June 10, 2014

The_Times

We were delighted to be included in The Times walking section last week in an article by accomplished travel writer Christopher Somerville.

There are many fabulous country walks around the proximity of Sarratt and this area attracts many hikers and those looking for a rural escape from London and surroundings, as well as the rest of the UK.

As was mentioned in the Telegraph too, we are just 2 miles from a Tube station and yet, could easily be 200 miles based on the beauty and serenity of our location.

If you like, we are the border between London and the rest of rural England.

Here is a copy of the article from The Times.

Latimer, Chenies and the Chess Valley, Bucks and Herts

Mr William Liberty of Chorleywood, nonconformist brickmaker, died in 1777. In his will he had categorically stated that he was not to be buried anywhere within the bounds of a church. His wife Alice was of the same mind. And so for well over two hundred years the freethinking and aptly named Liberties have lain in modest state in their brick-built tomb by the field path to Chenies Bottom.

Celestial Bliss

Passing the tomb, I wondered whether Mr Liberty would have sucked his teeth at last night’s Midsummer Music Festival – celestially beautiful music, sublimely played, within the bounds of Latimer’s Victorian church. There were certainly wings to my heels and tunes at the back of my head as I followed the Chess Valley Walk through head-high grasses and champagne-scented elderflower blossom, past Mill Farm and on to Tyler’s watercress farm at the ford on Holloway Lane. The dimpling Chess, a gin-clear stream over a clean gravel bed, raises wonderful crops of cress, and a couple of pounds secured me a crunchy and eye-wateringly peppery bunch to chew as I went on over the fields to Holy Cross Church at Church End.

Holy Cross

Maybe William Liberty could have found it in him to approve the craftsmanship, if not the location, of the 14th-century paintings under the dark timber roof of Holy Cross. Here are a slim young Virgin astonished before the angel Gabriel and his remarkable news, a shepherd carrying a lamb to Bethlehem, and a musical angel blowing a celebratory blast on a shawm with twin pipes.

Limping Ghost!

Back down the field slope, and on west across the Chess on a lush wet path where every step was a squelch, then up under the green shade of hornbeam and bird cherry into Chenies village. History lies thick on the great Tudor mansion of Chenies Manor where King Henry VIII still walks at night, a limping ghost.

In the adjacent church, generations of Russells, Dukes and Duchesses of Bedford, lie entombed. I found something a little oppressive about the pomp and grandeur of the monuments looming in the Bedford Chapel. It was a relief to be out under the cool grey sky again, walking the ridge path back to Latimer and looking across the river valley to where the Liberties lay free and easy among the nettles and dogroses.

Getting to the area

Start: Chalfont & Latimer tube station, Bucks, HP7 9PR (OS ref SU 997975).

Getting there: Metropolitan tube, or A404 to Little Chalfont

The route

Walk (7 miles, easy, OS Explorer 172): Down station road; left along Bedford Avenue; right up Chenies Avenue (996976) to where it bends left into Beechwood Avenue (996981). Ahead here down gravel path into woods. Cross over waymarked junction; ahead downhill (yellow arrow/YA) to bottom edge of wood (998983). Right to kissing gate; left down field; across road (999985), then river (000986). Immediately right through gate (YA), to cross field and road (004987; ‘Chess Valley Walk’/CVW, fish waymark). Follow CVW east for 1¾ miles via William Liberty’s tomb (009988), Mill Farm (014988) and Tylers Watercress Farm watercress beds (026990) to road (031990). Right; in 250m, round left bend; in 70m right over stile (033989; ‘Sarratt Church’); follow YAs/stiles to Holy Cross Church and Cock Inn (039984).

Lunch at The Cock Inn at Sarratt

Leave churchyard through south gate opposite almshouses; right through kissing gate; path down to valley bottom (035981). Right over stile; cross fields, then left (034984) across River Chess and stream beyond (NB path often flooded and muddy!). Before reaching woods, path forks 3 ways; take middle path to go through gate (032983, ‘Chiltern Way’/CW) and on along CW through Turveylane Wood and Wyburn Wood for ¾ mile to road (021980). Right into Chenies; cross village green; up gravelled path (ignore ‘Private’ notice) past church (016983). At Chenies Manor gate, right (‘circular walk’ YA). Descend into woods. In 200m, at tree with 3-headed arrows (015985), left along top edge of wood; on along ridge track. Dogleg right and left across Stony Lane (005982); ahead for ½ mile to waymarked junction (997981, BA, YA); left to Chenies Avenue and tube station.

Contact details

Lunch: The Cock Inn at Sarratt (01923-282908; cockinn.net)

Accommodation: Latimer Place, Latimer, HP5 1UG (01494-545500; deverevenues.co.uk)

Chenies Manor: tours 01494-762888; cheniesmanorhouse.co.uk

Midsummer Music Festival, Latimer: 13-15 June 2014; 01494-783643, midsummermusic.org.uk

Walkers-Welcome-at-the-Cock-Inn-at-Sarrat-Herts

If you get a chance to do the walk, let us know how you get on in the comments below.

 

Features for The Cock Inn at Sarratt. 

 

Categories: General

2 Comments

  • David
    June 17, 2014

    There are some fabulouos walks around this area, so we will make sure we drop in when we are next in the area. Perfect escape from the city.

    Reply

  • Glenna
    July 4, 2014

    Such a lovely place to go for a walk and then stop in at the Cock Inn for a bite to eat. Totally agree with the author.

    Reply

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