Author Topic: Milton Keynes to Watford.  (Read 418 times)

quixoticgeek

  • Mostly Harmless
Milton Keynes to Watford.
« on: June 07, 2019, 09:40:17 pm »

I need to get from Milton Keynes to Watford. Can anyone recommend a good route? Can I pick up the grand Union canal somewhere there and follow it south? What's the tow path like if riding on 32mm slick tyres?

Are there better options that are easy to navigate? What would people recommend?

J
--
Beer, bikes, and backpacking
http://b.42q.eu/

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Milton Keynes to Watford.
« Reply #1 on: June 07, 2019, 09:49:08 pm »
West Coast Mainline
To ride the Windcheetah, first, you must embrace the cantilever...

quixoticgeek

  • Mostly Harmless
Re: Milton Keynes to Watford.
« Reply #2 on: June 07, 2019, 10:09:04 pm »
West Coast Mainline

That's my backup if my motivation doesn't return...

I should have been more specific and said a cycling route :p

J
--
Beer, bikes, and backpacking
http://b.42q.eu/

Re: Milton Keynes to Watford.
« Reply #3 on: June 07, 2019, 10:12:27 pm »
https://ridewithgps.com/routes/30210084

Canal is a bit iffy in places - grassy, or thin, or stony - I'm sure you'd be fine but there are nice quiet back roads.

Mike

guidon

  • formerly known as cyclone
Re: Milton Keynes to Watford.
« Reply #4 on: June 07, 2019, 10:17:24 pm »
I'm sure it's still possible - but as I haven't been back to the towpath since 1985....I couldn't say it still is....A bigger question would be do you have time constraints? It seems via satellite quite populated and not exactly direct  ??? ??? I would say use the B roads instead of the A5  and avoid St.Albans to Watford, but then Hemel Hempstead isnt a picnic on a bicycle these days either! Good luck!!

Re: Milton Keynes to Watford.
« Reply #5 on: June 07, 2019, 10:40:12 pm »
My recollection of the towpath* is that it's basically a muddy footpath. If you're lucky it'll be punctuated by fishing rods, ropes, boaters having picnics, gates where you have to use the road for a bit etc.

(* admittedly from years ago, and possibly not that particular section)

Re: Milton Keynes to Watford.
« Reply #6 on: June 07, 2019, 10:56:46 pm »
The towpath is a mix of gravel and packed dirt sections along there. The Milton Keynes end is the better end. Probably OK if it hasn't  been raining or is raining. I've ridden bit of it along there on 28s in the dry. Cycle.travel gives a reasonably mostly quiet route though there's some steep drags as you are passing through the Chilterns. I'd avoid Leighton Buzzard (suggested by cycle travel) to the west personally but it is a busy town rather than fast traffic.

Re: Milton Keynes to Watford.
« Reply #7 on: June 07, 2019, 11:04:23 pm »
I'd have thought picking up the B440 in Leighton Buzzard would be OK. You can get through Hemel if you avoid the magic roundabout (although that's not that bad at times) and stay on minor roads east of the main road through Kings Langley. Hemel's old town centre is a nuisance as it has a one-way system that's not well signposted for bikes, but you can always walk.

RichForrest

  • T'is I, Silverback.
Re: Milton Keynes to Watford.
« Reply #8 on: June 07, 2019, 11:57:37 pm »
Canal to Leighton B is a Sustrans cycle path but as usual rough. Have ridden it on narrow tyres but it rattles your fillings out.
The road through from Bletchley via Stoke Hammond is good but can be busy at rush hour, I used to use it to go to work in Leighton. The Hemel road from Leighton is very busy as used as a short cut instead of the M1.
I'd likely go via Stewkley, Wing, Mentmore, Cheddington. I've not ridden the Tring, Berkhampstead, Bourne end part but most of the traffic there would use the A41 dual carriage way.

Rich

quixoticgeek

  • Mostly Harmless
Re: Milton Keynes to Watford.
« Reply #9 on: June 10, 2019, 08:35:19 am »
West Coast Mainline

Last night I loaded Wheels of Fire's route into my wahoo, ready for a nice ride south.

Woke up, packed the bike, got ready to ride, opened the curtains. Bah. It's pissing it down :(

Open twitter, Yellow warning for rain covering my route.

At this stage, I'm thinking Kim's suggestion is probably wisest. Just waiting until 10 so I can use my network rail card.

Thanks everyone.

J
--
Beer, bikes, and backpacking
http://b.42q.eu/