Midweek Walk: Chenies and Chess Valley
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Lovely, easily accessible, 6 mile circular walk starting and finishing in Chenies
It's a mixture of fields, woods, river, meadows, horses, sheep and even the possibility of watercress (if they have any at the watercress farm) and ice cream (they always have that).
The Chess Valley has some of the most attractive countryside in the Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The Chess itself is a 'chalk stream', fed by groundwater which forms in the layers of chalk rock below, which function like a sponge, soaking up rain water until it emerges at ground level. Chalk streams are shallow and narrow, with gravel beds and clear, warm water, hence facilitating the farming of watercress.
The wildlife of the Chess Valley is diverse, and at various times through the year it's possible to see kingfisher, water voles, brown trout or even the spectacular banded demoiselle damselfly, amongst many other species of birds, plants and animals..
It's almost certainly going to be a bit muddy, so wear walking boots or wellies, or trainers that you're not going to mind getting grubby.
Total ascent on the walk is 155m, basically down into the valley and back out again.
It's dog friendly too, and I'll have at least one of my dogs with me, possibly both.
You are very welcome to bring a dog/s on the walk. If you do, please do remember that you are responsible for the behaviour of your dog/s, so be prepared to keep dog/s on a lead if you are not confident that they will behave well with other dogs and walkers, or to be considerate to anyone else on the walk who may be less confident with dogs around.
There are usually sheep and horses at times on the way around so all dogs will need to be on the lead for those. But there are plenty of parts of the route with no farm animals so the dogs can have a good run around too. Your dog is always your responsibility.
What to bring
For your comfort and safety please be prepared for the anticipated weather and the potentially wet and muddy terrain of the walk - keep in mind the following:
Boots: Hiking boots advised, wellingtons or cross trainers may suffice.
Socks: Proper walking socks keep your feet dry, and help prevent blisters.
Walking Trousers: (ideally water resistant) will be more comfortable than jeans which are heavy and cold when wet.
Waterproof Over-Trousers: worth bringing in case of heavy rain.
Layered clothing: allows you to quickly adapt to changes in the weather as well as body temperature. E.g. a base layer or a cotton T-Shirt; a mid layer like a micro fleece, or a rugby type thick shirt, and a top layer fleece.
Waterproof Jacket: essential when hiking in all but the calmest of weather.
Hat: useful both in mid winter to preserve heat and in summer to prevent sunburn and heatstroke.
Gloves: essential in frosty weather.
Small Rucksack: One that is comfortable to wear is essential so that you can use your arms freely.
Water: even in winter one can loose a litre or more of fluid by perspiration. If you fail to make this up you'll get dehydrated which can lead to headaches and other problems.
Medicines: If you have allergies, are diabetic, or have minor ailments don't forget these!
Food & drink
Bring some water, a packed lunch and any snacks you may want on the way.