If your New Year’s Resolution is to get fitter, get outside more and appreciate the natural environment then there’s only one thing for it – book a walking or cycling holiday (or both!) in the New Forest immediately.
Why? Well, apart from the well-documented benefits of being in the outdoors – it’ll improve your blood pressure, lung function and mental wellbeing - we’re one of the best places in the UK to take to two wheels or legs.
We have more than 100 miles of off-road tracks and also low speed-limit roads, where you can enjoy easy and relaxed cycling and see thousands of free-roaming ponies, perfect for families or those simply wishing to enjoy a leisurely ride at their own pace.
We’re the perfect place to bring young ones to start their adventures on two wheels and we’re great for dogs, too (you can even hire a trailer for your pooch to travel in).
And because we have nearly 70 hotels, B&Bs and self-catering cottages signed up to our Cyclists’ Welcome scheme you’ll be assured of all the help and assistance you need to enjoy the perfect New Forest cycling break. Many of the places provide secure spaces to store your bike and equipment, as well as suggestions for routes you can take in and around the area. Look out for the logo when you're booking. Campsites and Holiday Parks also make fantastic places to rest your head during a cycling or walking holiday.
If you’re based in Burley you can hire a bike from Forest Leisure Cycling and enjoy riding one of their many suggested routes from the village. Popular routes with families include cycling along the disused railway track (with tea stops and pubs along the way), the 11-mile Owl and Reptile ride which stops at Liberty’s Owl and Reptile Centre and the 12-18 mile Deer Sanctuary ride.
In the New Forest you can walk with history (to see World War II airfields and the spot where a King was murdered), walk with the 'beasts' (along with the ponies and cattle we have roaming donkeys and, in the autumn, roaming Pannage Pigs), and walk with pubs – well, to them anyway!
If you’d like to get even more from your visit, why not hire a guide, from Fuzzacker? They’ll tailor a walk to your particular needs, keep you safe and help you understand even more about this amazing part of the world.
Or, if you time your trip with the month of October, you’ll catch our famous annual Walking Festival where you’ll find dozens of walks to get out and enjoy.
Best news of all is that our New Forest hotels and businesses are busy dreaming up lots of exciting things for riders and walkers to do in 2020.
Cyclexperience in Brockenhurst is currently devising a number of cycling tours for 2020 that can be booked directly online. They have six in the pipeline which will include two to three-day self-guided tours, either with or without luggage transfer. Here’s a sneak preview of what’s coming up.
1. Two-day e-Bike tour, self-guided but with the help of a mobile phone guiding app
2. Two-day family camping tour of the New Forest with luggage transfer
3. One or two-day trip cycling along the National Cycle Network Route Number 2 from Brockenhurst to their centre near Corfe Castle.
They’ll also be offering supported road bike tours in the New Forest.
So keep an eye out for any updates from Cyclexperience!
And, if you’re just starting off your cycling career – or you’d like to try – then check out this offer from Careys Manor Hotel in Brockenhurst.
Their special Cycling Break includes overnight accommodation, one-day cycle hire, a free Careys Manor picnic (sandwiches, crisps, fruit and water), a Full English breakfast and use of the legendary SenSpa leisure facilities, including the swimming pool, sauna, jacuzzi, steam room and gym. From £215 per room.