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Things to do in Chesham

Top recommendations from locals

From sightseeing to hidden gems, find out what makes the city unique with the help of the locals who know it best.
Bar
  • 4 locals recommend
Grocery or Supermarket
$$
  • 2 locals recommend
Grocery or Supermarket
$$
  • 1 local recommends
Cinema
  • 1 local recommends
Bar
“Great food and drinks. Family friendly. Dog friendly. Large outside garden. A good starting place for local walks. ”
  • 2 locals recommend
Café
$$
  • 1 local recommends
Gym
  • 1 local recommends
Indian Restaurant
$$
Restaurant
  • 1 local recommends
Art Gallery
“Amazing, quirky, relaxed, artistic place with good music on Saturday nights.”
  • 2 locals recommend
Postal Code Prefix
“Chesham (/ˈtʃɛʃəm/, local /ˈtʃɛsəm/, or /ˈtʃɛzəm/) is a market town in the Chiltern Hills, Buckinghamshire, England. It is located 11 miles south-east of the county town of Aylesbury. Chesham is also a civil parish designated a town council within Chiltern district. It is situated in the Chess Valley and surrounded by farmland, as well as being bordered on one side by Amersham and Chesham Bois. The earliest records of Chesham as a settlement are from the second half of the 10th century although there is archaeological evidence of people in this area from around 8000 BC. Henry III granted the town a royal charter for a weekly market in 1257.[2] The town is known for its four Bs, usually quoted as:- boots, beer, brushes and Baptists.[3] Chesham's prosperity grew significantly during the 18th and 19th centuries with the development of manufacturing industry. In the face of fierce competition from both home and abroad all these traditional industries rapidly declined. The ready availability of skilled labour encouraged new industries to the town both before and after the end of the Second World War. Today employment in the town is provided mainly by small businesses engaged in light industry, technology and professional services. From the early part of the 20th century onwards there has been a considerable expansion of the town with new housing developments and civic infrastructure. Increasingly Chesham has also become a commuter town with improved connection to London via the London Underground and road networks. The town centre has been progressively redeveloped since the 1960s and was pedestrianised in the 1990s. The population of the town has increased to slightly over 20,000 but further growth has been restricted because the area forms part of the Metropolitan Green Belt. There is archaeological evidence of the earliest settlement during the Late Mesolithic period around 5000 BC in East Street, Chesham where a large quantity of Flint tools were found.[4] The earliest farming evidence from the Neolithic era around 2500 BC. Bronze Age tribes settled in the valley around 1800 BC and they were succeeded by Iron Age Belgic people of the Catuvellauni tribe around 500 BC. Between 150-400 AD there is evidence of Romano-British farming and nearby at Latimer there is archaeological evidence of a Roman villa and the planting of grapevines. However the area was then deserted until the Saxon period around the 7th century'.[5] Contrary to popular belief, the town is not named after the river; rather, the river is named after the town. The first recorded reference to Chesham is under the Old English name Cæstæleshamm meaning "the river-meadow at the pile of stones"[6] around 970 in the will of Lady Ælfgifu, who has been identified with the former wife of King Eadwig. She held an estate here which she bequeathed to Abingdon Abbey.[7] Prior to 1066 there were three adjacent estates which comprised Caestreham which are briefly recorded in the Domesday Book as being of 1½, 4 and 8½ hides, having four mills. The most important of these manors was held by Queen Edith, the widow of Edward the Confessor. Other land having been returned to the Crown it was in the hands of Harold Godwinson and his brother Leofwine Godwinson.[6] Part of these later became Chesham Bois parish.[8][9] After 1066 Edith kept her lands and William the Conqueror divided royal lands between his half brother Odo, Bishop of Bayeux and Hugh de Bolbec. The Domesday Book records that there were three manors in Cestreham and one at nearby Latimer. William the Conqueror shared out the estates between four of his dependants. The vast majority of land was granted to Hugh de Bolebec and smaller parcels to Odo, Bishop of Bayeux, Toustain Mantel and Alsi.[10] Before the 13th century the three Cestreham manors were known as Chesham Higham, Chesham Bury and Chesham Boys (or 'Bois'). In the 14th century they were first recorded as 'the manors of Great Chesham'. Collectively they extended beyond the current Chesham town boundary.[10] Together with the manor at Latimer they were held by the Earls of Oxford and Surrey. During the 16th century Greater Chesham was owned by the Seymour family who disposed of it to the Cavendish family who were the Earls and later Dukes of Devonshire. It is from the 15th century that the earliest surviving properties survive and are to be found close by the church in an area called the Nap, and along part of the present-day Church Street. Though gradually disposing of land the Cavendishes maintained an influence in the town until the 19th century. The Lowndes family started purchasing land from the 16th century. William Lowndes was an influential politician and Secretary to the Treasury during the reigns of Mary II, William III and Queen Anne. He had the original Bury and manor house of Great Chesham, rebuilt in 1712. The Lowndes family settled in Chesham and over the next 200 years became equally influential both nationally t”
  • 1 local recommends
Postal Code
“THE DRAWING ROOM: Francis Yard, East St, Chesham, HP5 1DG. Tel: 01494 791691 A really unusual place and a really surprising find, tucked away in a courtyard in Chesham. If you are in a group then then you can book the Moroccan tent (it’s a small room upstairs that is decked out like a Moroccan tent and has low seats/cushions with a small low central table.). The Wapas (World tapas) are amazing and really reasonable priced. Both times I’ve eaten there we’ve paid around £8-£10 per head including shared desserts. They are licensed but it’s best to take your own wine and pay ‘corkage’ They also have live music events and Spanish evenings (conversation and a bit of teaching with a qualified teacher and a native Spaniard) for £6 on a Wednesday! Same thing in Italian on a Thursday! ”
  • 1 local recommends
Food
  • 1 local recommends
Food
  • 1 local recommends

Top restaurants

Bar
  • 4 locals recommend
Indian Restaurant
Restaurant
  • 1 local recommends
Art Gallery
“Amazing, quirky, relaxed, artistic place with good music on Saturday nights.”
  • 2 locals recommend
Café
  • 1 local recommends
Meal Takeaway
  • 1 local recommends
Thai Restaurant

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Experiences in Chesham