Stage 4: Markyate to Harlington – The Chiltern's Cycleway
Includes segments in which cycling is forbidden
You will have to dismount and push your bike.
247 yd in total
Bike Touring Highlight
Amy planned a mountain bike ride.
July 16, 2021
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 and make use of the footbridge. You find yourself riding through the idyllic River Lea valley, passing lovely villages and plenty of pubs along the way. Despite skirting around Luton, the route finds quiet corners of the Bedfordshire countryside.
Within 3 miles (5 km), you pass through Kinsbourne Green, a quiet village with a historic church, before entering the grounds of the Luton Hoo. This lavish estate passed through the hands of many elite families, from politicians to diamond traders. Today, the house serves as a luxury hotel.
After crossing the River Lea, you visit the haunted ruins of Someries Castle before continuing on lanes as they wind through the countryside. There are a few pubs in Peter’s Green and Breachwood Green for a pitstop.
At mile 18 (km 28), you ride into Lilley. This old estate village was once the centre of non-conformity. It is believed that the author of ‘Pilgrim’s Progress’ secretly preached here during the 17th century and the village was also the home of James Janeway, a religious writer.
From Lilley, the route follows country lanes as they gently rise and fall through the landscape, passing Streatley and Upper Sundon before arriving in Harlington. With two pubs, a train station, and a shop, this pretty village is an ideal place to spend the night. It is no stranger to hosting athletes – the first English National Steeplechase was run here in 1830.