Route no: 9 – Marlow, Cookham Dean, Burchetts Green, Hurley – Beauty Rating: 4/5 – Length: 18 miles – Difficulty Rating: 4/5
This is an epic off road adventure with well over half the route away from roads. The journey enjoys diverse countryside and good views and refreshment stops throughout. Route finding is tricky especially around Cookham Dean, a map (OS Explorer 172) is essential.
1 From Marlow High Street head towards Marlow Bridge with the church on your left. Once over the bridge take the first left sign posted to Longridge Scout Camp. This takes you under the flyover bridge then over a smaller brick bridge over a stream.
2 Immediately after the brick bridge turn left into Quarry Wood Road. Continue along this road parallel to the river until Quarry Wood Hall (Cardboard Castle). At the castle take right hand fork up lane towards private house (no through road). At Quarry Clyffe House take path on the right, this eventually becomes a gravel track then lane. Continue on past large white house upwards to 5 Point Lane junction at the top.
3 Turn right for 1/3 mile (good views over Marlow) then take left down Startins Lane. At the bottom at the junction go straight across up Cookham Dean Bottom then left up Popes Lane. At the top bear right to Pinkneys Green.
4 Take right hand turn by the Jolly Farmer Pub, follow on past the School and Post Office taking the left hand gravel lane marked Bedwins Lane. Follow for 200 yards then at clearing go straight over onto road marked as dead end. Go up small hill to the start of the woods with tennis court on your right. Follow bridlepath on into the woods then onto Cookham Dean Common. Follow this bumpy track skirting the edge of the woods, then go through woods at the end of the Common until road junction.
5 At the junction go straight over on road towards Maidenhead. After 1/2 mile turn right down Golden Ball Lane. At road junction turn left then immediately right onto gravel drive taking you onto Pinkneys Green. Cross the green diagonally towards the white walled house on Lee Lane. Go down Bix Lane, at the tiny road go straight across following path through wide clearing with white timber framed house on your right. Follow until you meet another road.
6 At the road go straight over onto path marked with a horseshoe and follow down under the A404. As soon as you exit the tunnel take left up stepped path. Follow this round to the right towards the Lodge then taking wide left hand path into the thicket. Take first wide right hand path through the woods, just before the end of the woods (50 yards before the road) take bridleway to the right by wooden fence. Follow for a short while to a minor road. Turn right and follow for 1 mile until the Crown Pub. Turn left and after 450 yards turn right to Dew Drop Inn (signposted cycle route). Follow this undulating road for approximately 1 mile. As you exit the wood the road bears right but continue straight on. After 300 yards turn right to Dew Drop Inn.
7 At pub take bridleway to the left of the pub. At bridleway junction go left. Follow on through fields until next junction. Turn right then as path goes up take left alongside fields. Follow on through a gate into woods, go down through the woods to the right and continue downwards. This track will lead you to the Black Boy Pub but take care as it is fast singletrack and the road approaches with no warning.
8 Take the road to the left of the pub to Frogmill Farm and the River Thames. Follow the towpath to the right for 1 mile taking you into Hurley. Always give way to pedestrians on the towpath.
9 At the centre of village take left hand turn by the phone box (to boatyard). Take the next right by Hurleyford Farm Caravan Park which will lead you around to the left onto bridlepath. Follow this through the fields over cattle grids, then through the gate at the end of the fields.
10 Once out of the wooded area take a left hand path through a tunnel. It is best to dismount this short section as it is a footpath and the tunnel is low. This leads you into Temple Village. Continue on in same direction on the road skirting the pitches of Bisham Abbey. At the road junction turn left passing through Bisham Village, this road will lead you back over Marlow Bridge and the High Street.