Filmed by Peter Kettle during the summer 2020 lockdown on exceptionally quiet roads the Chilterns Cycleway is a real delight to have on FulGaz.

The Chilterns Cycleway is a 270km/170-mile circular cycle route through the Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, taking in the best of the local scenery.

Thankfully, Pete has broken this up into a collection of 11 shorter routes for FulGaz, so you’re not on the trainer for endless hours tapping away.

This collection highlights the region’s mixture of gently undulating hills and steep climbs hills and be sure to keep a lookout for swooping red kites, ancient beech forests and grand stately homes along the way. It’s a visual feast.

Like all great rides, a number of these finish at the various pubs dotted along the route, so make sure you have a few Chiltern Brewery Beechworth Bitters in the fridge as a little post-ride reward.

You can find these routes by searching “Chilterns” in the FulGaz app. 

1. Holmer Green to Frieth

This is a hillier section as you climb east out of the Hughenden Valley towards Speen, then a fast, winding descent to West Wycombe. Climb again up Bullocks Farm Lane to Lane End and then onwards to Frieth, arriving at the Yiew Tree pub for a welcome refreshment stop.

22.92KM
DISTANCE
1:00:10
DURATION
360M
ELEVATION

2. Frieth to Sonning Common

Descend steeply into the Hambleden Valley, with just a few hundred metres to properly warm your legs up before the steep and narrow climb up Dudley Lane, passing the Chiltern Valley Winery.  Explore the hills and narrow lanes above the River Thames before a long descent to Henley, reaching the route’s most southerly point at Dunsden Green.

24.89KM
DISTANCE
1:05:15
DURATION
287M
ELEVATION

3. Sonning Common to Christmas Common

This is the toughest – but not the steepest – section of the route, beginning with a long rolling climb along narrow rutted lanes through the woods, passing Stoke Row before emerging from the trees with distant views towards Oxford. Tackle the long grinding climb up Swyncombe Hill, eventually to reach the Fox and Hounds pub at Christmas Common.

30.42KM
DISTANCE
1:23:17
DURATION
431M
ELEVATION

4. Christmas Common to Great Hampden

A long rolling descent through Stokenchurch to Radnage, before the first of two steep climbs on this section up to the top of Bledlow Ridge. In the far distance, you can just catch a glimpse of the second climb, the fearsome Kop Hill, with its knee-breaking section of 20% just before you reach the top. Rest your legs with a fast gentle descent to the Hampden Arms pub in Great Hampden.

26.15KM
DISTANCE
1:06:19
DURATION
394M
ELEVATION

5. Great Hampden to Aldbury

There are several short, punchy climbs on this section, which takes you past Chequers, the countryside home of the British Prime Minister. The nastiest climb is at Hale Lane which – just like Kop Hill in the previous section – wears you down before springing a lung-busting finale just before the top. Leave Buckinghamshire behind and ride into Hertfordshire, the worst of the climbing is now behind you but save something for the final ascent up Toms Hill Road at Aldbury.

25.7KM
DISTANCE
1:10:01
DURATION
404M
ELEVATION

6. Aldbury to Kinsbourne Green

Ride on a gravel trail through the Ashridge Estate for 4.5Km. A long climb up Pedley Hill and then a fast, straight sprint into Markyate before the final few rolling lanes take you under the M1 motorway to Kinsbourne Green.

25.9KM
DISTANCE
1:15:41
DURATION
299M
ELEVATION

7. Kinsbourne Green to Upper Sundon

This section passes close to London Luton airport and if you look carefully off to the distant left at around 9.6Km/6 miles you will be able to glimpse the EasyJet fleet parked up. The hills are definitely become easier now, as you continue to ride approximately north and then west to your next break on the village green at Upper Sundon.

26.36KM
DISTANCE
1:03:24
DURATION
332M
ELEVATION

8. Upper Sundon to Great Offley

This is the easiest, flattest, and most northerly section of the route, with some wide-open roads and gently rolling terrain. There is an off-road section at 16Km/10 miles with some steep gravel climbs before you emerge from the woods on the way into Great Offley.

21.59KM
DISTANCE
57:17
DURATION
210M
ELEVATION

9. Great Offley to Harpenden

A long (50 miles/80 Kms) and hilly ride taking on all of your favourite climbs in the Chilterns, filmed on a very hot midsummer’s day in 2020.
21.45KM
DISTANCE
55:27
DURATION
212M
ELEVATION

10. Harpenden to Berkhamsted

Follow the disused railway “The Nickey Line” south from Harpenden, before crossing back under the M1 motorway at Redbourne to begin a long steady climb through Gaddesden Row. A steeper climb over Piper’s Hill before arriving at Berkhamsted, where you ride alongside the Grand Union Canal before the final climb to Champney’s Health Spa.

25.31KM
DISTANCE
1:15:27
DURATION
318M
ELEVATION

11. Berkhamsted to Holmer Green

A long, gently rolling descent into the Chess Valley before a steep climb up Bell Lane to Amersham and Chesham Bois. After a sprint along Copperkins Lane, drop down into the Misbourne Valley and Little Missenden before the final climb up to the Bat and Ball pub at Holmer Green.

28.28KM
DISTANCE
1:14:30
DURATION
276M
ELEVATION

ABOUT PETER KETTLE

A FulGaz contributor since the early days, Pete loves to share his local loops with the world and has a vast collection of rides he’s contributed to FulGaz.

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