Top 5 activities the kids will love
Even after a cycle ride, the kids will still have bags of energy to burn. Here are our suggestions for great family days out in the New Forest - and some of them are very handy stop-off points on our suggested cycle routes.
See wild animals
Set in 25 acres of unspoilt woodland, New Forest Wildlife Park is a magical place where children can get up close to Sika, Fallow and Roe deer and also see some of our incredible native species, such as Scottish wildcats, otters, owls and wild boar. You can stop by the park on our Ashurst to New Forest Wildlife Park cycle route, which is six miles long.
Ride a horse-drawn wagon
What better way to take in the splendour of the New Forest than from a horse-drawn wagon? Burley Wagon Rides operate a choice of 20-minute, 30-minute and 1-hour long rides starting in the village of Burley, taking you past pretty cottages and through historic woodland, where you’re very likely to catch sight of a deer. You can stop at the village on the Burley and Bolderwood cycle loop - a 12-mile ride.
All aboard the steam train
As well as its collection of azaleas and rhododendrons, Exbury Gardens is also famous for its steam railway, which runs through its beautiful grounds. One highlight of the the 20-minute journey is when it skirts the top of the Rock Garden, offering passengers a birds’-eye view of the largest manmade rock garden in Europe. The six-mile Lepe Coastal Loop passes by Exbury Gardens entrance.
Go on a deer safari
Enjoy a 30-minute deer safari by tractor and trailer through Burley Park, where you can see red deer and their calves at close range. You can also stay in a shepherd’s hut or log cabin on site! The park is also on the Burley and Bolderwood cycle loop.
Swing from the trees
Are the kids feeling brave? They can enjoy a two-hour ropes course with New Forest Activities that will teach them all they need to know for monkeying about (safely!) in the trees. They also run ropes courses for adults, should you feel up to the challenge!