Can somebody tell me specifically where the start/end points are for the Phoenix Trail between Princes Risborough and Thame in the UK? I've looked on Google, and I think I've found the route, but when I look on Google Street View at the points where the mustard-coloured line ends, I see no signs. Furthermore it seems to be high street and other roads. I was hoping to use it for some running.

Sustrans website

  • 2
    :D Way to identify the locals! I saw this come up in Hot Network Questions on Stack Overflow and thought, "Wow, a trail I've cycled before! I'll bet I can be useful." ... only to find it's been answered pretty comprehensively already :D It's a great route; enjoy it. May 14 '14 at 15:08

From that sustrans page, zooming in on the map, we see that the Princes Risborough end of the mustard line is at the junction of Church St, Duke St, and High St. Looking carefully at that junction on Street View and zooming in, we can see a Cycle Route sign indicating that Thame is 7.5 miles away on Route 57, matching the information on the sustrans page near enough.

At the Thame end, we are looking for access from Windmill Road. The signage is even worse here, but there is a small Route 57 sign visible.

As for

Furthermore it seems to be high street and other roads. I was hoping to use it for some running.

The name Phoenix Trail seems to sometimes include the 2.5 miles from Princes Riseborough to the traffic-free section, and sometimes not. In the ride description leaflet:

Distance: 5 miles traffic-free

Terrain: Level route on disused railway

Getting there: 2 miles signed on road from Princes Risborough to Horsenden

But on the main page

The Phoenix Trail is flat, well-surfaced and ideal for wheelchairs and pushchairs. There is also seating every 500 metres. The first 2.5 miles out of Thame are surfaced with tarmac and the remainder with compacted limestone dust.

The 5 mile traffic-free section looks like where you want to be running.

  • Well spotted! Thank you so much. Now if I can just find a good pub at both ends of the trail... May 14 '14 at 12:02
  • There's loads of good pubs in Thame, and I seem to recall a one in PR near the station
    – Gagravarr
    May 14 '14 at 13:24

There are a couple of places to join the pheonix trail from in Thame the local gym at lord williams upper school (- they can also direct you to the path that leads to the pheonix trail) is probably the best place as there is parking and a place to grab a drink and pop to the loo . This PDF should give you a start http://www.bucksmtb.co.uk/PDFs/bmtb_pdf_routeguide_phoenixtrail.pdf

As for pubs the six bells and The Thatch both have nice areas to sit outside if it's sunny. The James Figg has an open fire and does the best burgers and the birdcage is good for people watching .

Have fun

  • +1 for The James Figg, I have had a burger once there before. May 14 '14 at 14:24

Your best bet for understanding the route is probably OpenStreetMap, which shows the path. You can see it at the Thame end and Princes Risborough end, or zoomed out for the whole thing.

At the Princes Risborough end, the Phoenix Trail proper starts a little outside of the town. There's a signposted route along Horsenden Lane from by the station, then there's a path across some fields out to the old railway line. You pass some parking, climb up on the path to the old railway, and then you're on the trail proper.

The trail itself is flat, fairly wide (2 cycling abreast is fine), and level. Every so often it crosses a road, mostly straight but one dog-leg, which you'd have to slow down for if cycling, maybe not if running.

As you approach Thame, you have a few possible finish points. When you go under Thame Park Road, there's a signposted way up to the road. When it crosses Arnold Way, you can turn right and head to town that way. Otherwise, you can follow the trail to the very end, where it finishes by the Thame Leisure Centre up on the hill to the west of the town. However, that last bit is on a narrower path than the main trail is, and you've quite a climb...

Plenty of nice pubs at the Thame end in / around the town centre, quite close to the trail, while at the Princes Risborough end I think it's a bit further to the centre to find nice pubs.


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