As far as the tube map goes, Amersham is at the very edge, the northern limit. However Chesham is actually the furthest in miles from Central London. The station first opened on 1st September 1892 on the Metropolitan Railway and was renamed to Amersham and Chesham Bois, reverting to its original name in 1937.
While Amersham now marks the end of the Metropolitan Line, this wasn’t always the case. Up until 1961, the Metropolitan Line extended as far as Aylesbury as this map shows , while the old Metropolitan Railway that preceded it went as far as ‘Verney Junction’, 50miles north of Baker Street, until 1936. The service north of Amersham is now solely provided by Chiltern Railways as part of the National Rail network.
Amersham Station itself has quite a British Rail look with plenty of paintwork in the traditional BR Red seen across the rail network in the 1980s and 1990s. I rather liked the old footbridge connecting the two platforms. The more functional red one behind it is far less attractive!
The Pub: The Saracens Head Inn, 38 Whielden Street, Amersham, HP7 OHU
First things first, I will admit The Saracens Head is a fair walk from Amersham Station. But all the suggestions I received via friends and on Twitter was to head into Old Amersham. Plus if you’re going to come this far out, might as well strive to find a good place. Given it’s the last station on the line, there are also no fears about straying too close to another station!
Once you’ve completed the walk into the picturesque Old Amersham down either Rectory Hill or Station Road, you will find The Saracens Head on Whielden Street, which is just off The Broadway. From the exterior, it looks like a very traditional pub, or should I say inn, because there are rooms for the night above the pub. The building itself apparently dates from 1530, which surely must make it one of the oldest I’ve visited so far!
Inside, it feels like a classic country pub complete with low ceiling and wooden beams. There was also a roaring fire on the go on our visit. The walls are decorated with photos of Amersham in days gone by. The small outside courtyard serves as a garden. On the ale front, we went for Old Speckled Hen, there are also other Greene King ales available. The food is also impressive too, I had a lovely Lasagne, perfect for a drizzly winter day. The ‘Jerk Chicken Caesar Salad’ looked very intriguing, but I felt like something more hearty after our long trip to Zone 9.
Regular readers may remember Derek Acorah was holding court recently up in Chorleywood, perhaps he should have come here instead. The pub’s website says two ghosts roam the building, one is apparently a serving wench from the 17th century while the other remains a mystery. I’m sure Derek could clear that one up in minutes…
While there is no denying Amersham is a very long way from central London, The Saracens Head is a top pub and well worth visiting if you’re in the vicinity.