New Forest Offroad Long Weekend – 7th/10th October 2022

“Forest : A defined area of land formerly set aside in England as a royal hunting ground”


To build upon the recent interest there has been to participate in our Offroad Rides and to offer those people an offroad riding long weekend in a beautiful scenic setting.

A number of people have expressed an interest in cycling in the New Forest and this  responds to their thoughts.

5 Best New Forest Cycle Routes - Family Friendly Cycling ... New Forest Cycle Routes - Cycling Routes in Hampshire New Forest Cycling - Where two wheels are better than four ...

Whilst there are possibilities to road cycle in the area and have an okay experience, the roads can be busy and using them misses the wonderful quiet atmosphere and beauty of the area which comes across  by getting offroad on the many tracks and trails that criss-cross the forest.

The concept is to have 2/3/4 days of primarily offroad trail cycling in the New Forest, with an add-on option to ride the hilltop tracks of the far west of the IoW. 

It is intended to especially appeal to working members who might only be able to get away for a limited period.

It is NOT technical mountain biking – it is trail riding for our regular offroad riders

Rides start from Burley …with the default accommodation option being Burley YHA.

Photo Album 1- New Forest

A few sites I hope to share with you –

Rhinefield Trees, Streams and Deer sanctuary
Woods, Lawns and railway lines
Heath land, Rufus Stone & Minstead
Kevin Pointer Photography - Fritham, New Forest Minstead Village, Hampshire - See Around Britain


This is the provisional Itinerary (based upon staying in the YHA at Burley). The routes are provisional and will be ‘test ridden’ before being confirmed.

Day Outline Route Details Comments
Friday   7th Oct Leave Home very early (7am ??)  and drive down to Burley and Ride the ‘NF-Central 4‘ route with ride starting at 10.30am from Burley YHA
A very scenic day wandering the trails of the centre of the New Forest, including the magnificent Rhinefield Ornamental Drive, lots of streams, and a Deer Sanctuary.
30 miles / 480m Ascent


Of course there is the option to drive down the day before and stay overnight in other (non-YHA) accommodation, or cycle down over a couple of quite long days

Share of YHA 4 bed room – around £25

Saturday 8th Oct Ride the ‘NF-East 4‘ route with ride starting at 9.30am from Burley YHA
Another real mixed day taking in both Brockenhurst and Lyndhurst linked together by trails through dense woodland and open grassy ‘lawns’, then heading east out towards Beaulieu, then down to Boldre, finally returning along an old railway line
37 miles / 360m Ascent



If you are just doing the Weekend then you should consider driving down the night before

Share of YHA 4 bed room – around £28

Sunday 9th Oct Ride  the ‘NF-North 4′ route with ride starting at 9am from Burley YHA
Out to the open, hilly  heathland to the north of the A31 skirting Fordingbridge, before heading east to Fritham past the Rufus Stone to Minstead a then going south-west back to Burley
35 miles / 650m ascent




A bit of a ‘lumpy’ day. We will make an early start to enable those just doing the weekend to finish at a reasonable time to drive home

Share of YHA 4 bed room – around £15

Monday 10th Oct
Checkout by 8.30, and drive to Norleywood Inclosure Car Park on the outskirts of Lymington.



Assemble bikes and cycle in from Norleywood Car Park to the Ferry on route NF-Lymington  for 3 miles to get to the ferryport for 09.30 to purchase tickets catch the 10.00 Ferry.



When we arrive and disembark from the Ferry we will ride the ‘NF-IoW‘ Route. (19 miles / 400m Ascent)

Quiet lanes out to the south , where we go offroad and climb up Compton Down and then Tennyson Down and out to the Needles. Returning along an old railway line next to the River Yar estuary

Take ferry back to Lymington and have option to cycle to Keyhaven on the ‘NF-Keyhaven’ route (9 miles / 10m Ascent(!) ). The route also takes you back to the Norleywood Inclosure Car Park.

Route winds along the edge of the  Pennington Marshes nature reserve with great views to Hurst Castle and across the Solent to the IoW.


If not taking the option to go to Keyhaven use the NF-Norleywood route to get you back to your car,


Drive back to Coventry

Norleywood Inclosure Car Park Googlemaps PIN


NF-Lymington Route


NF-IOW Route




NF -Keyhaven Route





Very much an optional day.

You can do the IoW ride and drive home or if you feel you have time then choose to add on the Keyhaven route before driving home.

(The IoW route is designed to be primarily offroad so as to not conflict with any route Paul Whatley might use on his proposed on-road IoW tour)

Approx Ferry Costs (bikes are free)

    • Adult return £18.20
    • Concession   £13.50

Photo Album 2 – IOW and Keyhaven

Compton Down to Tennyson Down, the Needles and Pennington Marshes nature reserve
A cyclist on Compton Down, heading for Freshwater Bay seen in the distance Lymington and Keyhaven Marshes Local Nature Reserve ...


The ‘default’ accommodation is Burley YHA. Currently they only have Private En-suite rooms for 4/5 people.

My intention would be to maintain lists of people interested of each gender, to put groups of 4/5 in touch with  each other and for those people to get together and book the rooms amongst themselves.

There are other accommodation options in the area which are likely to offer more individual / twin / double accommodation, and also availability on the Thursday and Monday for those wishing to take away the pressure of driving to and from on the Friday and Monday.



As mentioned before this is intended to especially appeal to time-limited working members, and this combined with only limited accomodation availability at the YHA means that travel arrangements are likely to be key – and driving down very early on the Friday morning and driving back again on the Monday is the default. Drive time is likely to be in the order of 3hrs from Coventry.

You are however free to make your own travel and accommodation choices with the understanding that you will need to stick to the Ride / Depart times.

My intention would be to maintain a list of people who are driving down and who have spaces available to match with those without transport

There is a train sevice through Brockenhurst which might be usable for you. 

Bike Suitability

Whilst this is not technical mountain biking there are sections of really rough track and it could be muddy following rain so a MTB is recommended with a Gravel bike being an outside option.

As this trip is aimed at the members who have already been particiating in our regular offroad rides the bike they have been using for those should be suitable.

The following You Tube video is from a mixed group of Gravel and MTB riders who are doing a mix of road and offroad. My intention is that we will be doing mainly offroad with very little onroad and I suggest that you view from 4 minutes to 7 minutes  (… and especially listen to the comment at around 4.45) as the likely predominant conditions for our routes. Whilst the gravel bike is okay for a lot of the trails, in the rough patches the riders on the MTBs seem to me to be a lot more comfortable than the gravel bike rider !




It is envisaged that the comfortable maximum number of riders will be 16.

For more information and to register an interest contact Alan Jelley


  1. Peter & Jill Seamen
  2. Andy Gilbert
  3. Steve Davoile
  4. Nick Holloway
  5. Tony Costin
  6. Libby & Ian Foster
  7. Julie Bruce
  8. Shona Hudson
  9. Annie Ockenden
  10. Marina Friend