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Beautiful hills far and wide – ride the Chilterns Cycleway

Snapshooter46 (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

Beautiful hills far and wide – ride the Chilterns Cycleway

Bike Touring Collection by Amy



19:21 h

184 mi

9,975 ft

With gently undulating hills, swooping red kites, ancient beech forests, and grand stately homes, it comes as no surprise that the Chilterns inspired one of the UK’s most beloved authors, Roald Dahl. This Collection guides you along the Chilterns Cycleway through the region’s spectacular sites which will inspire you, too.

The Chilterns Cycleway is 183-mile (296 km) circular loop starting and finishing in Henley-on-Thames. We have broken the route down into seven sections ranging in length from 21 to 32 miles (35 - 53 km) which can easily be combined if you are looking for a bigger challenge. Each section ends in a town or village with plenty of accommodation options to ensure you have a comfortable adventure. As the route is well-signed, you can ride it in both directions.

This adventure takes you over the magnificent Chiltern Hills, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty known for its spectacular landscape and an impressive selection of pubs. You climb a total of 9,842 feet (3,000 m) that reward you with amazing views at every turn.

The route follows country lanes as they wind through the countryside, occasionally joining former railway lines, towpaths, or bridleways. Although the country lanes are usually quiet, they can become busier during rush hours.

You not only find green nature as you cycle the Chiltern Cycleway; the region is steeped in fascinating history. This Collection takes you to regal country estates, crumbling castle ruins, medieval villages, and museums where you can learn about times gone by.

Your journey begins in Henley-on-Thames, a quintessentially English town known for its regatta and riverfront. With its independent shops, charming cafes and lively pubs, Henley is worth exploring before setting off.

You can travel to and from Henley-on-Thames by train. The town has links to London via Slough and Twyford. There are various bike rental shops in Henley if you don't want to travel with your bike.

All that is left is to pack your panniers and get riding – an inspiring journey through time and nature awaits!

For more information about visiting the Chilterns, visit: chilternsaonb.org
For train tickets and timetables, visit: thetrainline.com/stations/henley-on-thames

On The Map


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Chilterns Cycleway

177 mi

9,800 ft

9,800 ft

Last updated: December 20, 2021

Tours & Highlights

  • Map data © OpenStreetMap contributors

    Stage 1: Henley-on-Thames to Ewelme – The Chilterns Cycleway

    25.3 mi
    9.8 mph
    1,200 ft
    1,075 ft
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    Mighty rivers winding through picturesque towns, ruined castles on hilltops and picture-book villages set amongst rolling countryside – your first day of cycling the Chilterns Cycleway is an epic introduction into your adventure. Today, you will cycle 25 miles (41 km) from Henley-on-Thames to Ewelme

    by Amy

  • Difficult
    33.2 mi
    8.7 mph
    2,150 ft
    2,025 ft
    Expert bike ride. Very good fitness required. Some portions of the Tour may require you to push your bike.

    Bluebells blanket forest floors, colourful wild meadows sway in the breeze beneath, and layers upon layers of soft hills stretch into the horizon – the second stage of the Chilterns Cycleway is a dreamlike ride into the UK’s most spectacular scenery.


    Today, you will cover 33 miles (53 km) from Ewelme

    by Amy

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  • Intermediate
    21.7 mi
    10.9 mph
    1,275 ft
    1,275 ft
    Intermediate road ride. Good fitness required. Some portions of the Tour may be unpaved and difficult to ride.

    Beginning in Wendover, stage 3 of the Chilterns Cycleway leads you 21 miles (35 km) over gentle hills to Markyate, a pretty Hertfordshire village on the edges of Bedfordshire and Buckinghamshire. Wooded countryside, luscious fields, grand estates and iron history await.


    Within a few miles of leaving Wendover

    by Amy

  • Intermediate
    25.5 mi
    9.3 mph
    1,300 ft
    1,375 ft
    Intermediate mountain bike ride. Good fitness required. Advanced riding skills necessary.

    Picturesque country parks, fascinating ruined castles and magnificent stately homes – stage 4 of the Chilterns Cycleway takes you deep into British history and spectacular nature. Today you ride 25 miles (41 km) from Markyate to Harlington.


    Leave Markyate via the A5. The road is very busy, so take care

    by Amy

  • Difficult
    30.2 mi
    8.4 mph
    1,550 ft
    1,475 ft
    Expert bike ride. Very good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    Today, you ride 30 miles (48 km) from Harlington to Harpenden. With 1,541 feet (470 m) of elevation gain, stage 5 is one of the hillier sections as you climb up and over the stunning Chilterns.


    Your ride begins in Harlington village nestled amongst the hills. From here, you set off into the Sharpenhoe

    by Amy

  • Intermediate
    24.1 mi
    11.8 mph
    1,350 ft
    1,450 ft
    Intermediate road ride. Good fitness required. Some portions of the Tour may be unpaved and difficult to ride.

    Stage 6 of adventure takes you 24 miles (39 km) from Harpenden to Amersham. Today, you can expect relaxing parklands, cycling cafes, quiet countryside and fascinating museums.


    You leave Harpenden via the Nickey Line footpath and cycleway. This former railway line stretches for 9 miles (14 km) through

    by Amy

  • Intermediate
    23.7 mi
    9.3 mph
    1,125 ft
    1,525 ft
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    The final stage of the Chilterns Cycleway takes you 24 miles (38 km) from Amersham to Henley-on-Thames. With 1,541 feet (470 m) of downhill, today is a relatively easy ride.


    From Amersham, you head into the countryside and cross the River Misbourne as it flows through Little Missenden. This pretty village

    by Amy


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Collection Stats

  • Tours
  • Distance
    184 mi
  • Duration
    19:21 h
  • Elevation
    9,975 ft

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