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Marlow Cookham Hurley• Off Road Route


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.

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National Routes

Ridgeway Adventure

The Ridgeway is a National trail of some 87 miles and spans both the Wessex Downs and Chilterns from Avebury in Wiltshire to Ivinghoe Beacon in the North Chilterns.The western half from the start to Goring and streatley is the best for mountain biking it contains an almost unbroken 43 mile stretch of off road.It generally runs on the top of the downs and so is well drained and gives expansive views over the vale of white horse.Look at the website for details www.nationaltrail.co.uk/ridgeway/

SouthDowns

The SouthDowns Way adventure-the South Downs way is again a National Trail and spans over 100 miles from Winchester to Eastbourne. The entire length can be transverse by bike with wonderful views over the downs with the highlight of coastal views toward the end. It can be completed by the casual cyclist in 3 to 4 days whilst the fitter rider can be expected to do it in 2 or even a day for those really up for a challenge. It is best to do both the Ridgeway and SouthDowns way in May, June or September when the weather is drier avoiding the summer holidays when pressures on accommodation are greater. Website www.nationaltrail.co.uk/southdowns/

Wales

Coed y Brenin, North Wales-hailed as the birthplace of modern mountain bike centers, this cycling oasis offers a café, bike hire, changing rooms and six trails, from the easy to the very challenging. Click on Coed y Brenin at www.mbwales.com

Coed llandegla, North Wales-a stunning private wood with many fine trails that include a teasing 12km beginners ride. After a gentle uphill section comes the joy of downhill, with taster jumps offering excitement. .www.coedllandegla.com

 

Cumbria

Grizedale, Cumbria-the North Face Trail at Grizedale Forest in Cumbria sounds worrying ,but its 11 mile offers much of what mountain biking is all about: fabulous views, testing climbs and technical excitement. Search “challenge trails” at the International Mountain Biking Associations website on www.imba.org.uk

 

Scotland

Fort William, Scotland-The mountains surrounding this Fort William host the annual Mountain Bike downhill cup. Try the 11 mile Witches trail, starting from the Nevis range ski centre car park and climbing towards fast and rocky descent sections www.ridefortwilliam.co.uk

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West Wycombe , Radnage and Beacon’s Bottom • Off Road Route


Route no: 1 West Wycombe / Radnage – Beauty rating: 5/5 – Length: 15 miles – Difficulty rating: 3/5

This route is gloriously beautiful and diverse. The first half is easy traffic free cycling along the valley, the second half is more challenging with ups and downs through the hidden treasure of Radnage.


1 Park in the car park of the West Wycombe Garden Centre. Leave the car park and turn left onto Chorley Road for approximately 1 mile, then take a right down Slough Lane.

2 Continue on Slough Lane for roughly 1 1/2 miles until a sharp right by the farmhouse where you turn left onto the bridleway marked Deanfield.

3 At road junction go straight over onto lane and follow. At Lodge Hill Farm continue onto the unmade track by the hedge.

4 Continue and follow hedge round to the left. At the gap in the hedge on your left take this sharp turn up the grass hill towards the old barn. At the top have a rest, take in the view then continue on through the iron gates and onto the lane. At the lane fork go left to main road.

5 At the main road go straight over onto bridlepath through wooden gate, taking care crossing busy road. Follow bridlepath down (beware this is flinty and steep). At the road turn left past the church. If you want to cut the ride short remain on the road which will lead you back to the garden centre. If you wish to continue take the right up Town End Road and then left up Horseshoe road towards Bennett End. The Three Horseshoe’s Pub will be on the left and is good pub with excellent views from the garden.

6 At the village centre take a right down Grange Farm Road. After 500 yards take a left onto a bridleway up towards the woods. Follow left up a steep hill through woods. Follow on to a tarmac track with a farmhouse to your left and follow round to left. At road junction turn right.

7 After approximately 500 yards take left turn to Water End and follow for 2/3 mile along and down. Take a left signposted dead end. At the dead end go straight on through gate along the bridleway (signposted Bottom Wood). At end of field go through gate into Bottom Wood. At footpath junctions continue on in same directions.

8 When out of the woods go through gate and straight on towards gate 200 yards opposite. At gate follow track towards the road. Follow path behind the farm towards the main road, then at the main road turn left using the path adjacent to the road. Follow on back to West Wycombe and the garden centre.

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Wendover Forest & Bracknell Forest


Bracknell forest (Swinley forest) – the perfect starting place for a beginner though there are some more challenging trails for the more experienced.
There is an excellent network of trails in this 2600 acre pine forest that is easy to get to with good parking.
See www.bracknellforest.gov.uk

For details:  Riding permits £ 2 per day available from the lookout centre.


Wendover Forest-Situated on the edge of the Chiltern escarpment Wendover woods is the highest Point of the Chilterns at almost 900ft,and enjoys spectacular views across the vale of Aylesbury.It is owned and managed by the forestry commission with gentle family routes and more challenging rides..It is most well known for its downhill course which descends the length of the hill.This is managed by a the “firecrest mountain bike club” although anyone can ride the trails.Cost to ride all day on the downhill course is £5 or £3 in the evening.It is open every weekend throught the year and evenings depending on the season.
Look at the website for up to date opening times- .www.rideastonhill.co.uk

 

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Marlow, Chrisbridge Cross, Booker and Marlow Bottom • Off Road Route


Route no: 10 Marlow, Chrisbridge Cross, Booker and Marlow Bottom – Beauty Rating: 2/5 – Length: 12 miles – Difficulty Rating: 4/5 This is not one of the easiest routes in the book but has some good off road riding. The majority of the route is on bridlepaths with some hard climbs up and challenging single track downwards. There are some good views along the way.


1 From the centre of Marlow go down Spittal Street. At the Cross Keys roundabout turn left up Dean street past the Police Station on the right. Turn left down Berwick road, leading to Munday Dean Lane. Carry on for approximately 1/2 mile and turn right up bridleway (Chiltern Way). Carry on up this steep bumpy track until you reach the top. On the left there is End Farm House.

2Turn left at the top and head downhill. After 50 yards fork right along a bumpy downhill, then up the bridleway. At the top with the big house on your left carry on up the lane until it forks, take the left down clearly marked bridleway. This flinty track goes downhill round steep banked bends. At the bottom go straight up through Shillingridge Woods, carry on up through woods until you reach the road with Shillingridge Park on your left. Turn right and go along past valley until crossroads. Fork right towards Blueys Farm Estate.

3 Follow round following blueys signs for about 100 yards and then take bridlepath signposted on right. Follow down and at the other side. Turn left inbetween trees. Go up through wooded canopy and follow hedgerows round to the left until you reach the lane. Turn right onto the main road then right again and after about 1/4 mile turn left onto Clay Lane signposted Booker/Wycombe. Follow this road past garden centre up to Booker Dump.

4Turn right into the dump and take pathway on the left adjacent to road, follow this path straight through woods and down through fields. Carry straight down and then up the other side on the track toward old house farm at the top. At the top, turn right and follow the road until a sharp right turn. Go straight down the bridleway (by Chevrons) until you reach the house at the other end.

5 At the house turn right straight down along the path by the side of the house. After about 100 yards fork round to the right and follow the path all the way to Hill Farm House at the bottom. Follow the road down to the junction at the bottom. Turn left then after 20 yards turn right down the bridleway, go all the way up to the top. As you come out of the woods follow the road down bringing you out on Wycombe Road. Turn right then left down Bobmore Lane, and then at the bottom turn right and follow road back into Marlow.

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Marlow, Cookham Dean, Burchetts Green, Hurley • Off Road Route


Route no: 9 • Marlow / Cookham Dean / Burchetts Green – 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.

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Frieth, Southend and Ibstone • Off Road Route


Route no: 11 Frieth, Southend and Ibstone – Beauty rating: 5/5 – Length: 13 miles – Difficulty: 4/5 This is a ride with stunning views through lovely villages of the Hambleden valley with many good pubs. All off road segments are downhill with 2 very steep road climbs


1 Start at Frieth – car parks at the school, Yew Tree and alongside road. Go up high street bearing left to Hambleden and Henley at the top. After 1/3 mile take right hand bridleway marked St Benedicts. Continue on as path leaves the tarmac – great views. In the distance you can see Luxters vineyard which you will be passing in 2 1/2 miles. Stay on the obvious middle path. Beware of loose flint and tree roots. At road go left into village and left again towards Hambleden.

2After 2/3 mile take right road (sign posted Chiltern Valley Winery). This is a steep climb up to Luxters where you can visit the winery, shop and taste their wares. Continue on the road as it flattens out and meanders through the magnificent beech woods. At junction go straight across (ignoring left to Fawley and Henley). Although you are 600ft up this part of the route is surprisingly flat. Take next road right to Southend (the village not the seaside resort!). Keep an eye out for deer in woods to your left. Keep straight on road with village to your right.

3 At junction go left towards Northend. After 300 yards at the crossroads take 1st right on narrow tarmac lane to Turville Grange (opposite Rose Farmhouse sign). At the Grange turn left along track. Stay on track as it bears right to become bridlepath between hedges. This path looses 300ft in 1/2 mile, you may wish to dismount the initial section, as it is very steep and very flinty. Stay on the obvious path as it ascends slightly and meets the road. Go right and follow down for half a mile turning left up the road by the Thames Water booster.

4 This road up to Ibstone starts gently then climbs sharply. At last the road bears round to right and flattens out. At Ibstone turn left for 100 yards then take right hand bridlepath by Ibstone School. Stay on main path it travels down past the house and enters forest on wide easy path. At bottom do not go through gate into Harecramp Estate but take right hand path into wood (path nearest the gate). Stay on this path ignoring wider, muddier track to your right. View on the way to Luxters.

5 At gate go straight on. This path is well used by horses and is subsequently extremely muddy in winter. Follow this path along valley bottom for 2/3 mile. At end of bridlepath go through metal gates onto road. Turn right, after 1/2 mile you enter Fingest and the Chequers pub. Turn left at the pub, after 2/3 mile turn right towards Frieth. After almost a mile you come across the Prince Albert pub on your right. Take tiny road alongside pub garden, then the next left to return to Frieth and start of the ride.

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