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Cycling in the New Forest is an absolute joy whether you want to have a multi-day ride and camp, go exploring trails with the children or simply enjoy this fantastic natural space. A historic place, the New Forest was the royal hunting ground of William the Conqueror and has enjoyed protection ever since.
Cycle routes in the New Forest are particularly friendly on the legs. It’s a mostly flat area with only low hills making the national park wonderful for family bike rides. With over 50 car parks and excellent train and road links, you can begin your ride from wherever you like and find trails immediately.
Cycle through old beech and oak forests, cross heathlands dotted with New Forest ponies and stop whenever you like at tea rooms or country pubs. The area welcomes cyclists with open arms and wherever you ride, you’ll find the forest is perfectly set up for your adventure.
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If there’s one thing that keeps cyclists coming back time and time again to this national park, it’s the exquisite forests. Cycle routes in the New Forest whisk you through ancient woodlands, where old oak trees stoop over grazing deer and squirrels bound across in front of you.
The Rhinefield Ornamental Drive has towering trees while vast enclosures have dense coniferous forests to ride through. Beech, ash and elm are all common here, along with the impressive oaks. Bike rides in the New Forest will always bring the magic of exquisite woodlands.
As a national park, cycling in the New Forest is governed by a few easy rules. Luckily, the forest is particularly welcoming to cyclists and riding here couldn’t be a more pleasant experience at any time of year.
There’s a huge range of cycle trails throughout the forest where you’ll cover a mixture of paved and gravel routes as well as bridle paths that will take you through stunning areas. Cyclists cannot ride on open forest unless on bridle paths or marked trails and, as usual, it’s important to avoid footpaths.
Lay down your trusty steed and enjoy a packed lunch wherever you find yourself, the New Forest is a marvellous place for a picnic.
Alternatively, you’ll find pubs and tea rooms scattered liberally throughout the park, almost always with bike racks and picnic tables in the sun. Areas like Brockenhurst, Lyndhurst and Ashurst are especially excellent for a lunch stop.
You’d struggle to complete any cycle routes in the New Forest without coming across one of its many animal residents. The forest is home to the endemic New Forest ponies, a hardy breed who freely roam across the open land. In spring and summer you’ll see foals springing around and while ponies may approach you for snacks, you should never feed them.
Donkeys can also be seen roaming and in autumn, you might be lucky enough to catch the pigs, who are released annually to snaffle up the acorns, which are poisonous to horses. With a large deer population and plentiful birds, there’s no such thing as a deserted forest here.
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