Cycling is the perfect way to explore the New Forest. It’s a healthy, sustainable and enjoyable way to get closer to nature in the national park. As such it’s a perfect partner to any camping holiday in the area – and, as there are plenty of places offering bike hire in the New Forest, you don’t even need to take your own bike with you. Whether you want a mountain bike, an e-bike or even a fleet for the whole family, there should be a bike rental company with the wheels you need to get your holiday off on the right track.
Cycle hire in Brockenhurst
If you are travelling to the New Forest by public transport and want to hire bikes on arrival, it doesn’t get much easier than hiring from Cyclexperience in Brockenhurst. Their bike shop is set up in the car park of Brockenhurst Railway Station so your feet barely need to touch the ground before hitting the pedals. Even if you are not arriving by train, Cyclexperience makes a convenient place to hire from as you can leave your car in the car park (for a charge) and it’s a flat five-minute ride to reach car-free bike trails. The company has a fleet of bikes for hire for all ages and offers electric bike rental too. It also has information on a good selection of suggested routes and a team who are passionate about cycling.
Public bike rental
Over in Lyndhurst, which rivals Brockenhurst as the central village of the New Forest, there are two bike rental companies vying for your business. There’s AA Bike Hire, a family-run business, which has been offering great-value mountain bike rental for 30 years, and The Woods Cyclery which has e-bike rental on offer too. Both companies hire out bikes with all the necessary kit for a day in the forest including bike pumps, locks and maps. People who like to plan in advance might like the advance online booking of The Woods Cyclery but if you are looking for a last-minute bicycle hire, AA Bike Hire might be your best bet as it offers daily hire on a first-come first-served basis.
Bicycle rent in Burley and Beaulieu
There are more bikes for hire from New Forest Cycling (Forest Leisure). You can choose to head to their base in the village of Burley, on the west side of the national park, where there’s free parking or opt for delivery. If you’re on a family holiday in the New Forest, based within five miles of Burley, this can be a pretty handy option. They’ll drop the bikes to your campsite at the beginning of the day and pick them up after your day in the saddle. Over at New Forest Activities in Beaulieu, bike hire is available alongside kayaking, canoeing, archery and other outdoor adventures. It’s the closest bike hire company to the New Forest’s coast and it’s possible to cycle the ten miles from here to Lymington on the coast and beyond.
How to hire a bike in the New Forest
Hiring a bike is a bit like hiring a car so if you’re planning on bike rental during your holiday in the New Forest, it’s great to go prepared. You may need to leave a deposit with the bike hire company, to show photographic identification (a passport or driving licence, for example) and to have two proofs of address. Every bike hire company is different, so it’s worth checking out the requirements of the bike rental company you plan to use before you head off on your holiday. In the height of summer, it's best to book a bike in advance where possible, particularly on weekends (during mid-week days there's usually plenty of availability). Cycling really is one of the best ways to get around the national park and enjoy its wildlife, so there's always plenty of demand for bikes, especially during school holidays.
By Amy Woodland. February 2021.