Chess Valley Walk – Solesbridge Lane – Sarratt Bottom Walk – 21.11.2010

At first the we thought the plans for this walk might have been scuppered… we were down hearted when we spotted the “Alternative route” that was posted on the signpost 😦 All because of the M25 widening!!  Yes indeed a very large road passes this way.      Strange as this is very lovely countryside and I do not want to put you off if you have never been this way before!

So we decided to follow the “Chess Valley Walk” signs which cross the bridge (and ignore the roaring traffic!) and onto we found a sign to Sarratt Mill.   Which I have subsequently discovered used to be a corn-mill, later a paper-mill on the Chess River – was at one point the property of the Duke of Bedford!!  We decided this was the route to take..    I think we were going to be surprised with this walk 🙂

The landscape opened up and in fact the area was not badly kept (few potholes here and there!) but it was very beautiful.  In fact the area was very quiet and to be honest the sound of the M25 seemed a million miles away –

From 2010 – 21.11.2010 – Solesbridge Lane – Sarratt Bottom Walk

In fact this area was a network of walks, the Chess Valley was not alone…. We had stumbled on the Chorleywood House Estate with the Park, Valley and Wood Walks. We were not going to explore these today. We are going to be returning soon, as this was a great find, but a little history suggests, this beautiful estate has been available from various gatherings the public since 19th Century and it was Lady Ela Russell who was mainly responsible for the shape of the garden as it today.

Our walk then took us down to the River Chess.    It took us Slightly off the beaten track.   The first thing that I spotted was a small wooden bridge and although we were in the middle of Hertfordshire, I could not help be reminded of Monet’s wooden bridge from his painting in France!

From 2010 – 21.11.2010 – Solesbridge Lane – Sarratt Bottom Walk

The River Chess, itself only runs for 16 miles (but we were not going to walk all of it today!) and springs from the Vale of Chesham – before becoming a tributary of the River Colne – a river I have previously encountered on a walk.    We continued our walk past some unusual, but occupied buildings,  which I cannot seem to discover what they may be – perhaps on our return I can be more specific!

The River Chess Walk then headed towards Sarratt Bottom – in fact it crossed over with the Sarratt Parish Footpath- whatever they may have been!  I must admit we had well and truly left any thoughts of the M25 behind by this point, the views were stunning and the countryside had well and truly taken over.

From 2010 – 21.11.2010 – Solesbridge Lane – Sarratt Bottom Walk

The footpath did cross a small lane – leading into Sarratt Bottom – well we presume it was as there were no real signs at this point.  I must admit the landscaping was well and truly unusual.  But I have since learnt that this kind of landscaping was no accident.  In fact there has been a history of Roman Villas along the this valley and the “Strip Lychets” which were evident along this part of the walk – were part of the medieval vineyards!!   So what I thought was Roman fortifications, was actually for medieval wine production 🙂 – what a lovely find!!!

At this point, we decided to finish our walk – mainly as it was turning colder, and we thought we had plenty to return to!  We took the “diverted” route past the Water Works – which proved very muddy 😦  – so a word of warning to anyone who takes this route!  And the our route back the way we came to go home for Sunday Lunch.

We will return.  All the photos for the walks photos are as follows –

2010 – 21.11.2010 – Solesbridge Lane – Sarratt Bottom Walk



2 responses to “Chess Valley Walk – Solesbridge Lane – Sarratt Bottom Walk – 21.11.2010

  1. Pingback: Chess Valley – Rickmansworth Walk – 07.08.2011 « Karen's Sponsored Walks

  2. Pingback: Cassiobury Park Watford – Croxley Green Walk | Karen's Sponsored Walks

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