Weaving its way through the ever-changing scenery from chalk downland to the famous Chiltern Beechwoods, the fully signposted Chilterns Cycleway is an excellent way to explore the 324 square miles of the Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty - history, wildlife and stunning views aplenty.
The Chilterns Cycleway passes through Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Hertfordshire and Oxfordshire travelling through some of the finest scenery and landscapes the counties have to offer. Taking in lively market towns, historic villages with country pubs and greens, running alongside crystal clear chalk streams and climbing high up on to the ridges around Ashridge Estate, Whiteleaf Hill, Sharpenhoe Clappers and the Hambleden Valley it takes you on a journey through history and landscape - and all within half an hour of London.
At 170 miles, mostly on road with a few short off-road sections, the Cycleway is perfect for a week long cycle tour with plenty of time to stop and enjoy many of the wonderful cafes and pubs located along the route. And with over 180 accommodation providers including camp sites, hostels, B&Bs and 5* hotels within easy reach, there's an option for every budget.
If the full route is a bit too much to handle in one go, there are lots of day trip and short break suggestions available on Chilterns AONB.
For keen cyclists, the whole route can be split into three sections – North, Central and South - each with its own distinct character and can be covered with circular routes of around 50-80 miles. Have a read of the “A pleasant surprise on the north-east Chilterns Cycleway"for a taster.
Circling the Chilterns, the route can be joined at any one of a number of towns and villages between Luton on the northern edge and Reading at the southern tip and has excellent rail connections from London, the west of England and the north, being served by three major rail operators and the London Underground (Metropolitan line).
Signposted link routes from a number of train stations and towns to the Chilterns Cycleway have also been added by the Cycle Chilterns project, making it even easier to find your way. Link routes include: Henley-on-Thames, Amersham, Chesham, Great Missenden, Princes Risborough and Berkhamsted.
Chilterns AONB website has an interactive map of the whole route and has also produced a handy little booklet containing OS maps of the routes and extra information about where to stay and eat and what to see along the way. So now there's absolutely no excuse to not get out on your bike and go exploring.
More information and the full route are in the web article ‘The Chilterns Cycleway’.
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