The Cycling Code

We want you to enjoy your visit to the New Forest and your cycling day out with us. Please Cycle responsibly.

Cycling code of conduct:

Welcome to the New Forest; it is a beautiful, tranquil environment to enjoy.

Please help us to keep it this way by following this code. If you are cycling in an organised event, follow the additional instructions given to minimise the impact on the Forest, other visitors and local people. If you notice any directional signs being removed or tampered with please report this to the Police.

Follow the Highway Code and plan your route 

On roads, the Highway Code applies as it does across the UK; the first points below are particularly relevant in the New Forest. Off road it is important that you cycle only where permitted.

  • Many roads in the forest are narrow and on these you should ride in single file. This allows other cyclists and vehicles to overtake safely. Never ride more than two abreast.
  • On roads, make sure you are visible by wearing bright colours and use lights after dark and in poor daytime visibility.
  • Off road cycling in the wooded enclosures and heathlands in the centre of the New Forest is only permitted on the approved network of gravel tracks. These are all clearly marked as cycle routes.
  • Plan your route to be off these tracks by dusk.

Stay safe and respect the Forest

The New Forest is a working forest, for example with tree-felling operations and agriculture. The ponies, donkeys, cattle, sheep and pigs, all owned by local people, are free to roam on most of the roads – they have right of way and can be unpredictable.

  • Do not startle the commoners’ animals. Pass slowly and give them space.
  • When animals are in groups, try to pass on one side or the other, rather than through the middle.
  • The animals and wildlife can be harmed by litter and human food. Please use the bins or take it with you.
  • Be aware of cattle grids in the roads and travel at a safe speed to navigate pot holes and uneven surfaces, particularly on forest tracks.
  • Do not exceed the speed limits, including those on the gravel tracks.
  • Look out for and obey all safety signs.
  • Do not pass a vehicle (e.g. loading timber) until you know that the driver has seen you and it is safe to do so.

Be courteous 

The New Forest is home to many residents and attracts many visitors on holiday. Mutual respect and courtesy are essential to enable those with different interests to continue to enjoy the peaceful surroundings.

  • Take care when passing other people, especially children, older or disabled people. Call out a warning and allow them plenty of room. Always be prepared to slow down and stop if necessary.
  • Take extra care near horse riders. A group of cyclists should all pass the horse on the same side.


New Forest Cycling, Village Centre, Burley, Hampshire, BH24 4AB 01425 403584 [email protected]

Forest Leisure Cycling Burley Limited (company number 07192169)