For the walks described below there are long and short options which are 4 and 3 miles respectively.
The walk starts on Chenies Village Green but you could also start this walk from the lay-by near Sarratt Mill (map reference TQ 037979) and walk into Chenies for a pub lunch.
A PDF document of this walk can be downloaded here
Chess Valley downstream circular clockwise
We would suggest that you combine the Chess Valley local circular walk with this downstream one as it adds very little (about ¼ mile) to the total length. To do that, take the local circular walk as far as (LC9) and then transfer to this walk at (DC8).
DC1. From Chenies Village Green take the well-made drive to Mountwood Farm which is at the centre of the Green.
DC2. Go past Mountwood Farm and through the kissing gate on your left. The path crosses a field.
DC3. Go through the gate into Mount Wood and follow the path – initially slightly downhill then more steeply.
DC4. At the bottom of the hill you have a choice as there are paths on both sides of the River.
Option 1 :
The path on this side is through woods and can be muddier – but in spring it is full of bluebells.
a. Turn right and follow the path for about 2/3 mile through Mount Wood until it exits the wood.
b. Then there is the opportunity to shorten the walk and return directly to Chenies. To do this turn right and resume this walk at (DC16).
Otherwise, turn left. Cross a small tributary of the Chess and continue along a stony path to a concrete bridge over the main river. Here you re-join the main path at (DC11) – turn right
DC5. Option 2 :
The Chess Valley Walk goes along a well-made road on the north side of the river.
DC6. At the bottom of Mount Wood turn left and then immediately right towards the river.
DC7. After about 100 yards the path crosses the Chess at a ford by the Watercress Beds and emerges onto a concrete road. Turn right. (This is (LC9) on the Chess Valley local circular walk).
DC8. Go along the concrete road, staying in the river valley.
DC9. After about ¼ mile you reach the end of the concrete road at a group of cottages at Sarratt Bottom. Turn right and stay on the road along the river valley – which eventually becomes a footpath – for about ½ mile.
DC10. Here you also have an opportunity to shorten the walk and return to Chenies – it’s about 1¼ miles back to the Village Green. To do this simply turn right to cross the river and keep straight on. Resume this route at (DC16) below.
DC11. Otherwise, continue along the river valley passing above Sarratt Mill House to reach New Lane.
DC12. Cross straight over New Lane following the path until it crosses the Chess at a wooden footbridge.
DC13. Turn right to start following the river back upstream
DC14. Cross straight over New Lane
DC15. After 0.4 mile, there is a crossing of paths. Take the left-hand path uphill away from the river.
DC16. Follow the path (signed, optimistically, “Chenies ½m”) staying in the wood as it steadily climbs through Turveylane Wood.
DC17. On emerging from the wood, the path goes steeply straight across the field to the corner of Wyburn Wood.
DC18. Pass through Wyburn Wood to reach Village Road opposite the Cricket Club.
DC19. Turn right along the Greensward to reach the Village Green (passing the Red Lion and Bedford Arms on the way).
Chess Valley Downstream Circular Walk – short-cuts are shown as dotted lines
Chess Valley upstream circular anti-clockwise
DA1. From the Village Green take the road towards Chorleywood, passing the Bedford Arms and Red Lion on your left.
DA2. Opposite the Cricket Club, just after the last houses on the left, take the footpath on the left.
DA3. Follow the path into Turveylane Wood and downhill in the wooded valley.
DA4. On exit at the bottom of the wood, you have the Chess Valley in front of you. There are 3 choices here…
a. For the shortest route back to Chenies, turn left taking the footpath through Mount Wood. At the end of the wood either go straight ahead along Holloway Lane staying in the river valley before climbing the hill back to the bottom of Chenies Village Green OR turn left up the hill and resume this walk at (DA13).
b. To return to Chenies along the Chess Valley Walk, go straight ahead and cross the river on the concrete bridge. Then turn left and resume this walk at (DA9) below.
DA5. Otherwise turn right.
DA6. Continue ahead with the river on your left across fields until you reach the road. Cross straight over North Lane taking the path straight ahead between Bridge Cottage on your left and the water works to your right.
DA7. Turn left to cross over the wooden bridge over the Chess. The path turns left to go back along the Chess upstream.
DA8. Cross straight over New Road.
DA9. Continue straight ahead through Sarratt Bottom – the path becomes a track and then a road.
DA10. After about 0.8 mile where the road turns up-hill take the concrete road to the left remaining in the river valley.
DA11. The concrete road turns sharp right towards Valley Farm. At this point you could continue ahead between the metal bars following the Chess Valley Local Anti-Clockwise walk from (LA3).
DA12. Otherwise, cross the river at the ford and after about 150 yards take the path to the left and immediately up-hill signed Chenies.
DA13. The path climbs the hill initially at the edge of Mount Wood and later through the wood to reach Mountwood Farm.
DA14. Turn right at Mountwood Farm and follow the level road back to Chenies Green.