through the parking lot, angling to the right. This should lead you out onto a road with pubs and houses on one side and a large lawn on the other. Turn left. You should be walking with the buildings on your left and the green on your right. This path kind of edges to the right a bit, but if you follow it you’ll find Chorleywood House Estate. Enter the Estate and continue straight ahead. There are maps posted, so be sure to snap a photo of one in case you lose your way.
Things to know.
There are markers along the trail which can direct you which way to go to follow the correct walk. These aren’t always super visible, so keep an eye out for wooden posts with little circles indicating which path you are on. There are occasions where the paths might split into two or it might not be very obvious where the trail continues, so keep Google Maps handy and don’t be afraid of getting a little lost! The walks are beautiful in this area, and you’ll get to see some lovely English countryside. You should come upon a river early on in your hike, so if you don’t hit the river and you’ve been on the trail for an hour, you should be worried about where you are. Also, make sure you carry a couple bottles of water. I had only one and regretted not carrying more. You don’t want to get dehydrated on your gorgeous trek!
Finishing the trail.
The entire trail, with detours, and a few moments where I had to backtrack to figure out which way to go, took me a bit over three hours. It is, for the most part, a flat trail, so you won’t tire yourself climbing hills or doing anything very strenuous. You’ll circle back to Chorleywood, and I recommend finishing off your day-trip with a bang! Head to The Rose and Crown (opposite the Chorleywood Common) and replenish your strength with some stellar sandwiches and a pint (of course).
Do you have any tips for fun and easy trails near London? Share them down below!