Starting and finishing pretty much on top of the Ridgeway National Trail, it’s only a short leg east from Watlington’s free car park to get this Chiltern Hills killer rolling. Heading west on a portion of the chalky ridgeline, unusually towards a motorway, the ride soon splits from the M40 and enters the Wormsley Park estate via rich broad leaf growth. With a nod to Getty’s infamous private cricket green, the trail hits the fields before a short, sharp effort through Northend. From here it’s on to the ride’s 239 metre high point at Christmas Common for a clear view of the Kites. A lengthy wooded descent on the Oxfordshire Way follows, so you might consider curbing your consumption at the Fox & Hounds. Fidgeting through a series of plummets followed by granny-bashing lifts to Russell’s Water, a flint-based kamikaze sets you up for a meander through Ewelme Park before rejoining familiar Ridge Way territory on your way back in to Watlington.
It’s a real cracker in the summer but beware that a winter of leaf litter and rain-pummelled chalk transforms this killer into an altogether different struggle.