Distance: 4 miles Difficulty: Easy
An easy ride to be done as a family in The New Forest
This is a lovely ride we tried with our two boys. They are aged under 10 and have been riding bikes since they were around 3, but that being said this is a fairly easy ride and with minimal undulations on hard compacted stone paths.
We left the car out side what will be the end of the bike ride, The Royal Oak in Fritham. We will come back to that pub a bit later on. off we set and initially you go through a copse either side, and the day we went there were some fabulous big holly bushes with huge bunches of red berries. Old wives tales say that we are in for a cold winter when these are seen so early in Autumn. The path then meanders down a gentle gradient out into the open and then back into a bigger copse with some very tall trees. After about a mile you get a to a bridge where the kids played 'pooh' sticks. This would be a great place in teh summer, but on this October day it was a tad chilly.
After another half a mile and a gentle hill you turn right and continue cycling through the beautiful forest. The kids loved trying to carsh into the falling leaves that were constantly filling the sky. At the two mile mark we turned right and headed along back towards the direction of Fritham. At the 3 mile mark we had rejoined the original path that leads back to our starting point and indeed the end of our bike ride, and where we would be stopping for lunch.
The Royal Oak.
Now this pub was discovered some time ago, and I was so happy to see that it has not changed in anyway. There were a decent selection of soft drinks and my boys loved the fresh local apple juice that was on offer, but I was more interested in the 8 casked ales they have sat just above the floor. Only 6 were available, only 6 he says, and as I was driving I was only able to try one of them, but it was superb. Straight from cask to pint and it tasted just wonderful. We then had a lovely quiche salad each and the boys had homemade sausage rolls.
We then attached the bikes again to the car and headed off home, with slightly tighter faces from being wind and sunswept.