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Photo: NFDC: Cycling in the New ForestPhoto: NFDC: Cycling in the New ForestUndoubtedly, one of the best ways to discover the beauty and magnificent wildlife of the New Forest is by using the many miles of approved waymarked cycle routes. In order to give you the freedom to roam the natural surroundings whilst also protecting the flora and fauna, the Forestry Commission has developed the New Forest Cycle Network, a web of cycle paths linking the railway at Brockenhurst with the main New Forest villages. The New Forest Tour buses also run alongside some of the routes, so you can even hop on and off with your bike if you're feeling tired.

> See the New Forest Cycle Map

As well as looking at the above map for waymarked cycle routes in the New Forest, you can also choose between a wider variety of cycle route maps available to purchase online. Alternatively, visit one of the many Tourist Information Centres once you arrive and pick up a map in person.

Because off-road cycling is only permitted along the official cycle route network, a New Forest Cycle Code has also been developed in order to minimise disturbance to wildlife while keeping you safe on the roads. The code includes the following tips...

  •  Keep the marked gravel tracks when cycling off-road
  •  Ride in single file when negotiating narrow roads and never ride more than two abreast
  •  Plan your route to be out of the New Forest before dusk
  •  Take extra care when cycling near horse riders. Groups should always pass horses on the same side. 

> See the New Forest Cycle Code

With such a wide variety of cycle routes and paths to explore, there's no shortage of of cycle hire companies to choose from, offering a range of bikes for the whole family - some of which also specialise in giving guided tours to help improve your New Forest experience. Below are a few examples of companies offering cycle hire and guided tours: