One of my favorite phrases that my Mom uses to explain my family is that we are “not a sitting family” and it is certainly true. I love that my whole family is active and when we get together, one of our favorite activities is a long bike ride so when we went to the South Coast of England during my parent’s recent visit I planned a big bike trip. It was quite unfortunate that the only day that worked in our schedule for New Forest biking was the day that it rained but we made the best of it and still did the biggest loop – 32 miles – that the bike shop recommended.
Having done my research I decided it would be better to drive into the park, to Burley, and pick up our bikes at Forest Leisure Cycling so we could limit the amount of time we needed to spend on the road. We all opted for a full day rental of the Adult Premium Suspension bikes and from the assortment of routes chose the The Royal Oak Ride which even then describe as, “Our most challenging route, taking you right out to the furthest North-West boundary of the forest and some excellent traditional pubs. 32 miles in total… are you up to it?!” Well, we were certainly up for it and the combination of the poor weather plus it was certainly off season in early November the bike trails were deserted and we were able to zip along quite quickly – actually getting to the first pub for a coffee break before it even opened! Over hot chocolate we marvelled at how many wild horses we saw just roaming around the forest – for a city girl I was quite entertained!
After coffee at a lovely pub which opened early for us – we biked for another hour before setting in at the famed Alice Lisle for a Sunday roast, a British tradition and my parents first! We then biked back to Burley completing our route and in good time, considering it gets dark close to 4pm this time of year in England. It was a lovely trip and I hope to go back to the New Forest in the Summer, I am sure it will be even more beautiful.
Is New Forest Biking something you would want to do?