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Life Line

Walking: Hemel Hempstead to Amersham

I had originally planned to continue last week's walk from Amersham to Chorleywood, but I had decided against that as it would have made that walk a little too long. So instead, I incorporated that section into this next walk, where I walked from Hemel Hempstead (not "Hampstead" as I just found out!) via Chorleywood to Amersham.

Before I set off to the beginning of yet another Chiltern walk, I had done a little research on how I could get to Hemel Hempstead as easily and cheaply as possible. I found out that I can actually buy a national rail ticket at my closest overground station (Kilburn High Road), which would also allow for me to use my Network Railcard, giving me 30% off. I would only have to transfer onto a proper train once, at Harrow & Wealdstone. If you travel by train a lot in the south east of the UK, a Network Railcard at £30 is well worth the money.

Enough about trains! Once I got to Hemel Hempstead, I had some trouble getting to the south side of the station. Apparently you can only get out on that side if you have a special swipe card. So instead, I had to walk around and cross the very busy London Road to get to the start of the "real" walk, which also shares the same route as The Chiltern Way for some sections.

Hedges and Paths

Once I got there, there was a fairly long climb up through Felden along a road with no pavement, but also luckily with little traffic. Much of the first half of the walk would be on a path, track, or road with hedges along each side. But it was never unsafe as there was very little traffic, and the traffic that did show up wasn't moving very fast.

I still prefer walking on actual footpaths, and after crossing Rucklers Lane, there was a long trek up and down a hill through grassy farmland. At the bottom a lovely track brought me to "Tower Hill", where footpaths through fields were easy to walk. I did not like the signs "bull in field" though. Luckily, these signs were a lie. After a lovely walk through some woods, with some good views of a village in the valley below, I ended up crossing a road.

My pre-planned route had me go along the road, but luckily there is now a permissive footpath that avoids the road, where there was fast traffic. At the end of the field, there was now a pavement to make the walk safe, and a path through the woods allowed me to avoid another road walking section.

I soon left the small village of Belsize behind and ended up on a lane, again with hedges on each side. There were soon some field-edge paths against where were quite welcome.


After walking past Rosehall Wood, my set-out route suggested I go through some fields to Dawes Common before going over another hill to get to the river Chess. However there were a fair amount of horses in the field, and as I don't really trust these animals I decided to walk around them. Unfortunately that meant a little road walking, but luckily again, there was little traffic. I have proposed a new route that should avoid the horse problem.

The new route avoids a hill, and another few fields of horses. It also meant that I walked along the lovely river Chess for a fair distance, as part of the Chess Valley Walk.

Little Egret

I spotted the first snow drops of the year along the lanes and the Chess Valley Walk themselves, and in the river a Little Egret. Once I had crossed the river on a wooden bridge, the rest of this first section went through the Chorleywood House Estate, and Chorleywood Common to end up close to the tube station.

I have walked from Chorleywood to Amersham before (or rather, in the opposite direction) as part of my Tube Walking project a few years ago. This time however I did not have to visit Chalfont & Latimer's station, which made the whole walk a lot nicer. The route that I ended up walking was not quite the one that I originally was planning to do (Amecho 1). But it turned out that it was the better variant that was also already verified (Amecho 2).

From Chorleywood's "High Street" I walked along an avenue for a while before crossing into Carpenters Wood. From here on until Amersham, all of the walking was through woods, with no cows insight. There were a few places where I had to cross a road, but that was generally not a problem.

Chenies Manor

After crossing one such road, Amersham Road, the walk brought me along Chenies Manor and through the estate. I very much liked going through all the woods, and there were often also great view of the Chess Valley, and another stately home, Latimer House.


I also spotted my first daffodils of the season, and a Muntjac (a tiny deer), but it was too fast to be caught on camera. This was not a problem with the daffodils.

The last woods that I walked through was the Market Reading Wood. From there on the walk was along pavements and a sports centre, before finishing the walk at Amersham station.

Views of the Chess Valley

Unfortunately, when I got there, the station was shut and there were posters with "rail replacement buses": there were no Metropolitan line services, nor Chiltern services into Marylebone at all. Although I was quite diligent doing research to get to the start of my walk, I neglected to do the same for the return journey!

I managed to get on the hourly bus to Rickmansworth quite soon, because it was 10 minutes late. At Rickmansworth I had to wait a while to get onto my second rail replacement service to Wembley Park, another Metropolitan line station. I was hoping to get off at Northwick Park to walk to Kenton, where I then could take the Bakerloo line home. But although the bus stopped at every Met line station, it went straight from Harrow-on-the-Hill to Wembley Park, and didn't stop at Northwick Park. I did make it home about three hours after I finished the walk. Next time: more train research!

It was a thoroughly enjoyable walk though, and I bet it would be even nicer when there is more green on the trees again.


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