13 Days the New Forest Experience Self Guided Cycling Tour in England, UK

Easy Cycling Tour in UK

This holiday includes all the cycling and experiences in the New Forest, England, UK. Put simply, it incorporates everything on offer there including the forest and village life, the Isles of Wight and Purbeck, the coast and beaches of Dorset, the Avon valley, Salisbury, and Stonehenge. This staggering array of history, landscapes, and mood can all be enjoyed from forest tracks, bike paths, disused railways, and a few quiet roads in a The Carter Company way.

Key information

  • Trip type: Self-guided
  • Terrain: Mostly flat with some slopes
  • Difficulty level: Easy (Cyclist doesn't need to have certain level of fitness, mostly flat terrain though occasionally they will ride in unpaved or hills, 10-30 miles per day)
  • Total Distance: 212 Miles / 339 Kilometers
  • E-bike: Available to rent

Highlights

  • Self-guided cycling tour
  • Luggage transfers between hotels
  • Hybrid bikes and additional accessories
  • Travel protection, adventure handbook, and maps
  • The services of the friendly local hosts
  • Return ferry to the Isle of Wight
  • 12 nights' accommodation
  • Daily cooked breakfast

Styles


11 cycling days in English
Spoken languages: English
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Accommodation

Classic

On the classic trips, The Carter Company has carefully chosen four-star (the very occasional three-star) small hotels and inns and a few private homes picked for their quality, character, and location. The classic accommodation during this cycling tour includes village inns, small hotels and, a delightful B&B.

Luxury

On the luxury trips, The Carter Company uses AA/RAC awarded four and five-star (the occasional three-star) hotels, manor houses, old inns, and boutique hotels chosen for their quality, character, and location. The luxury accommodation during this cycling tour includes a four-star Georgian hotel, three boutique hotels, two country house hotels, and two of The Carter Company's classic inns.

Burley Manor

Burley Manor has made sure that the rooms live up to the rest of your experience with them. A bold use of color, fabrics, and artwork is teamed with antique furniture for a unique look and feel. Comfort is their priority with top quality beds, sumptuous bedding, power showers, and a few luxury goodies.

The Pig Hotel

The 30-bedroom country house in Brockenhurst is original, relaxed, and sitting comfortably within its environment. It isn't perfect, but it's comfy, interesting, and homely with muted colors, evolved rather than interior designed.

Stanwell House Hotel

Stanwell House Hotel offers a luxury townhouse experience from quiet and cozy, sumptuous suites, dog-friendly delights, or quirky four posters.

Christchurch Harbour Hotel and Spa

With 64 luxury linen bedrooms, some with spectacular views across Christchurch Harbour, you will feel instantly relaxed as you settle into your coastal surroundings. From deluxe four-poster beds to a private garden terrace overlooking the water, choose the perfect bedroom for you. Fabrics are soft, linens crisp, quilts deep, and pillows plump and once you’ve taken in plenty of the sea air, you’ll find leaving is the difficult bit.

The Priory Wareham

Much sought after by those wishing to enjoy the comforts and ambience of a quintessential Grade II listed English country house, each of the hotel’s 17 guest rooms are individually furnished to a high standard, offering their own unique character and charm; some afford views and glimpses of the River Frome and Purbeck Hills, whilst others overlook the lovely gardens or pretty inner courtyard. Accommodation is available both in the ‘Main House’ and ‘Boat House’, which is located directly on the riverbank.

The Chapter House

Situated in the heart of historic Salisbury, The Chapter House comprises a cozy restaurant, friendly pub, and comfortable letting rooms and lies within easy reach of some of Southern England’s most important landmarks. The perfect base when visiting Wiltshire’s historic sites, The Chapter House is also an ideal stopover en route to the coast or as a home-from-home option when on a business trip.

Program

Day 1: Burley

You will arrive in Burley on Sunday and check into your hotel in this typical forest village. At a time to suit you, you make your way to the 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

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 tranquility as you ride deep into the forest and into the heart of forest enclosures. Snatch a glimpse of civilization in the village of Lyndhurst and enjoy an overnight stay in the forest village of Brockenhurst.

  • Distance: 20 miles (32 kilometers)

Day 3: Brockenhurst to Lymington

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 center with yacht marinas, fishing boats, and a ferry, there’s plenty to unearth here.

  • Distance: 20 miles (32 kilometers)

Day 4: Lymington to the Isle of Wight and back

You will 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 tide-mill, 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, The Carter Company has tailored the ride so your holiday will not be spoilt.

  • Distance: Optional 7 or 16 miles (11 or 26 kilometers)

Day 5

Classic: Lymington to Boscombe

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 you can hope some wonderful encounters with wildlife. You reach the coast along leafy lanes to find Mudeford, a delightful fishing village. Hop on the short ferry here to cross to Hengistbury where you weave along the sandbank, past beach huts, and onto the breathtaking cliff top. Here is Boscombe your overnight stay.

  • Distance: 24 miles (38 kilometers)

Luxury: Lymington to Mudeford

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 you can 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.

  • Distance: 20 miles (32 kilometers)

Day 6

Classic: Boscombe to Wareham

It’s fantastic seaside riding today which includes a ferry hop, two piers, beachside cycling and unspoiled 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 unspoiled 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.

  • Distance: 20 miles (32 kilometers)

Luxury: Mudeford to Wareham

It’s fantastic seaside riding today which includes two ferry hops, two piers, cliff top and beachside cycling, and unspoiled 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 unspoiled 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.

  • Distance: 24 miles (38 kilometers)

Day 7: Circular ride from Wareham

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 pedaling, there are boats to hire from the quay for an easy spin down the river to Poole harbor 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.

  • Distance: Optional 24 miles (38 kilometers)

Day 8: Wareham to Ringwood

You will start the day with a very short train hop before pedaling traffic free along the disused railway line for much of the ride. You will cross rivers and heaths, sprint through forests, and enjoy the villages en-route 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 unspoiled collection of centuries-old shops, houses, and a minster. Your overnight stay is in the heart of Ringwood village close to the River Avon. For the luxury option, you will stay in a classic accommodation.

  • Distance: 20 miles (32 kilometers)

Day 9: Ringwood to Salisbury

As you pedal the Avon valley floor, a string of pretty villages unfolds, increasingly peaceful and always characterful. Crossing fords and the occasional wooded hill, there are some great views through this charming rural area which has a different feel to that of the New Forest. You slip into historic Salisbury along a back road and suddenly arrive in the heart of this fascinating town beside the cathedral. Your overnight stay for the next two nights is close by. For the luxury option, you will stay in a characterful boutique hotel dating back to the 13th century.

  • Distance: 18 miles (29 kilometers)

Day 10: Salisbury to Stonehenge and back

Today's ride leaves Salisbury on a traffic-free route and leads to Amesbury, still following the picturesque villages and hamlets that line the banks of the Avon river. Nearby is the stunning world heritage site of Stonehenge with all its mysteries and drama. The Carter Company has arranged for a guide to meet you in Amesbury and this ensures you get the best Stonehenge experience which does not include cycling there. Back in the saddle, you return to Salisbury along quiet roads passing one or two ancient historic sites en-route you may wish to view.

  • Distance: 20 miles (32 kilometers)

Day 11: Salisbury to a New Forest village

This morning is your opportunity to fully explore Salisbury with its rich history around every corner. Enjoy the cathedral and its surrounding extensive close, the Avon, and its backwaters which thread through the city and discover the beamed interiors of historic buildings. After lunch, you will retrace some of your routes before riding up into the northern fringes of the New Forest where charm lurks around every bend and wooded enclaves dice with unexpected views. You will stay the night in a delightful forest inn.

  • Distance: 10 miles (16 kilometers)

Day 12: A New Forest village to Burley

Riding in the New Forest all day, you will see the full variety this national park has to offer. There are grand views across heathlands, cozy wooded villages, awesome gravel tracks, wide open roads, trees to inspire, brooks to cross, and wandering animals to engage with. This New Forest experience has it all; world heritage sights, islands, forests and estuaries, coast and beaches, villages and historic towns, and wonderful riding.

  • Distance: 20 miles (32 kilometers)

Day 13: Depart Burley

You will return your bikes to the base and depart at leisure.

Location

This cycling holiday starts and ends in Burley, UK. It will cover Burley, Brockenhurst, Lymington, the Isle of Wight, Boscombe (classic) or Mudeford (luxury), Wareham, Ringwood, Salisbury, Stonehenge, and New Forest. 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 (BOH).

Food

The following meals are included:

  • Breakfast

The following dietary requirement(s) are served and/or catered for:

  • Regular (typically includes meat and fish)
If you have special dietary requirements it's a good idea to communicate it to the organiser when making a reservation

What's included

  • Self-guided cycling tour
  • Hybrid bikes and additional accessories
  • The services of friendly local hosts
  • Luggage transfers between hotels
  • Emergency call out service
  • Adventure handbook full of information, history, and photos of the area your tour covers
  • Route directions and maps of the area
  • Travel protection
  • Advice, help, and guidance
  • Return ferry to the Isle of Wight
  • Cooked breakfast each day
  • 12 nights' accommodation

What's not included

  • Airfares
  • Travel to and from the trip start and finish points
  • Entrances to attractions
  • Lunches and dinners
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Minibars
  • Pre and post-trip meals

How to get there

Arrival by train

From London, you can go by train to Brockenhurst station (1.5 hours). Burley is a short taxi ride from Brockenhurst station.

Cancellation Policy

  • A reservation requires a deposit of 30% of the total price.
  • The deposit is fully refundable if the booking is cancelled up to 60 days before the arrival date.
  • The rest of the payment should be paid on arrival.
13 days / 12 nights
from --
Availability

This vacation is available all year round with arrival every Sunday.

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