This is a 35 mile ride with variety, good stories and the odd laugh. It runs from Twyford through two quite different landscapes; the Thames Valley and the Chiltern Hills. It is mostly flat but there is a short & avoidable off-road section through woodland where you need to wheel the bike. The climb onto the Chilterns is around 350’.
The route crosses the Thames using footbridges over locks and weirs. Highlights include the 1000 year old priory at Hurley, the WW2 bolthole of King Zog of Albania and Turville and Hambledon villages, popular settings for film and telly productions. The route comes with a cast of entertaining historic and not so historic characters that is too long to list in this intro.
It sets off eastwards on flat country roads before turning north and a gentle climb past the excellent 'Velolife' cyclist's café at Warren Row, before crossing the Thames at Hurley Lock. You then climb slowly up onto roads along the high ground heading for Frieth before descending (quickly!) into the valley of the Hamble Brook and continuing to Hambledon.
After crossing the river again the route retraces early steps for a couple of miles before diverting onto an alternative and more direct route back into Twyford. A little under a mile of this section uses paths through the woodlands on Bowsey Hill. These can be muddy and if you are using a road bike you might prefer to devise an alternative route. There are several easy options; consult your map.
In addition to the summaries here, there are notes on each waypoint. These can be difficult to find and access on Outdooractive. You can find better edited and updatded versions on my blog site, www.pootler.co.uk . Look under the 'Pootler' heading.
It sounds rather lovely. Then sea levels fell and the newly emerged and rising chalk started to be eroded by wind, water and the rivers which crossed the newly formed land, depositing beds of gravel, silt and clay. These cover the southern part of the ride. Sometime around then, a meteor impact crashed into the Gulf Of Mexico wiping out the remaining dinosaurs. The Thames itself is a relatively recent arrival. It used to flow further north until an ice age around 450,000 years ago blocked its path diverted it southwards. If you are interested, the National Trust have a clear and colourful guide at:
The route sets off eastwards on flat country roads before turning north to cross the Thames at Hurley Lock. After about 7 miles, at Warren Row, excellent 'Velolife' cyclist's cafe. When you reach the river, Hurley Priory has a colourful history bound up with the Reformation. You will find more detail on many of the places mentioned in the waypoint notes.
After you have navigated the rather complicated but scenic river crossing, you continue northwards and upwards into the Chilterns through woods and farmland, passing the WW1 training trenches in Pullingshill Wood and the former home of King Zog of Albania, in Frieth. At this point there is a glorious descent into the valley of the Hambleden Brook and onto Turville and Hambleden, popular settings for film and telly productions and with their own cast of entertaining historic and not so historic characters.
On this return leg the Thames is crossed using the weir at Hambleden Lock and the route continues through rolling countryside to Twyford. A little under a mile of this section uses paths through the woodlands on Bowsey Hill. These can be muddy and if you are using a road bike you might prefer to devise an alternative route. There are several options; consult your map.
If you want a better edited version of these notes or to comment or add to them, please visit my blog (link) www.pootler.co.uk