A circular route between Brockenhurst and Lyndhurst following clearly marked cycle trails along Forestry Commission gravel tracks, although there are short stretches of on-road cycling in the two villages. This is a wonderful cycle ride through beautiful forest inclosures and across heaths.
1. Leave the car park turning left into Brookley Road. Turn left at the cross roads into Sway Road (B3055). At the T junction turn left onto the A337 Lyndhurst Road. After 0.5 kms turn right into the A3055 Balmer Lawn Road.
2. As the road bends to the right join the cycle track on your left hand side to enter Balmer Lawn. Follow the well marked cycle tracks through Pignal Inclosure and Parkhill Inclosure before joining Beechen Lane shortly after Park Hill.
3. Rejoin the A337 as you approach Lyndhurst. If you can, spend some time to explore the village.
4. The trail returns to Brockenhurst via Pinkney Lane. After just over 1 km and before the lane turns a sharp right, turn left onto the cycle track. Pass through Brick Kiln Inclosure and Whitley Wood.
5. Cross Bolderford Bridge and follow the track to Ober Corner. Turn left at Beachern Wood.
6. Cross the Rhinefield Road at Ober Lodge. Follow the track through North Weirs and rejoin Burley Road. In Brockenhurst turn right over the ford and left back into the car park.
Well known for the diversity of its shops, tea houses, pubs and restaurants. It is here that ponies and donkeys roam freely and drink from 'The Watersplash' at the bottom of the main street on their way to graze on the open heathland and ancient wood which surround the village. It is the only village within the Perambulation of the New Forest whose value in the Domesday survey of 1086 was doubled (to 4 pounds) when that of many others was reduced, and was also the only village mentioned as having a church. St. Nicholas, built upon a mound, may date back to Pagan times.
The main attractions of the village are the Ford, running across the end of Brookley Road, the main shopping area, and the cottages, many of which, built by the Morant family who lived at Brockenhurst Park (now demolished and replaced by a modern house) have the letter M incorporated in the woodwork.
Lyndhurst has been widely regarded as the Capital of the New Forest since William the Conqueror established the area as a royal hunting ground in 1079. It is now the seat of Verderer's Court. The Court was created by the Normans to protect the Forest, and meets every 2 months in Queen's House, a 17th century building, with a dock and a stirrup supposedly owned by William Rufus.
A must for any visitor to Lyndhurst is the New Forest Museum, providing a fascinating insight into the Forest's history and heritage. The museum describes the development of the Forest since its creation.
Lyndhurst offers the visitor a wide range of shops, both high street names and those unique to the village. Lyndhurst manages to strike a comfortable balance; welcoming the many thousands of visitors each year while not being overwhelmed by them. The village offers a wide range of tea rooms, pubs, cafes, restaurants and accommodation.
There are several car parks in Brockenhurst. The trail starts from the car park off Brookley Road. Brockenhurst can be reached via the A337 from either Lyndhurst or Lymington. There is a train station in Brockenhurst with trains to Christchurch, Bournemouth, Southampton, Lymington and London. There is a regular bus service between Lyndhurst and Lymington.