Escape the Traffic: 15 Traffic-Free Cycle Routes in Dorset
Escape the Traffic: 15 Traffic-Free Cycle Routes in Dorset
In this post we highlight some of the best traffic free cycling routes Dorset has to offer including the National Cycling Routes found across the county, and for the more adventurous, some of the area's best mountain bike trails and parks! Cycling is a great way to see the gorgeous county of Dorset in the south west of England. There are cycle paths aplenty and there are lots of scenic routes to explore. Cycling is also a great way to exercise, so kill two birds with one stone by cycling on holiday and burning calories at the same time! If you're looking for a great place to cycle, Dorset is the perfect place!
You can take in the spectacular views on the Castleman Trailway, ride next to the coastline from Hengistbury Head to Sandbanks or explore the Isle of Purbeck on the Purbeck Park trail! If you don't have your own bike with you, we've listed some of the bike hire places in the area so that you can hire any type of bike required for your trip.
Once you've read up on the cycle routes to try on your visit to the sunny county of Dorset, why not have a look at our blog posts for the other activities that are available to do here. You can find them on the following buttons below:
15 Routes Showing Why Cycling In Dorset Is Awesome!
The table above lists all the best cycling routes in Dorset. Click on each name to be taken straight to the part of the blog post for that route.
There's nothing better than a lovely bike ride taking in the fresh air of the south west coastline. Have a look below at the cycle routes listed on the interactive map and click on the buttons below the map for each route, for further information before you travel.
Moors Valley Country Park
Moors Valley Country Park is an expansive area of natural beauty with miles upon miles of endless paths for riders to explore. There’s a central 2-mile circuit that provides you the option take three additional loops making it possible (but not necessary )to ride 7 miles through this beautiful landscape! These wide gravel tracks are waymarked to ensure you don't get lost in this vast area!
The Castleman Trailway is a 16.5 mile way-marked cycling route that follows much of the old Southampton to Dorchester railway line through East Dorset’s stunning landscape. The route links several country parks making it a perfect trail for a full day's cycle.
The cycle through lush woodland and along old carriage drives will lead you to a view of Kingston Lacy house as you ride past. The path reveals stunning views of the estate with animals that live in this area such as Red Ruby cattle a constant sight on your journey! Owned by the National Trust, the route here is well maintained and perfect for families.
The Rodwell Trail (part of National Cycle Route 26) is a wonderful way to get some quick fresh air and enjoy the outdoors. The 3-mile bicycle ride from Westham Bridge in Weymouth's heart provides a tranquil setting, free of traffic and perfect for a short ride to get out on two wheels for a while!
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Hengistbury Head to Sandbanks
Hengistbury Head is a gorgeous stretch of coastline with stunning views and perfect for cycling. The scenic promenade is perfect for a ride next to the award-winning beaches found in this area. There are several cafes along this route that offer break stops with delicious food options available throughout the day!
Poole Heritage Cycle Route
Take a walk or cycle ride around Poole's historic harborside area, visiting places of local interest along the way. The whole circuit takes about 1 hour to complete if you're cycling; however this time may be extended by that amount of times you'll stop to take pictures on your journey!
The Isle of Portland is a must-see for any visitor to the UK and the Portland Trail takes you there to see its beauty. The 17 mile long circular trail has both off road paths along flat ground and cycles tracks so riders don't have too much difficulty navigating through the terrain on this extremely scenic route that is a must on your visit.
This 8.5 mile circular trail takes you around the beautiful nature reserves of Lodmoor Country Park and Radipole, before heading into Weymouth town centre for a welcome break! Perfect for a family bike ride and with plenty of places to stop and admire the beauty of the area.
The perfect way to explore this beautiful area is on foot, with a bike or by boat (and we recommend by bike!). This 3-mile circular trail through Overcombe Corner and Lodmoor Country Park will take you around the edges of nature in an unspoilt setting that's full of amenities for all ages! Another route that's perfect for the family.
North Dorset Trailway
The North Dorset Trailway is a beautiful and exciting way to experience the local area. It's made up of sections from old railway lines, which linked Bristol with Bournemouth until it closed around 50 years ago! Stretching for around 14 miles, the trailway is a popular route for cyclists, runners and walkers at all times throughout the year.
Stour Valley Way
The Stour Valley Way is a beautiful, long distance footpath that runs through Dorset. It starts in Wiltshire at Stourhead National Trust and ends up at Hengistbury Head. There are some great stretches of off road paths for cyclists to enjoy on this route too- perfect if you're looking for something more than just asphalt roads for your biking adventure.
If you're looking for an experience like no other, then this cycle route is just what you require. You will be able to explore forests full of nature and see breathtaking scenery that ranges from open moorland, historic woodland with plenty of heathland in between all throughout the New Forest! Plenty of routes available for all styles of riding. Check out their website for further information via the button below.
You can explore the Isle of Purbeck's sensational landscapes whilst on two wheels at Purbeck Park. From its breath-taking views of Corfe Castle ruins and Studland Bay beaches; there is so much for cycles enthusiasts on this little island!
MTB: Wareham Forest
There are plenty of beautiful areas to explore in Wareham Forest, but if you're looking for a challenging method to view the scenery, then try cycling the moderate graded 7 mile trail! The routes guarantee an enjoyable day out with your family or friends and a good workout at the same time.
MTB: Okeford Hill Bike Park
Located in Dorset near Blandford Forum, the Okeford Hill Mountain Bike Park formerly known as UK Bikepark is an ideal destination for experienced riders with 8 different trails to choose from. Run by mountain bikers and aimed at more proficient cyclists this park offers its visitors a unique biking experience you won't find anywhere else!
In this blog post, we have shared some of the best traffic free cycling routes in the county of Dorset. To find out more about things to do in this area, click on the buttons below:
All outdoor activities including cycling involve a degree of risk. The routes are recommended due to the well known features of each route but this may change over time and further research is required before undertaking any activity. The weather can also impact the surface and general conditions of each route so please keep yourself updated with the weather forecast before setting off to enjoy your cycle!