If you’re looking to get out of the city and take in the best that rural Britain has to offer, then the quaint town of Chesham should be right up your street. Nestled in the heart of Buckinghamshire whilst being conveniently connected to London, the small market town has been a popular destination for city dwellers since the 1960s. After the electrification of the Metropolitan Line in 1959, Chesham became a wildly attractive hotspot for holiday makers and as such the town has flourished. Now home to over 20,000 people, further intensive development of this idyllic countryside retreat has been halted due to the area forming part of the Metropolitan Green Belt.
Aside from the usual High Street outlets, Chesham’s unique attraction is its traditional marketplace. Twice weekly the town is packed with sellers of all wares; lively merchants cram the historical square, crying out their offers and deals selling clothes, gardening tools, homeware and Asian food. In addition to this bi-weekly affair, on the fourth Saturday of every month a Local Farmer’s Market is held. Do not be fooled by Chesham’s outwardly rustic appearance however, for buried beneath its street lights and benches are powerful Wi-fi modems, which grant visitors and residents alike free wireless internet.
Travel a few miles further afield and the historical stature of this area becomes more evident. Chenies Manor is a Grade 1 Listed Building, privately owned and open to visitors. Parts of the well maintained manor house date back as far as the 15th century and the rooms were even occupied by British royalty during its long tenure. Now the manor serves both a historical and conservational purpose, holding a yearly plant fair as well running various events to raise awareness for the decline of the worldwide bee population. All of this is set within the glorious surroundings of the Chilterns, an official Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and arguably the biggest draw that Chesham has to offer.
There are many paths and road for the casual walker to follow, the most popular one being the Chess Valley Walk. With Chesham as the final destination, the hike begins at Rickmansworth and follows the River Chess, passing many conveniently placed public houses. In between small towns, the riverside offers up the chance for a keen observer to spot all manner of natural wonders such as trout, cygnets and kingfisher. After a 10 mile walk, the weary traveller can rest his bones back in a town of rich cultural heritage and look forward to a peaceful night’s sleep in a town that typifies English country living.