If you've got a week or so to spare, this 170-mile signposted loop takes in the best of the Chilterns – quiet villages, tree-lined backroads, market towns and numerous welcoming pubs. The route follows roads, but only the townier sections experience much in the way of traffic, and you can start and finish pretty much anywhere: gateway towns include Henley-on-Thames, Wallingford, Princes Risborough, Wendover, Tring, Amersham, Harpenden and Berkhamsted. The route is also divided into 23 sections ranging from 4 to 14 miles – each easily doable in a day – plus a handful of weekend-break-friendly two-day itineraries. One of the prettiest stretches is the 7.5 mile section from Parmoor to Henley-on-Thames, taking in the Chilterns Valley Winery and the picture-postcard Hambledon Valley. You can buy a guidebook for the whole route, or download day or weekend route maps from the Chilterns AONB website. Image courtesy of Pollards Hill Cyclists.
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I've done a couple of 14–17 mile day rides using the Chilterns Cycleway and they were both great – beautiful countryside, lovely villages, pubs, great views and very quiet roads (and not that many uphill bits!). One starts from Wendover and the other starts at West Wycombe and goes down to Parmoor and the Hambleden valley (mentioned above); there are details about them on the website mentioned above. So there's lots of ways to do the Cycleway - you don't have to be a mad keen cyclist who likes to cover 100 miles in a day, it offers plenty for ambling, rubber-necking cyclists like myself who want to take in their surroundings and stop along the way.
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