This tour gives you a comprehensive look at the villages and estuaries of the New Forest National Park, the outstanding coast of Dorset and the isles of Wight and Purbeck. It combines all the locations and cycling of our coastal 5 and 7 night New Forest tours and is a real treat with gorgeous hotels.
The forests, heaths and pasturland of the New Forest provide the back drop for the first few days as you ride to Brockenhuirst and on to Beaulieu and Lymington. Here is a wealth of maritime history to explore before you cross to the Isle of Wight and continue the wonderful traffic free pedalling which shapes much of this tour.
Back on the mainland, the itinerary leads you along quays and cliffs with sand spit and beach side cycling and a couple of ferry crossings to the loved Isle of Purbeck. Not an island proper, but rather a tucked away chalky coastal corner of Dorset, you can enjoy its unspoilt beaches and inland its woods, rural charms and the small characterful town of Wareham. The tour offers huge variety with time to enjoy the many diversions on offer.
Day to Day Itinerary:
Day 1: Burley
Arrive in Burley on Sunday and check into your old manor house 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. Your hotel nestles at the water's edge.
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. Your hotel, a lovely old priory, sits at the riverside.
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 Burley, 24 miles (38 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. Return to Burley for the last night of the tour along an upland track with a final view of this outstanding landscape.
Day 9: Depart Burford.
Supplemental Tour Information:
- Start & finish: Starts Wednesdays and is circular from Burley. Burley is a short taxi ride from Brockenhurst station which is 1.5 hours from London by train. It is also close to Bournemouth airport.
- Accommodation: An old manor house hotel, 3 boutique hotels and a riverside country house hotel on the Luxury version and village inns in Burley and Lymington, small hotels in the heart of Brockenhurst and Wareham and a delightful private house in Mudeford.
- Cycling mileage: 5 days of cycling. 15 - 24 miles (24 - 38 km) per day and 2 days of optional cycling.
- Grade out of 5 based on distance and elevation: 1
- Terrain: Flattish
- Traffic free:70%; very low traffic on the rest.
Options: Extend your ride to Stonehenge and Salisbury by taking our Complete New Forest Experience tour.
Airfare is not included in the tour price.
Minimum cost is for Classic version. Maximum cost is for Luxury version.
- Breakfast every day during the tour.
- The services of our friendly hosts to coordinate your travel and brief you on your route
- Emergency support provided by your host
- Luggage transfers between hotels
- A tour brochure
- Safeguarding of your payment.
- Travel to and from the tour start and finish points
- Entrances to attractions unless specified
- Other dinners
- Alcoholic beverages
- Mini bars
- Meals pre and post the tour.
All prices are subject to change depending on accommodation availability.
About This Supplier
Joined InfoHub: Mar 2007
Authentic travels by bike and on foot in the UK, France, Italy, Holland, Austria, Greece, Spain and the Baltics. Gentle and not so gentle tours available from one day upwards - self led or guided. Hand picked accommodation and a very personal service. Classic tours have carefully chosen attractive inns, individual...
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