Family Cycle Routes
The New Forest is the ideal cycling destination for families wanting safe off-road and gentle cycle routes. We have over 100 miles of care free waymarked routes, where you can experience tracks through the open heathland, near our coastline and our sheltered woods. See if you can spot our resident New Forest ponies, deer, cattle or donkeys on your travels.
Here are 3 of our top family friendly cycling routes in the New Forest:
This 10.9 route starts at Brockenhurst Railway Station. From here you get to weave your way past the Balmer Lawn Hotel and into various Forestry England Inclosures before taking you to Lyndhurst via gravel tracks. All but a very small distance of this route is off-road. The part that is on road is on a quiet lane near to Lyndhurst making it ideal for families.
Along the route look out for the New Forest ponies, donkeys and cattle. If you don’t have your own bike then bike hire is available in Brockenhurst (or in Lyndhurst from The Woods Cyclery should you choose to do the route in reverse).
This 9.3 mile cycling route begins and ends in Burley Village Centre, a village made famous for it's history of witchcraft. Follow a circular route around this wonderful village, going through woodlands, up high on a hill and down an old railway. If you need to hire bikes, this is a great route for you as it pretty much starts outside New Forest Cycling. Burley is a great place to grab refreshments and a bite to eat, and be sure to check out the Burley Fudge Shop for a sweet treat made locally.
This route is mostly on off-road, but there are parts going in an out of Brockenhurst and Burley that are on quite quiet roads. You will follow the old railway, which is known as the 'Castleman's Corkscrew' because of the shape it cut across the forest and the man who promoted it, Charles Castleman. This is a very simple route to follow, making it ideal for families. This route is 9 miles long. Both Burley and Brockenhurst are great locations to enjoy a refreshing drink or a snack and there is also bike hire available at Cyclexperience located at Brockenhurst Railway Station, which is where this route starts.
And you can find more family friendly cycling routes in the list below!
Additional cycling information for families
If you haven’t brought your bikes with you on holiday, that need not stop you from exploring our cycle paths, simply check out our local bike hire centres which offer a range of bikes, children’s seats, children’s bikes, trailers and more for all the family’s needs. If you have your family dog with you then it doesn’t have to be left behind either, some of our cycle hire companies offer doggy trailers as part of their offering. Helmets, maps and puncture repair kits can usually be hired as well giving you peace of mind on your visit. Bike hire is available at most of our larger towns and villages.
We would recommend getting a map in advance of cycling the area, the Ordnance Survey Explorer map for the New Forest is a great buy and shows the tracks and bridleways which are open to cyclists. Other cycling routes within the New Forest National Park can be picked up from the New Forest Heritage Centre in Lyndhurst.
If you don’t fancy any of the routes that we have mentioned then another popular place for families to go cycling is at Moors Valley Country Park. Here there are miles of off-road tracks for the family to enjoy. There is also bike hire available here.
Many of our places to stay are cyclist-friendly and have facilities for you and your family to safely store your bikes when you aren’t using them and facilities such as drying areas for kit. Stay at Sandy Balls Holiday Village for example and you can even hire out bikes from them so you can enjoy the open heathland nearby.
Save money on your day out or short break by buying a Go New Forest Card. This card offers discounts off places to visit, things to do, accommodation, eating out and even bike hire in the New Forest, helping you to save pounds off your visit.
Be a Forest Friendly Cyclist
The New Forest National Park is a wonderful place to visit and you can help keep it 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. Try to leave gaps for overtaking vehicles and never ride more than two abreast. Keep to a safe speed, wear bright colours to be visible and always use lights in the dark.
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: 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…