The New Forest is great place to explore on your bike. Many visitors are choosing to leave their car at home, whilst others only use the it to get them to the New Forest in order to transport their bikes and other essentials. Some are even arriving via public transport. The New Forest is well connected to all of the major towns and cities in the south by the national rail network.
Before you set off
There’s a large choice of trails to choose from for cyclists to enjoy across the whole of the National Park.
We hope you find our small selection of New Forest cycle routes useful and inspiring. You’ll travel through a good diversity of landscapes on each of them. They vary in length and ease of completion. Why not hire a bike for the course of your trip?
New Forest bike hire shops
New Forest Cycle Code
- The Cycle Code should be adhered to by all cyclists in the New Forest
- Keep to the 'way marked' tracks
- Slow down and call out a warning when approaching other forest users
- Take extra care when nearing horse riders
- Avoid disturbing the ponies, cattle or other wildlife. Go slowly and give them space
- Keep well away from any forest works
- Do not pass any vehicle loading timber until you have been told it is safe to do so
- Plan your route and buy an area map. Aim to be out off the trails by dusk
Lepe and Exbury loop (10 miles)
This pleasant circular trail starts in Inchberry Lane in Lepe and takes in Exbury, East End Farm, Langley, Mope Farm, and Badminston Common. 60% of the trail is on minor country lanes. This route is perfect for exploring a quieter, lesser known pocket of the New Forest. You pass through light woodlands, farmland and big sky country as you venture along the gorgeous English country lanes. Take a picnic, because amenities are scarce on this trail. You are also close to Exbury Country Park and Lepe Beach for worthwhile pit stops and diversions.
Hawkhill Trail (10 miles)
This trail is completely free of roads and traffic. The ride is close to Beaulieu and begins at Round Hill Campsite. This trail passes through some of the most interesting features of Beaulieu Airfield with some very visible evidence from its Second World War past. The trek also cuts through some attractive, deep forest areas. It also takes in New Copse Railway Cottage, Pignall and Parkhill Inclosures, Denny Wood, Hawkhill Inclosure, and the haunting Beaulieu airfield and hangars. The Beaulieu area is predominantly wooded and beautifully typical of the best of the New Forest. As much of the ride is shaded, its great for hot days. It's reasonably lengthy for beginners but utterly worth the extra effort. You can reward yourselves with a 'slap up' dinner in one of the many New Forest gastro-pubs.
Rhinefield Ornamental Woodland Ride (15 miles)
Ride to see the New Forest’s tallest and most ornate trees. This trail originates in Brockenhurst and takes in a deer sanctuary, a ford, the Rhinefield House Hotel, and Black Knoll. The route takes you across an area of the National Park rich in wild beauty. The trail is mainly made up of gravel off-road by-ways with fantastic views of the New Forest's unique landscapes. Out of the handful of recommended rides this is the longest and most unusual. It's well shaded for summer riding and mostly made up of low gradients. The trail benefits from starting and ending in Brockenhurst because it's a local transport pub and also has lots of restaurants and pubs to imbibe some local ales in, and also plenty of places to stock up for a picnic during the ride.
Burley Circular (6 miles)
Burley is a beautiful under hill village on the western side of the New Forest. The circular starts out at the Lucy Hill Car Park. The lollipop-shaped route passes Blackwater, Burley Old Inclosures, Cockroad Hill, Dames Slough Inclosure, and Anderwood Cottage. You are likely to encounter fallow deer in the ancient woodlands. The variety of species of trees and birds along this trail is reason enough to take your time and enjoy the quiet of the countryside. Look out the Forest ponies too on your way through. Burley is a good place to stock up on supplies and it also has some inviting pubs and eateries in the village centre. The trail is heavily wooded with some elevation giving eye catching views of the New Forest at its grandest.
Fritham Woodland Ride (4 miles)
This figure-of-8 shaped trail is in the north of the New Forest. There are some long stretches of uphill riding on this ride but the landscape views are worth all the effort. The circuit includes: Linwood Inclosure, King Garn’s Gutter, Salisbury Trench, and the Coppice of Linwood. The area is populated with coniferous trees managed by the Forestry Commission.
As much of the National Park is made up of working forest, be sure to look out for signs and take heed to any instructions left by the loggers and the Forestry Commission.
If you prefer the steadier pace of a tranquil stroll, check out our guide to walks in the New Forest. If you need somewhere to stay, our luxury cottages in the the New Forest offer the perfect base or exploring the National Park.
Choose from cottages perfect for family holidays or if you're looking for somewhere that will accommodate the family pet, we also have a selection of dog-friendly cottages.