Family ride in the New Forest
Cycling UK's New Forest Cycling Week has been running for over 40 years and makes a perfect introduction to cycling for families, children and adults alike. It usually takes place at the end of July and is based at Avon Tyrell activity centre near Bransgore. However, for several decades it was based at Roundhill campsite near Brockenhurst and this route was one of the favourites as it takes in one of the highlights of the week, tea at Annie's (or Acres Down Farm as it's properly known) followed by a climb through the forest to Canada Memorial and then a glorious descent down Bolderwood and the Rhinefield Ornamental Drive on tarmac back towards Brockenhurst.
The New Forest is a great place to take the family for a ride out on the bikes. Many gravel paths have been designated as cycle routes and there are also some quiet lanes. This route takes advantage of these, giving you the opportunity to enjoy some traffic-free riding. I have seen plenty of wildlife cycling along these tracks, and also there are also the New Forest ponies of course but also donkeys and deer and during 'pannage' in the autumn, pigs, which are turned out into the forest to eat the acorns that are poisonous to horses. The colours of the trees add to the beauty of the ride. Acres Down Farm, just north of Emery Down, is a good albeit quite quirky place to stop for a slap-up cream tea or just coffee and cake. There are plenty of other coffee and tea shops in Lyndhurst and Brockenhurst.
This is a circular route, largely using quieter roads and tracks although care needs to be taken going through Lyndhurst and crossing the A35 into the Rhinefield Drive.
There are a couple of points on this route where the route passes through a ford. Please be careful and if the streams are too full, find an alternative track to travel on.