New Forest Cycling Week 2017
The New Forest Cycling Week was founded in 1975 and this year it celebrated its 43rd year. Since 2010 the activities have been based in the UK Youth Activity Centre at Avon Tyrrell Manor near Burley, Hampshire and attracts approximately 200 attendees each year. It’s set within a wonderful 65 acres of woodland.
The week is filled with lots of different rides suitable for cycling families, small groups and individuals, and it’s free for Cycling UK members to join any of the rides. There are lots of minor roads which make cycling enjoyable and safe for families and younger riders, and there is normally something taking place every day (mind you, the forest could do with more off-road routes - and Cycling UK is talking to the National Park Authority about this!). Other activities during the week include children’s time trial, swimming, and a BBQ.
The route is lovely, flat and closed to cars and other traffic. Once we reached Moors Valley Country Park, the ride followed along some of the cycling trails that wind through the forest. Near the visitor centre, the kids were let loose to explore the play areas for a couple of hours!
Ruth Magennis, Cycling Development Officer for Southampton took part in one of the cycle rides organised as part of the New Forest Cycling Week. She tells us about one of the rides she attended at Moor Valley Country Park.
"Leaving Avon Tyrell, the ride consisted mostly of families and young children who cycled the roads up to Crow outside of Ringwood. From there the ride passed through Ringwood on the shared cycle paths and entered the Castleman Trailway, a former railway track that is now Route 256, part of the National Cycle Network’s Route 25.
"Cycling back from Moors Valley, we followed the Castleman Trailway all the way back to Ringwood, continuing along shared cycle paths and turning off onto Moortown Lane leading into Crow. Joining Thatcher’s Lane, it was a 30-minute cycle on flat roads through the New Forest, going straight until Bransgore. Then we crossed over the staggered crossroads to join the Ringwood Road leading to the railway stop at Hinton Admiral, where I hopped on to a train back to Southampton. A great day out, especially if you have young children and want to take them out exploring the trails of the New Forest!"