Cycle route from Black Knowl Club site
A scenic and easy-to-follow route from Black Knowl Club site which follows quiet roads through the New Forest.
For any cyclist with knobbly tyres and a nose for extend to graze pigs in the New Forest so they can forage for acorns navigation, the New Forest is an amazing place to ride. Gravel tracks and muddy trails splinter off in all directions through the trees and over the heaths, pure catnip for the adventurous.
The trouble is that one track looks very much like another, one oak identical to its neighbour, which means it’s easy to get lost below the leafy canopy. Sticking to the national park’s roads is altogether an easier approach, with the same views, the same proximity to the semi-wild ponies, and quicker access to pubs and cafés!
This is an easy route to follow, and the first half is exceptionally quiet as it heads along shaded single-track roads through the forest, opening up occasionally at streams and clearings. It will be a magnificent spectacle in autumn as the leaves change colour.
The second half, after the Queen’s Head pub, is a little busier but offers superb opportunities to see ponies as they graze on the grassy common and heath. The right to graze horses and ponies here dates back to 1217 and the Charter of the Forest, with certain land and property bestowing the right of ‘commoners’ to keep livestock such as ponies, cattle, mules and donkeys in the forest.
During the 60-day autumn pannage season, additional rights extend to graze pigs in the New Forest so they can forage for acorns and beech nuts, which are poisonous to ponies and cattle. Warnings abound not to feed any of the animals, and when approaching them on a bike call out a warning and pass slowly and wide.
You can download this route from our dedicated Strava page here.
1 Leave the Club site and continue along the 1.5km drive to reach a T-junction. Turn right and stay on this road for 5.3km, eventually reaching a crossroads with the A35.
2 6.8km – Turn left at the crossroads along the A35 and in 500m turn right at the triangle of grass, heading along Lyndhurst Road and quickly crossing a cattle grid and passing a 40mph sign. Continue along this road for over 6km to enter the village of Burley, reaching a T-junction with the Queen’s Head pub on the right.
3 13.7km – Turn left at the T-junction, signposted to Brockenhurst and Holmsley, climbing School Hill. This soon becomes Wilverley Road as it crosses open heathland, then Station Road. Stay on this road as it becomes Burley Road, and continue back into Brockenhurst. Stay on the road, ignoring the ford (right) into the village centre, and keep going as the road becomes Rhinefield Road. Continue to the Black Knoll sign on the left, pointing right back to the campsite.
About the route
- Start/finish: Black Knowl Club site, Aldridge Hill, Brockenhurst, Hampshire SO42 7QD.
- Distance: 17.4 miles/27.9km.
- Time: 2 hours (without stops).
- Level: Suitable for all. There is one relatively short climb and, depending on the time of day, some potentially busy traffic on the second half of the route.
- Terrain: Asphalt all the way.
- Landscape: Trees, forest and woodland, interspersed with heath and common.
- Refreshments: Rhinefield House Hotel; the Queen’s Head, Old Farmhouse Tearoom and the Cider Pantry, all in Burley; and the Old Station TeaRooms, Holmsley.