The Phoenix Trail has something to suit everyone, whether it's a quick, traffic-free cycle ride between Princes Risborough and Thame, a tranquil path to amble along with your dog on a summer's evening, somewhere safe to teach your child to ride their first bicycle, or a connecting route for horses to get on and off the Ridgeway at Bledlow.
Rich in wildlife, the trail is particularly renowned for red kites, impressive birds of prey that thrive in the area. The trail also features some great artworks, some of which reflect the route's railway heritage, and magnificent views of the nearby Chiltern Hills. Whatever the weather or season, the Phoenix Trail gives you the chance to get out into the fresh air all year round.
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. Wheelchairs may experience difficulty with the access ramps at Towersey Halt and the B4009.
The Phoenix Trail comprises a series of 30 artworks sited over 5 miles between Thame and Princes Risborough. It was inspired by the old railway environment and the landscape looking out to the Chiltern Hills.
Lead artist Angus Ross together with six furniture students from Rycotewood College in Thame made sculptures and distinctive resting places using mainly green oak, locally sourced from the Chilterns.
Lucy Casson was commissioned to make three copper characters on poles. Lucy also ran educational projects at John Hampden and Princes Risborough schools. The project was an overwhelming success in many respects, reflected in the fact that it succeeded in winning the 2002 'Arts, Business & Community' Award from Arts & Business.
The project was a partnership between Sustrans, Rycotewood College, The Arts Council, Ercol Furniture Ltd, the Transnational Woodlands Industries Group, Arts & Business and Wycombe and South Oxfordshire District Councils.
We have taken all responsible steps to ensure that these routes are safe and achievable by people with a reasonable level of fitness. However, all outdoor activities involve a degree of risk. To the extent permitted by law, Sustrans accepts no responsibility for any accidents or injury resulting from following these routes. Walking and cycling routes change over time. Weather conditions may also affect path surfaces. Please use your own judgement when using the routes based upon the weather and the ability, experience and confidence levels of those in your group.