Maidenhead to Windsor Great Park
9. Maidenhead to Windsor Great Park
Start: Maidenhead town centre.
Distance: 28 miles
Roads: Some unavoidable busy sections together with quieter lanes . The great park is free of traffic .
Total Climb: 752ft
Beauty Rating: 2/5
The highlight of this route is unquestionably Windsor Great Park with it traffic free lanes and unique atmosphere. The route is low altitude and easy and leads you to the park using the quietest roads available. The road to Cranbourne is a straight 4 miles without deviation which allows you to pick up some pace.The park can be explored further through its miles of lanes connecting such places as Virginia water, Savill Gardens and “the village”. The route then leads you into Windsor and Eton where you cross Eton bridge and travel back over Dorney common. Lots of opportunity for refreshment in pubs along the way and in Windsor.
1. Maidenhead Station (92ft) to White Waltham Church(134ft) 3.26 miles.
From the station head west along Shoppenhangers Road following the blue “route 4 “ signs.Turn right down Ludlow Road following the “4” signs. At the end of the road climb onto the cyclepath. At the end go right following sign to Desborough Park then to Vanwell business park. At the end of Desborough cresent go left and follow round turning right down Kendell Place(signed 4 to Cox Green School). Go under the A404 then left at the road, then right down Cox Green Lane by the Foresters Pub. Go past the Barley Mow. At the junction go left onto the roundabout(you are no longer following 4 signs) and take the Woodland Park exit right. At the next roundabout go left onto Waltham Road to White Waltham. Follow for a mile turning left to Paley Street on Church Hill Lane.
2 .White Waltham Church (134ft) to Cranbourne (232ft) 6.65 miles
Climb up past the picturesque St Marys Church . At the junction go left to Paley Street. Follow over the M4 taking the next right to Binfield and Bracknell. In ½ mile at the roundabout go left to Fifield and New Lodge. Follow for ¾ mile then go straight over the next roundabout onto Drift Road. You do not deviate off this road for 4 miles- the vast majority being dead straight ,featureless and flat. This is an excellent opportunity to pick up some speed and test yourself , and is a popular time trial route for local cycle clubs. The road passes Foliejon Park and New Lodge where it starts to bear right. Continue until junction at Cranbourne.
3. Cranbourne (232ft) to Fox and Hounds at Bishopgate (247ft) 5.49 miles
Go left to Windsor and an immediate right to Sunninghill at the roundabout. These are now busier roads so take care. Windsor forest is to your left as the road gradually ascends to the roundabout . Take the B383 to Sunninghill/Virginia water. Follow fast road downwards then up the other side. After a mile or so you enter the park via a sharp left through Ascot Gate . Follow through Prince Consorts gate enjoying the great views down the tree lined Dukes Lane. At the junction take first right and pass the Royal School to your right. Follow upwards and at the top take the right hand turn (not Cumberland Lodge).
At the next junction go left. At the large Pink house if you wanted to explore the park further you could go through the Iron gates ahead. If not go right here and exit the park via Bishopsgate where you will find the Fox and Hounds just outside the gates to the right.
4.Fox and Hounds at Bishopsgate (247ft) to Eton Bridge (66ft) 5.2 miles
Just past Savill Court Hotel go left along Crimp Hill. Carry on as it zips along downwards and brings you into Old Windsor passing the Union and Oxford Blue pubs. At the junction go left and continue straight down the one way paved street. Go left on Straight road then at the large and busy roundabout take the Eton/Datchet turning. Follow as it crosses the Thames then runs alongside it as it travels through Datchet. Then cross the river again with views of Eton college in the distance. As you enter Windsor you pass St Georges School , then at the traffic lights turn right onto the cobbles to cross Eton bridge.
5 .Eton Bridge (66ft) to Maidenhead (92ft) 7.4 miles
Once over the bridge turn left onto Brocas Street and then go left down Meadow lane(signposted route 4). Follow at the bears round to the right and enters Eton flanked by Eton college buildings. At the junction go left onto Eton Wick Road. Follow under the railway and road( there is a cyclepath adjacent to the road if you prefer) and through Eton Wick passing the Three Horseshoes and Shepherds Hut pubs. Continue as roads crosses the vast Dorney Common . Go through Dorney passing the Palmers Arms then taking the left lane down Court lane to Dorney Reach. Follow as road bears right passing Eton rowing lake. Cross over the M4 and continue for 1 mile passing the JubileeRiver. At the A4 turn left onto the busy highway. Follow under the railway then over Maidenhead Bridge. Go straight over at the mini roundabout and carry on until the main roundabout taking the first left onto Forlease Road. At the traffic lights go right down Bridge Street. Go left down St Ives Road passing the library then take the right down York road. At the next junction turn left to return to the railway.