New Forest Cycling
Cycling in the New Forest gives you a chance to truly experience all the great things we have to offer and get close to our amazing nature. Ancient woodland, heaths, pretty villages and a 40-mile ‘secret’ coast and cycle-friendly accommodation are just some of the amazing things we have to offer cyclists. Plus, here in the New Forest, the real bonus is there are over 100 miles of car-free cycle trails.
There are a multitude of options for the cyclist in the New Forest, whether you prefer to ride mountain bikes, hybrid bikes, electric bikes, gravel bikes or road bikes. Take a look at the various cycling options available to you below. It doesn’t even matter if you don’t have your own bike, there are several places here where you can hire bikes for a day, for longer stays, or just for a few hours.
Top 5 cycling routes in the New Forest
With so many to choose from, we’ve narrowed it down to some of our most popular New Forest cycle routes for you to follow :
The Old Railway (9 miles)
Follow the ‘Castleman’s Corkscrew’ from Brockenhurst to Burley on this easy/medium ride. This ride will take around 2-3 hours, depending on your cycling abilities, and is a great route to explore all of the landscapes and wildlife in the New Forest.
Hawkhill Trail (9.1 miles)
This route is a fantastic choice for families, with the whole route being safe and off-road approved. Heading from a Roundhill, passing by lots of WWII history, with the airfield at RAF Beaulieu.
Ashurst to Lyndhurst Loop (14 miles)
For a longer adventure, this brilliant looped route in the heart of the New Forest is perfect. Taking you past gorgeous open views of the forest, where you will be able to spot our free roaming ponies and cattle and enjoy our lovely flora and fauna. Follow wonderful gravel tracks through the forest and along smooth country roads.
Looping Lepe and Exbury (9.3 miles)
Cycle along our coastline on this circular route starting from Lepe Country Park, down forest tracks and bridleways and through some of our lovely, quaint villages in the New Forest. This cycling route is great for those looking for a more relaxed ride!
Northern Forest Circular (17.8 miles)
For a bit more of an intense bike ride, take this longer route across the beautiful north of the New Forest, where you’ll be able to see for miles across rolling hills, magical heathland and you may even see some of our free roaming animals along the way. If you need a break along the way, you will be riding past some lovely country pubs and cafes.
Family friendly cycling routes
We have miles worth of off-road tracks, where you can enjoy easy and relaxed cycling and see thousands of free roaming ponies and cattle, perfect for families or those simply wishing to enjoy a leisurely New Forest bike ride at their own pace.
If you fancy a family cycling challenge then the Rhinefield Ornamental Woodland route is perfect, which is just under 11 miles and is a looped route starting and finishing at Brockenhurst Village centre. This route is predominantly off-road with easy-to-ride forest tracks through the gorgeous Ornamental woodland passing stunning scenery and loads of wildlife and nature. Bikes can be hired from nearby Cyclexperience, found next to Brockenhurst railway station so you don’t even need to travel to the area by car (you will need to cycle from Cyclexperience to the starting point of this route, which isn't too far).
If you’re based in Burley you can hire a bike from New Forest Cycling and enjoy riding one of the many suggested routes from this lovely village. Or you can follow our Burley Hill Fort route, which is just over 9 miles and loops all the way around Burley Village, where you will cycle on the old railway and over Castle Hill..
The majority of our cycling routes here in the New Forest feature a strong element of off-road cycling. Plus, our off-road cycle network is easily accessible by rail or road so whether you prefer to bring your own bikes or hire them here when you arrive, there are several options available.
With the increased hire and sales of gravel bikes, the New Forest is the perfect place to visit for gravel cycling, with our 140+ miles of gravel tracks for you to follow. Most of our routes follow our waymarked gravel tracks, so check them out and explore the New Forest. The Woods Cyclery, and their sister shop also New Forest Cycling, hire out gravel bikes (medium and large sizes available).
Cycle our Brockenhurst to Lyndhurst route, which is an 11 mile circular route going around one side Brockenhurst to Lyndhurst and back to Brockenhurst again through the forest on the otherside. Lyndhurst makes a great half way stop and is perfect for a pitstop for cake and a refreshing drink to energise you for the remainder of your journey!
Long distance cycle routes
For the more advanced cyclist, our long distance cycle routes offer both on and off road trips where you can explore all that The New Forest has to offer.
The 23 mile Lyndhurst to Burley route is a great example. The route can be shortened or extended using off road tracks and country lanes depending on your preference.
All our cycle hire shops also have a wealth of information about longer distance routes that you can enjoy, with apps, maps and equipment available to buy or hire. New Forest Cycling in Burley have ‘The Royal Oak Ride’ which is one of their more challenging routes, a 32 mile journey to the northwest boundary of the forest and passing several country pubs along the way. If you fancy some sea air on your cycle then why not enquire with Brockenhurst-based Cyclexperience with their ‘Seaside Ride’. This circular 23 mile route passes through Lymington, along the Solent to Keyhaven before returning to Brockenhurst.
Bike Hire in the New Forest
If you need to hire a bike when you are here there are cycle hire shops at various locations in the New Forest that offer a wide range of different types of bikes, from mountain bikes to electric bikes (e-bikes), road bikes and kids bikes. Some also hire out trailers for both dogs and children and also childseats and even tandems. Jaunt-e Bikes are based in Milford on Sea but offer Door2Door bike hire delivery of their wicked electric Monkey Bikes to homes, hotels, holiday cottages, campsites, train stations and more all across the New Forest. Our cycle hire shops are ideally located around the New Forest, in Burley you will find New Forest Cycling, in Brockenhurst is Cyclexperience, in Lyndhurst is The Woods Cyclery and New Forest Bikes in Lymington, there are other bike hire shops located in Beaulieu and Godshill (near Fordingbridge) too.
Guided Cycle Rides in the New Forest
Enjoy exploring our gorgeous New Forest on 2 wheels on a cycling tour while following expert guides from New Forest Cycling Tours and Wild New Forest, that will show you the way along the forest tracks, while stopping off at historic sites, fascinating nature and telling you interesting stories and facts about the New Forest. Their guided bike rides are dotted all across the New Forest on a regular basis, so check out when you can next join and book on.
Be a Forest Friendly Cyclist
Please plan ahead when cycling in the New Forest and find out more about our local car parks and toilet facilities in the New Forest here. Please always follow the New Forest Cycling Code and general New Forest Code when cycling in the New Forest.
The New Forest National Park is a wonderful place to visit and you can help it stay that way by being a Forest friendly visitor.
Cycling is allowed only on the waymarked tracks and other designated routes. When approaching people and animals, call out a warning and pass slowly and wide. Keep to a safe speed, wear bright colours to be visible and always use lights in the dark. If you are road-cycling, try to leave gaps for overtaking vehicles and never ride more than two abreast.
New Forest National Park Authority have a map of the whole cycle network in the National Park, which you can download and view from their website, or cycle hire shops have them available for you to purchase.
We have added the 'what3words' location for the starting point of each cycle route to the webpage for the separate routes. If you haven't done so already, you can download the app of this fantastic mapping and directions system onto your phone. Look for 'what3words ///' on the cycle route pages. See here an app guide on searching and navigating to a what3words address.
New Forest Cycling Holidays
We have nearly 70 hotels, guest houses, B&Bs and self-catering cottages signed up to our Cyclists’ Welcome scheme – so you’ll be assured of all the help and assistance you need to enjoy the perfect New Forest cycling break. Many provided secure places to store your bike and equipment as well as suggestions for routes in and around the area. Look out for the logo when you're on business pages.
Cycling events in the New Forest
Look out for a variety of cycling events that take place throughout the year in the New Forest, including the annual New Forest Walking & Cycling Festival. Whether you fancy a long distance or perhaps a more sedate ride, keep an eye on our what’s on pages for top cycling events taking place across the National Park.
Take a look at the various routes below and plan your next cycling adventure!
2 Miles One of the most popular routes for families is from fantastic National Motor Museum, Beaulieu to the historic Buckler’s Hard. Starting Point : National Motor Museum what3words ///haircuts.kennels.doctor Click here for PDF of route
Distance: 9.3 miles (15 km) Start/End: Start: Queens Head Pub. Grid ref. SU211030. Postcode BH24 4AB what3words ///nowadays.warned.backdrop Burley is a fascinating village and this ride helps you explore it in detail, from the folklore of witches to…
Distance (one way): 8.8 miles (14.2km) Start: Brockenhurst Railway Station what3words ///fulfilled.gladiator.corkscrew The South trail starts near to the railway station in Brockenhurst (perfect if you are travelling by train) through the picture perfect scenery to Burley along…
Distance: 9 miles (14.5 km) Start: Brockenhurst Railway Station. Grid ref. SU301020. Postcode SO42 7DW what3words ///fulfilled.gladiator.corkscrew This bike ride takes you along 'Castleman’s Corkscrew', a disused railway line so called because of…
Distance: 6.8 miles (11 km) Start: Downton Village Centre. Grid ref. SU175215. Postcode SP5 3LZ. what3words ///august.narrating.decays Starting in Downton, Wiltshire, follow the by-ways to Nomansland in the New Forest, with a few hills on the way but plenty of…
Distance: 14 miles (22.5 km) Start/End: Ashurst Railway Station. Grid ref. SU333101. Postcode SO40 7AA what3words ///populate.grumbling.pressing This route is mainly on roads and gives you some of the best open views that the Forest has to…
Distance: 16.3 miles (26.2 km) Start/End: Beaulieu High Street. Grid ref. SU386021. Postcode SU387022. what3words ///input.factor.warned From Beaulieu, this ride takes you through beautiful heathland with great open views over a WWII airfield, with ancient…
Distance: 10.9 miles (17.5 km) Start/End: Brockenhurst Railway Station. Grid ref. SU301020. Postcode SO42 7TW what3words ///fulfilled.gladiator.corkscrew Starting from the Brockenhurst, this ride takes you through ancient woodland and open landscape…
Distance: 11 Miles Starting Point : Brockenhurst Railway Station what3words ///fulfilled.gladiator.corkscrew This route is an easy/medium route which will take you along the Rhinefield Drive and into the Woodland on Forestry England managed gravel tracks. On this route…
Distance: 9.1 miles (14.5 km) Start/End: Roundhill Campsite. Grid ref. SU332020. Postcode SO42 7QL what3words ///chariots.figs.saving Enjoy a bike ride completely free of traffic! This route takes you past some surviving parts of Beaulieu Airfield…
Distance: 9.3 miles (15 km) Start/End: Lepe Country Park. Grid ref. SZ455985. Postcode SO45 1AD what3words ///copes.germinate.tapes This ride allows you to travel along the National Park’s charming coastline with sea views before heading…
Distance: 10.8 miles (17.4 km) Start/End: Brockenhurst Railway Station. Grid ref. SU301020. Postcode SO42 7TW what3words ///fulfilled.gladiator.corkscrew On this ride you begin in Brockenhurst and travel through an area of the National Park…
Distance: 17.8 miles (28.6 km) Start/End: Appleslade Bottom car park. Grid ref: SU183093, Postcode BH24 3QT what3words ///includes.makeovers.assemble The views on this ride across the rolling hills in the north of the New Forest are some of…
Distance: 23 miles Starting Point : Lyndhurst Car Park what3words ///spent.sounds.overjoyed Take this longer route between two wonderful New Forest villages, passing through ancient woodlands and enjoying beautiful views along the way. Start: From the…
Distance: 19 miles (30.7km) Start/End: Abbotswell Car Park (SU11317) what3words ///imprints.dude.ratio Enjoy this longer bike ride along delightful bike paths and country roads, going past beautiful views and through pretty villages. You'll be sure to see…
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