A guest post: A New Forest MTB Ride

The day started with a 2.5 hour drive to the New Forest from Kent. We went straight to the agreed meeting point, Headlands Farm Coffee Shop West Wellow. This is a lovely new farm coffee shop, with plenty of parking space, and is manned by friendly staff. As we were early we decided to partake in Breakfast, for me Eggs Benedict and my cycling buddy had Bacon in a Brioche bun both accompanied with a latte.

Our cycling guide, Steve, arrived promptly at the pre arranged time and we soon set off on our 40km (or in English money, 25 mile) route.

From the farm shop we cycled on a quiet road to get to the first off road section. This was a gravel road past some grass moorland. Soon we were into the traditional New Forest scenery and spotted our first group of donkeys leisurely standing at the side of the road.

As we continued the ride, Steve told us about the “Commoners” grazing rights and how the animals are essential for the management of the woodland and moorland.

Our route was a good mix of quiet road and gravel tracks though open moorland and Forest. At times we were well into the forest, on good quality fire roads, without another person in sight, with the prospect of seeing deer, ponies and other wildlife.

At one point we had cycled through a ford and came across a herd of cows ambling down the road towards us. This provided us entertainment as we watched 3 cars trying to deal with ensuing traffic jam on the single lane carriage way. No road rage here, the cows knew they were in charge!

All too soon we had completed our 4 hour ride but were welcomed back to the farm coffee shop with more coffee and Sausage rolls.

Great memorable day.

Thanks Steve!