-Accommodation: An old manor house hotel, a 4 star Georgian hotel, 3 boutique hotels, a riverside country house hotel and 2 of our classic inns on the Luxury version and village inns in Burley, Lymington, Ringwood and the northern New Forest, small hotels in the heart of Brockenhurst, Wareham and Salisbury and a delightful private house in Mudeford on the Classic version of this tour.
-Cycling mileage: 8 days of cycling. 10 - 24 miles (16 - 38 km) per day and 3 days of optional cycling
-Grade out of 5 based on distance and elevation: 3
-Terrain: Flattish on most days but some slopes on 3 days
-Traffic free: 60%; very low traffic on the rest
This tour includes all the cycling and experiences we provide in the New Forest. Put simply, it incorporates everything on offer there - forest life and villages, the Isles of Wight and Purbeck, the coast and beaches of Dorset, the Avon valley, Salisbury and Stonehenge. This staggering array of history, landscapes and mood can all be enjoyed from forest tracks, bike paths, disused railways and a few quiet roads with wonderful hotels along the way. Wow! what an experience!
Additional nights along the way
Day 1: Burley.
Arrive in Burley on Sunday and check into your hotel in this typical forest village. At a time to suit you make your way to our base a few minutes walk away, which is open from 09.00 to 17.30, to pick up your cycling equipment. Your host will also meet you to run through your itinerary and to familiarize you with the route.
Day 2: Burley to Brockenhurst. 20 miles (32 km).
Today you will see the best of the New Forest on this wonderful route of off road gravel tracks giving you a great opportunity to see deer, ponies and pigs as they roam freely in their natural setting. Wonder at ancient and majestic trees and absorb the peace and tranquillity as you ride deep into the forest and into the heart of forest inclosures. Snatch a glimpse of civilisation in the village of Lyndhurst and enjoy an overnight stay in the forest village of Brockenhurst
Day 3: Brockenhurst to Lymington. 20 miles (32 km).
The scene changes gradually from forest to open country as you ride to the pretty Beaulieu river where you will discover the charming village of Beaulieu. Housed here is the not to be missed National Motor Museum and a notable house and garden. If that were not enough, the estate also includes the picturesque hamlet of Bucklers Hard running down to the river, where many famous naval vessels were built. From here it’s a gentle wander to Lymington – a historic maritime town where you will spend the next two nights. Once a busy port rife with smugglers and now a bustling centre with yacht marinas, fishing boats and a ferry, there’s plenty to unearth here.
Day 4: Lymington to the Isle of Wight and back. Optional 7 or 16 miles (11 or 26 km).
Hop aboard the ferry for the half hour trip to the Isle of Wight and discover a different scene today. Landing at Yarmouth with its working pier and tidemill, you could linger for much of the day here. There is a delightful ride on a former railway track heading to the south coast of the island at Freshwater for those wanting to explore the island further and a ride inland to a vineyard with plenty of ferries to return you back to Lymington for your second night there. Not known as gentle cycling territory, we have tailored the ride so your holiday will not be spoilt!
Day 5: Lymington to Mudeford. 20 miles (32 km).
Some of the route today follows an old railway line as you pedal along embankments and steam through bridge holes. There are fresh forest tracks to discover and we hope some wonderful encounters with wildlife You reach the coast along leafy lanes to find Mudeford, a delightful fishing village. It also has a sandy beach and is the ideal place for coastal walks, fishing and boating.
Day 6: Mudeford to Wareham. 24 miles (38 km).
It’s fantastic seaside riding today which includes two ferry hops, two piers, cliff top and beachside cycling and unspoilt National Trust beaches, woodland and heath. There is a short ride through the valley gardens which run through the heart of Bournemouth before you take the chain ferry to the Isle of Purbeck . Blessed with glorious unspoilt beaches, this tucked away corner of Dorset – not an island proper, is famous for its stunning coastline and steep ridge of hills. Your ride wonderfully skirts the hills on an off road route through pretty woodland and leads you to the heart of Wareham where you will spend the next two nights.
Day 7: Circular ride from Wareham. Optional 24 miles (13 or 38 km).
Wareham is a small and charming market town that sits on the River Frome with over 200 listed buildings. For those wanting a day without pedalling, there are boats to hire from the quay for an easy spin down river to Poole harbour and back. Horse riding is available and there are steam train rides to Corfe Castle and Swanage. Those craving more beach time can pedal to the idyllic Studland beaches. To explore deepest Dorset, there is a wonderfully rural ride which follows two pretty river valleys dotted with fords, hamlets and forests and includes a Tank Museum and Lawrence of Arabia’s Dorset retreat.
Day 8: Wareham to Ringwood. 20 miles (32 km).
Start the day with a very short train hop before pedalling traffic free along a disused railway line for much of the ride. Cross rivers and heaths, sprint through forests, and enjoy the villages enroute of this woodland area. You will ride through the market town of Wimborne which boasts a fine house in Kingston Lacy, many pubs and an unspoilt collection of centuries old shops, houses and a minster. Your overnight stay is in the heart of Ringwood village close to the River Avon.
Day 9: Ringwood to Salisbury. 18 miles (km).
As you pedal the Avon valley floor, a string of pretty villages unfolds, increasingly peaceful and always characterful. Crossing fords and the occassional wooded hill, there are some great views through this charming rural area, which has a different feel to that of the New Forest. You slip into historic Salisbury along a back road and suddenly arrive in the heart of this fascinating town beside the cathedral. Your overnight stay for the next 2 nights is closeby.
Day 10: Salisbury to Stonehenge and back. Optional 20 miles (32 km).
Today's ride leaves Salisbury on a traffic- free route and leads to Amesbury, still following the picturesque villages and hamlets that line the banks of the Avon river. Nearby is the stunning world heritage sight of Stonehenge with all its mysteries and drama. We have arranged for a guide to meet you in Amesbury and this ensures you get the best Stonehenge experience which does not include cycling there! Back in the saddle, you return to Salisbury along quiet roads passing one or two ancient historic sites enroute you may wish to view.
Day 11: Salisbury to a New Forest village. 10 miles (16 km).
This morning is your opportunity to fully explore Salisbury with its rich history around every corner. Enjoy the cathedral and its surrounding extensive close, the Avon and its back waters which thread through the city and discover the beamed interiors of historic buildings. After lunch retrace some of your route before riding up into the northern fringes of the New Forest where charm lurks round every bend and wooded enclaves dice with unexpected views. You will stay the night in a delighful forest inn.
Day 12: A New Forest Village to Burley. 20 miles (32 km).
Riding in the New Forest all day, you will see the full variety this National Park has to offer. There are grand views across heathlands, cosy wooded villages, awesome gravel tracks, wide open roads, trees to inspire, brooks to cross and wandering animals to engage with. This New Forest experience has it all - world heritage sights, islands, forests and estuaries, coast and beaches, villages and historic towns and wonderful riding.
Day 13: Depart Burley.
Return your bikes to our base and depart at leisure.
Minimum cost is for Classic version. Maximum cost is for Luxury version.
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