Hike #7 (well, technically “Bike”) brings us to New Forest National Park.
Situated South of England in the county of Hampshire and bordered by Bournemouth, Southampton and Salisbury, New Forest (covering an area of 566km²) is currently one of the largest unenclosed pasture land in all of England and often known for its family-friendly cycle routes and free-roaming livestock scattered across the vicinity. It was also a royal hunting ground in the 11th-century for King William I, a source of timber for the Royal Navy in the 17th-century, as well as during both World Wars I and II of the 20th-century.
We left London at six in the morning, taking us roughly 3 hours to get to the village of Brockenhurst via train + bus. Rented mountain bikes from Cyclexperience located directly beside the train station and set off in search of hot chocolate and a nice pee-break before we began biking proper! Embarked on the “Bike to Beaulieu” route thereafter, visiting a deer sanctuary along the way, timber/logging sites, Hatchet pond and acres and acres of pasture! Covered approximately 30km.
Unfortunately punctured the back tyre twice (main + spare) so we had to call in for help and got a new bike delivered to our location, excellent service from the guys at Cyclexperience! Definitely recommend them 😀 (http://www.newforestcyclehire.co.uk/)
Great cycle routes, fantastic scenery, friendly people and free-roaming horses all over! I must say there’s something really enthralling about having a horse come up and nuzzle you for a selfie!