Berkhamsted in Hertfordshire is a great place to spend a cycling holiday with its mix of history, culture and an excellent range of food and drink on offer all along its vast High Street. Only 30 miles from central London it is easily reached via main transport links and feels a world away from the busy city. The 5,000 acre National Trust Ashridge Estate is within walking distance and there are lots of great cycling routes to explore on road, off-road and on the Grand Union Canal. Plus lots to see and do in the town.
The market town
Berkhamsted offers one of the best selections of restaurants in the area with everything from Thai and Italian to fine French dining, ice cream parlours and gastro pubs; many serving locally sourced, organic produce. The long main high street is home to a majority of food establishments as well as an excellent selection of independent shops and boutiques – a real shopper’s paradise. The main road can be busy but traffic is generally slow moving and there are lots of individual cycle stands located at intervals along it.
Places to visit and things to do in Berkhamsted
Dating from the 11th century, Berkhamsted Castle played an important part in British history for hundreds of years and the ruins are open to the public. The high street itself contains a number of historic buildings and is dominated by St Peter’s Church and the old town hall. The town has produced its own Heritage Walk containing a map of points of interest (including a totem pole!) and audio trails are also available. For film buffs there’s the art deco Rex Cinema at one end of town or take a walk through time along the Grand Union Canal, stopping off at one of the many canal side pubs.
Just for cyclists – what to do and where to ride
The Chilterns Cycleway passes through the centre of the town using the Grand Union Canal towpath from the train station heading north to Cow Roast. Ashridge Estate is also easily accessed by bike from the town and has a number of family friendly cycle routes as well as a network of bridleways. Our website has a variety of excellent on and off-road route suggestions in the area, suitable for a wide range of abilities.
Bike shops in Berkhamsted
The Little Bike Company specialise in children’s lightweight bikes and accessories whilst Lovelo Cycle Works on the high street provide sales, spares, repairs, bicycle hire and electric bikes. Both are friendly and helpful with a wealth of local cycling knowledge.
Cycle routes around Berkhamsted, Dacorum and Hertfordshire
(as shown on map above)
- Haresfoot Brewery ride (lilac) – 17 mile road route through Ashridge Estate
- MTB around Berkhamsted (green) – 28 mile demanding MTB ride on bridleways and tracks with a lunch stop in Wendover
- Chilterns Cycleway (brown) – 173 mile signposted cycle touring route around the Chilterns AONB
N.B. Cycle Chilterns encourages all users of roads, paths, public rights of way, towpaths and open spaces to act in a responsible and courteous manner. Read our Cycling Code of Conduct.
How to get to Berkhamsted
By train: There are regular train services from London Euston (33 mins), Milton Keynes (25 mins), Northampton (50 mins) and Birmingham New Street (1h30). To find out more about travelling by train, take a look at the London Midland Bicycle Policy.
By bus: For public transport and bus information, take a look at Traveline.info
By car: Berkhamsted has good road links and is just off the A41 between Watford and Aylesbury. The M25 and M1 are within a 15 minute drive.