Starting in the New Forest, this tour combines forest life at its best with the stunning Dorset coast. With several days of optional cycling, the itinerary is very relaxed and provides plenty of time to discover the many pleasures of this diverse holiday area. The tour leads through a variety of forests and woods, where you can enjoy some unusually close encounters with animals. Peaceful and traffic free tracks lead to characterful villages and historic small towns that are a delight to explore.
On your 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.
Arrive in Burley on Friday and check into your hotel in this typical forest village for your first two nights. At a time to suit you, make your way to your base a few minutes’ walks 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.
You have designed this route to give you a really good ride through the New Forest and through the varied landscapes of the area. Much is off-road on gravel tracks and a disused railway giving you a great opportunity to see deer, donkeys, pigs, and horses 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. Civilization catches up with you as you arrive in the forest village of Brockenhurst before pedaling along embankments and steaming through bridge holes back to Burley.
This delightful gentle ride includes tracks with views, forest scenes, and pretty woodland lanes as you wend your way south to the coast. Most of the route is off-road bike paths and forest tracks giving you a peaceful ride. Hop on the ferry at the delightful fishing village of Mudeford, and head along the sandbank past colorful beach huts to Boscombe on the cliff top, where you will spend the next two nights.
Today you can enjoy the seaside scene and take time out of the saddle. Enjoy miles of sandy beach and coastal walks on the breath-taking cliff top or hop back on the ferry at Hengistbury to Mudeford if you fancy boating and water skiing. The quay there is a busy spot with plenty going on.
Today offers a chance to experience some wonderful seaside cycling, as well as a quick ferry ride and untouched National Trust beaches, heath, and woodland. Pedal a short distance through the valley gardens, through the heart of Bournemouth, before hopping on a ferry to the Isle of Purbeck. Blessed with fantastic unspoiled beaches, this tucked away corner of Dorset is loved for its dramatic slopes and beautiful coastline. The route takes a delightful path around the hills on an off-road, into the heart of a charming woodland and eventually ends up in the center of Wareham where you will spend the next two nights.
Wareham, a delightful and small market town, lies on the River Frome and has a remarkable number of listed buildings - over 200 in total. If you fancy a cycle-free day, you can hire a boat from the quay and potter down the river to Poole harbor and back. Horse riding is another option; or if you like steam trains, you can take rides to Corfe Castle and Swanage, or perhaps you simply want to plop on the beach, in which case you can cycle down to the beautiful beaches at Studland. For those with a taste for adventure, there is a wonderfully rural ride that lets you discover deepest Dorset. The route takes you along two charming river valleys. Encounter hamlets, forests and fords en-route, and pay a visit to a Tank Museum and Lawrence of Arabia’s retreat if you fancy it.
Start the day with a very short train hops before pedaling traffic free along with a disused railway line for much of the ride. 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. Return to Burley for the last night of the tour along an upland track with a final view of this outstanding landscape.
Return your bikes to your base and depart at your leisure.
This cycling adventure will cover Burley, Boscombe, and Wareham. The tour in Dorset and The New Forest area is the best way to enjoy everything this unspoiled area has to offer. Many of the bike routes pass along disused railway lines and in The New Forest, there is a large network of woodland trails - both of which provide great traffic-free cycling. Coupled with the fact that the land is relatively flat, the area is an ideal destination for families. The area boasts an astonishing variety in terms of landscape: there are forests and woodlands, breathtaking beaches with charming brightly-colored huts, nature reserves, coastal towns (where you can ride along the cliff tops), and mile upon mile of protected Dorset countryside.
The region is rich in maritime history and there are lots of opportunities to do some ferry hopping between the mainland and islands. Home to almost 200,000 acres of stunning forest and heathland, the New Forest is one of Britain's most unspoiled natural habitats with special qualities, including the freedom to ramble across the unenclosed land.
You will be served breakfast each day. In the UK, all breakfasts are cooked. The Carter Company leaves you free to make your own choices for lunch and dinner.