Stage 1: Henley-on-Thames to Ewelme – The Chilterns Cycleway
Bike Touring Highlight
Amy planned a bike ride.
July 16, 2021
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, passing plenty of beautiful spots and interesting places along the way.
Leaving Henley-on-Thames can be slightly frustrating as there are few route signs. Instead, you can follow the Reading road signs and consider riding outside of rush hours. Once you’ve navigated the town, you will soon find yourself in open countryside far away from the hustle and bustle.
After Harpsden village, you will have a short, steep climb. Otherwise, the route gently rises and falls over the hills, showcasing the stunning Bedfordshire countryside with sweeping views over chalk downland, beech woodland and farmland.
Today, you will pass through colorful woodland interrupted by quaint villages such as Kidmore End and Ipsdon, each with their own unique charm: historic churches, welcoming country pubs, thatched cottages and local shops.
Soon after Ipsden, the route takes a slight detour to Wallingford, a beautiful town steeped in history and culture. Wallingford is known for its links to Agatha Christie who lived and worked here and as a location for the TV series Midsomer Murders. Nowadays, the town is calm and peaceful with cafes, pubs, and restaurants.
Your final destination of the day is Ewelme, a beautiful medieval village. Here, you will find a pub and community shop, as well as various accommodation options in and around the area. Alternatively, you could spend the night in Wallingford.