Phoenix Trail traffic-free cycle route

Phoenix Trail Cycle Route Overall Rating: ⭐⭐⭐

The Phoenix Trail is an 8 mile, almost entirely traffic-free cycling route in Oxfordshire, linking Princess Risborough with Thame. With the steepest gradient along the route being less than 2%, we can safely call it very flat (as is often the case with trails built on disused railway lines.

Surface on the Phoenix Trail

The surface is either smooth tar, or self-compacting gravel, and is rideable all year round. Mudguards on your bike will definitely help though, especially after rain.


Only standard bicycles are suitable for this route. Touring bikes with panniers will struggle.


There are toilets at the Princess Risborough train station, and also in Thame.

Points of Interest

The historic city of Oxford is nearby.

Routes in Oxfordshire


Unfortunately, there are several barriers along this route. The worst barriers at at the lane crossings for Chinnor Road and New Close Farm Road.


Safety: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Hilliness: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Refreshment stops: ⭐
Barriers: ⭐
Surface: ⭐⭐⭐

Overall: ⭐⭐⭐

Forecast for the Phoenix Trail

What it looks like

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Getting there

The route as shown in the map below starts at the train station in Princess Risborough. That makes it easy to get to the start in a car-free manner, simply by taking your bike on the train. However, before doing so, do read my Bikes On Trains guide first.

It is also possible to cycle from Oxford, along rural lanes, but that’s obviously not traffic-free.

See also  Crab & Winkle Way traffic-free cycle route

More Routes

To find more routes, click this link.


DayCycle routes are routes can can easily be cycled by most people in a day, or part of a day. Do have a look at all the other DayCycle routes available on WillCycle. Many contain detailed route guides, as well as embedded maps (like the one below) from which you can download the GPX file for the route.

2 thoughts on “Phoenix Trail traffic-free cycle route”

  1. Getting from Princes Risborough to the start of the trail proper looks like it involves cycling on pretty hairy A and B roads with no cycling infrastructure at all. It would help if you marked on-road sections in a different colour on your maps.

    • That initial stage does have a pavement, and if I was cycling with kids, I’d be on the pavement. For the record, ministerial guidance to police remains the same: ignore responsible pavement cyclists. However, your suggestion of a different route colour for the on-road segments is a great suggestion, and (on this route at least) I’ve implemented it.


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