The Mongewell Loop
Living in Peppard, off-road biking really ought to be compulsory, we are blessed with an abundance of bridlepaths and single tracks in every direction, if you’re not already doing it … get on your bike! This route is a nice two hours, has great views, not too much climbing, is OK with a mountain bike, hybrid or even an electric and is not too muddy! It’s about 15 miles.
From the Red Lion head west down the dip on Colliers Lane, at the bottom go right onto the bridleway, (there is a cycle track along the right side), in the second wood head left uphill to the blue house Colmore. Turn right onto Colmore Lane to the dip, then left up the firebreak Burnt Platt to Stoke Row Road (to avoid mud you can stay on Colliers Lane to the Unicorn and join Colmore Lane on the right there). At Stoke Row Road you can go up through the woods on the left of the road past ponds or stay on tarmac to Stoke Row. Either way, get to the Maharajah’s Well in ‘downtown Stoke Row’. Turn right onto Cox’s Lane, which becomes a gentle ascent on a lovely track to GDP skip depot, go straight across the Nuffield Road signposted to Homer Farm. Carry on this track till a splendid view opens out across the Goring Gap; turn right onto a ‘permissive’ bridlepath which skirts fields and woods – (alternative straight down and back to the King William IV for a quick tipple). The permissive bridlepath gives fabulous views, I reckon you can see Wales on a good day… and Didcot Power station on a bad one!
After a mile, at a ‘crossroads’, take the first opportunity to turn right up a rutted hill into Mongewell Wood, pass Upper House Farm, back to the Nuffield Road (Timbers Lane), turn left to the centre of Nuffield, and just as the golf course starts on the left, take a right onto a bridlepath signed Stoke Row. Chocks away! This is a great blast with two opportunities for a bit of air; watch out for walkers, horses and, of course, tree trunks. In May this is a really fantastic bluebell wood.
Eventually you come out at a T junction, go right on a long fast straight beside larch trees to Howberrywood Farm, so pretty! Past the farm keep rightish, i.e. don’t go left, it becomes tarmac all the way to Newnham Hill Bottom, swing left on a fast and furious short cut coming out at the bottom of Witheridge Hill. Go straight ahead along the ‘main road’ turning right just before Old Place; this is the far end of Colmore Lane, so follow this all the way to the Unicorn, turn left onto Colliers Lane, down and up to the Red Lion for a well-deserved drink.
We often go out cycling the Chilterns and are happy to link up with others!