Marlow, Hambleden quick loop
3. Marlow, Hambleden quick loop.
Start: Marlow town centre
Distance: 15.3 miles
Roads: Rural roads, no heavy traffic
Difficulty: Moderate. A couple of sharp climbs out of Marlow then again up to Rotton Row.
Total Climb: 1136 feet
Beauty rating: 5/5
This is a very simple quick loop from Marlow which can be completed easily within an hour. Ideal for a swift ride when time is short before or after work, passing three picture perfect Chiltern villages. It is a long but relatively easy 4 mile climb up to Frieth crossroads where you then enjoy a speedy continual descent for 3 miles , passing the villages of Fingest and Skirmitt. The route brings you into Hambleden from where you climb sharply up to the hamlets of Rotten Row and Bockmer End on lovely quiet roads. Some great views throughout.
1.Marlow (101ft) to Frieth crossroads (458ft) 4.07 miles
Leave Marlow on West Street as if going to Henley. Go immediately right up Oxford Road by Platts garage. Follow as it leaves the town and climbs upwards on Chalkpit lane. You soon pass the Royal Oak pub and Bovingdon Green. Remain on this road for another 3 miles as you gently climb. Pleasant views can be seen to your right over Shillingridge wood and the valley. At Frieth Crossroads go straight over.
2.Frieth Crossroads (458ft) to Hambleden (149ft) 5.4 miles
You pass the tiny and unspoilt Prince Albert pub on your left. Carry on as the road speeds down past Mousells Wood . At the junction turn left to Fingest . Pass through the village with the Chequers Pub and its 12th century Norman Church. Stay on the road as it bears sharply to the left towards Skirmitt. There is a short climb followed by a opportunity to get some speed up as you descend into Skirmitt. You pass the consistently good Frog at Skirmitt and then bear right over the tiny bridge ,then following the road as it goes left following the valley bottom. There is a slight climb then follow for a mile until you take a turning to your left signposted “Chiltern Cycleway” on Colstrope Lane. Pass Colstrope Farm and the yew hedges of Colstrope Manor. Do not ascend up the hill but take the next right following the valley. This is a lovely lane giving great views over the Hambleden valley to your right. When you get to the junction turn right and follow the road into Hambleden village . At the junction in the centre( the timeless Stag and Huntsman is to your left) go right passing St Marys Church(cream teas in Summer) and the shop to your right.
3. Hambleden (149ft) to Rotten Row (441ft) to Marlow (101ft) 5.83 miles
Go over the bridge over the often dry Hamble Brook. At the junction turn left .Once past the car park take the next left towards Rotten Row. As you enter the woods the road really starts to climb and it is it quite a tug up through North Cot Wood. Once at the top follow lane until you reach Rotten Row . The lane goes sharp left as the pond is to your right. Once you have left the hamlet take the next right to Bockmer End . The lane goes sharply to the right and gives high level views over the Thames valley to your right. The lane passes through Homefield wood .Keep straight on as you pass through Bockmer End and its distinctive cottages. You now experience a sharp drop downwards followed by an immediate climb back up through the beautiful Marlow Common woods. Keep to the right at the junction in the woods. Follow for ½ miles until you reach the Henley road. Turn left to Marlow (take care as this is a busier road) passing the Hare and Hounds as you quickly speed back down into town. As the road flattens out you pass the Hand in Flowers to return to West St and the town centre.