A good night's sleep is sacrosanct if you've got a full day's exploration on the saddle the next morning, so peace and quiet is key. Well, you're in luck because there's plenty of tranquility in the New Forest, whether you enjoy it under canvas or in a four-poster bed. Depending on the kind of experience you want from your stay, you'll find a range of cycle-friendly accommodation options to suit your taste and budget.
If you're travelling to the New Forest via public transport or on your bike, it's worth asking your accommodation provider if they offer a car-free discount as part of the National Park's initiative to reduce car journeys. For those wanting to get back to nature while managing a small budget, there are lots of campsites and comfortable hostels to choose from. It's wise to book early for a camping pitch at peak times because many of the sites are low density to avoid fire risk, which is a bonus because it means there's lots more room to pitch your tent among the roaming ponies.
There are also some very affordable B&Bs and guesthouses with warm and hospitable hosts replete with local knowledge. Many of them serve up a lip-smacking New Forest Breakfast; a local take on the Full English Breakfast developed by the area's top chefs and made up of at least three items of local produce. A perfect way to start the day. If you're after something a bit different and quirky then glamping is, of course, the answer.
Off the beaten track, among the butterflies and the heather, you'll find romantic eco retreats with roll top baths, tree house suites with hot tubs, shepherd's huts with wood burners and safari tents with bug-hunting kits and telescopes to keep the children happy. With the children in mind you can't beat a holiday park, of which the New Forest has several, filled with enough fun activities to keep boredom at bay, even on rainy days.
If budget is no hindrance whatsoever then it would be rude not to treat yourself to some luxury four-star accommodation where the towels are fluffy, the Michelin-star food is unforgettable and the spa treatments are just the ticket for your aching limbs.
Set in the glorious town of Lymington, this lovely cyclist-friendly B&B is on a quiet road south of the High Street, so you will be within easy walking distance of Lymington town, Woodside park, the sea wall, the Sea Water Baths, and the yacht marinas. It is also child and pet friendly and they have a fully secure garden so you can relax while they play. A short drive will take you to lovely beaches at Milford on Sea and into the New Forest National Park.
Bike lock-up and bike washing facilities.
A beautifully cyclist-friendly country house near the glorious town of Lymington. It provides luxury Bed and Breakfast rooms as well as spacious one and two bedroom apartment style accommodation in Pheasant Cottage and The Barn.
"At Leyland Country House we would be happy to arrange New Forest bike hire and recommend cycle routes for all abilities."
- Address: Leyland Country House, Undershore, Lymington SO41 5QA
- Website: www.leylandcountryhouse.com
- Tel: 07989 235 834; 01590 677675
Two secluded B&B "Hideaway Lodges" in the village of Blissford within the New Forest National Park. Serves traditional English breakfasts with meat from a local butcher and eggs from the owner's chickens.
- Website: www.kingfisher-retreat.co.uk
- Address: Kingfisher Cottage, Blissford, Fordingbridge, New Forest, Hampshire, SP6 2JH
- Tel: 01425 654889
Clayhill House is a cyclist-friendly bed & breakfast in the heart of the New Forest, half a mile from the village of Lyndhurst, towards Brockenhurst on the A337. A Georgian house built in 1830, all rooms are en-suite and have freeview TV and tea-making facilities.
- Address: Clay Hill House, Clay Hill, Lyndhurst, Hampshire SO43 7DE
- Tel: 02380 282304
- Website: www.clayhillhouse.co.uk
YHA New Forest (formerly YHA Burley) is in a peaceful setting near to plenty of routes for cycling adventures. It's great for family holidays and weekend breaks. Private rooms available. Cycle store and drying room.
- Address: Cott Lane, Burley Ringwood, Hampshire, BH24 4BB
- Tel: 0845 371 9309
- Website: www.yha.org.uk/hostel/new-forest
A two-room annex within a family home on the south west border of the New Forest National Park. Guests are free to come and go via a private entrance. The suite comprises a double bedroom with en-suite bathroom and an adjacent living room. It is an ideal size for a couple. However, the sofa bed in the living room allows a further two people to be accommodated for a small additional charge. Owner Terry has a series of cycling routes he has prepared for cycling guests.
- Address: Little Granton, Poplar Lane, Bransgore, Christchurch, BH23 8JE
- Tel: 01425 673047; 07771791922
- Website: www.littlegranton.co.uk