Ancient South England Tour

AN ADVENTUROUS WEEK OF CYCLING ON ENGLAND'S "COUNTRY LANES"

This Tour is designed for the enthusiastic cyclist who is keen to enjoy an active holiday, packed with historic sites and pretty countryside. You not only explore the New Forest National Park and the Hampshire Coast, but also cycle by the ancient sites of Stonehenge and Avebury. The beautiful town of Salisbury is on the route as well and all locations are connected by specially selected cycling-friendly quiet country lanes. Your overnight stays in historic market towns like Romsey and Marlborough only add to this unique exploration experience!

Ancient South England

Route Summary:

This package is available with either three or six cycling days (with non-cycling rest day). Below you’ll find the details of the classic package with six cycling days (with rest day). On the package with three cycling days, two day stages are merged into one stage. In that case, the rest day is an extra option.

You'll start your holiday enjoying the Bed & Breakfast accommodation in Brockenhurst. If you didn't bring your own bike you collect your hired bike the next morning from the local bike hire. You set off with a nice route through New Forest National Park. You can stop at Burley and the New Forest Deer Sanctuary and have a mid-day break in the hamlet of Fritham, where you can have lunch in the local pub or enjoy a forest walk. The scenic town of Romsey is the end of your first stage. Have a stroll in the old The Hundred Shopping Street and view the majestic Abbey.

The next day you join the rolling Hampshire Hills and you can stop in the picturesque village of Stockbridge for lunch. Then you make your way to the ancient Danebury Ring Fort, where you have the opportunity to have a walk around the ancient fortifications. In the late afternoon you arrive in Andover, where the Museum of the Iron Age is open for those who want to find out more about Danebury Ring Fort. You can also retreat in your centrally located B&B.

Stage three takes you out of the valley of Andover. You climb steadily onto the Chute's Causeway ridge where you'll be rewarded with some great views. Beyond the sleepy village Great Bedwyn you cycle through the ancient woodland of the Savernake Forest. In Marlborough you can enjoy the hustle and bustle of its impressive high street.

Ancient South England   Ancient South England

The fourth cycling day is the longest and most spectacular one, taking you onto the remote and traffic free Ridgeway, which ends at ancient Avebury. You should have a long break here to take in the walk around the ancient stone circle. You can also visit the Keiller Museum and Sidbury Hill. A bit further you'll make your way through Milk Hill Pass and in the following descent you can admire the Alton Barnes White Horse. You then cross the Salisbury Plains south to Amesbury, the end of the most demanding stage of the tour.

The next attraction is one of the most famous landmarks of England; Stonehenge! On our classic package with six cycling days you'll stay two nights close to this magic circle in nearby Amesbury. This allows you to recover from your four days of cycle touring and gives the opportunity to make a lovely walk in the beautiful countryside towards Stonehenge. At the magic stone circle you can spend as much time as you like. If you feel like it, you could cycle to Stonehenge too, just a 15 min ride from your B&B! On the package with three cycling days it is also possible to take it easy around Stonehenge and Amesbury. In that case, a second night in Amesbury is added to the standard package.

Properly back on the bike the next day, you'll find that Salisbury is a beautiful old town, with its cathedral tower as it most striking feature. Inside the cathedral you can view an original copy of the Magna Carta. The ruins of Old Sarum are impressive too! There are plenty of museums to enjoy and Salisbury is great for browsing and shopping as well. Beyond Salisbury you cycle through the Avon Valley. You'll pass the stately mansion Breamore House and cycle to the small town Fordingbridge, the next stage stop.

On the last cycling day, you'll hit the South Coast at Highcliffe, where Highcliffe Castle stands proudly on the cliffs. There is a fabulous cycle way along the beach here and a great cliff café in which to chill out. From Highcliffe, you'll make your way back to the New Forest and Brockenhurst. This last stage is on a Sunday and rented bicycles should be returned to the Brockenhurst rental by 5pm at the latest. 5pm is also the time the arrangement ends. If you wish to stay in Brockenhurst that night you can book an extra night Bed & Breakfast with us. On the package with three cycling days, the night B&B in Brockenhurst on return is included in the standard price.

Heritage   Avebury Stone Circle   Marlborough

Check your Cycling Profile:

You have to be fit to embark on the holiday package with six cycling days, as you are required to cycle 3 to 5 hours a day. Although we have tried to find a route as flat as possible, you will have to deal with various short steep climbs and some gradual longer climbs as well. Also be prepared to deal with some steep descents. The Tour is open to teenagers providing they have the physical and mental strength to deal with the mileage and conditions as described. Of course they must be very keen to cycle and they should be supervised by an adult at all times. We also expect them to be able to cycle according to Bikeability Level 2 of the National Standard. If you are unsure, please contact us.

The holiday package with three cycling days is only suitable for those who don’t mind some serious mileage. You’ll be cycling 5 to 7 hours per day. Although we have tried to find a route as flat as possible, you will have to deal with various short steep climbs and some gradual longer climbs as well. Also be prepared to deal with some steep descents. We recommend the package with three cycling days to adults only.

Our bike hire partner has aluminum frame comfort bikes available with semi-slick tyres, ideal for off-road and on-road usage. All rental bikes have at least 18 gears and luggage racks are fitted on adult bikes for your convenience. Children's bikes may have 6 gears only. The use of a helmet is also included in the rental price.

If you bring your own bikes, bear in mind the route is not suitable for racing bicycles with narrow tyres as there are some sections of gravel tracks. It is wise to use a bike with at least 18 gears. This makes it possible to deal with the climbs.

Overview cycling times six cycling days (estimated at easy pace):
Monday: Brockenhurst - Romsey: 3 hours
Tuesday: Romsey - Andover: 2.5 hours
Wednesday: Andover - Marlborough: 3 hours
Thursday: Marlborough - Amesbury: 4 hours
Friday: No cycling; enjoy Stonehenge and surroundings by foot!
Saturday: Amesbury - Fordingbridge: 3.5 hours
Sunday: Fordingbridge - Brockenhurst: 3.5 hours

Overview cycling times three cycling days (estimated at easy pace):
Tuesday: Brockenhurst - Andover: 5.5 hours
Wednesday: Andover - Amesbury: 7 hours
Thursday: Amesbury - Brockenhurst : 7 hours

Overview cycling times three cycling days with non-cycling day at Stonehenge (estimated at easy pace):
Monday: Brockenhurst - Andover: 5.5 hours
Tuesday: Andover - Amesbury: 7 hours
Wednesday: No cycling; enjoy Stonehenge and surroundings by foot!
Thursday: Amesbury - Brockenhurst : 7 hours

Ancient South England   Ancient South England   Ancient South England

When can you start:

The classic package with six cycling days starts on any Sunday and finishes a week later on the next Sunday. It you wish to extend this arrangement with an extra overnight stay at Brockenhurst (at the end of your last cycling day) you'll finish the arrangement on Monday instead of Sunday.

Note you can combine the six-day tour with our South Coast & Forest mini break with 2, 3 or 4 extra cycling days in the New Forest National Park. In this situation you do the Ancient South England Tour first, returning to Brockenhurst on the Sunday. You then start the mini break with extra cycling days from the Monday after. If you wish to do this, please let us know, so we can offer you a discount.

The package with three cycling days starts on any Monday and finishes on the Friday morning, after your second night in Brockenhurst. The package with three cycling days and extra day at Stonehenge always starts on a Sunday. An extra night in Amesbury is in that case added to the package. Note that if you also rent bicycles, there will be a charge for the extra day rental (the Stonehenge day).

Note you can also combine the three-day tour with a taste of our South Coast & Forest mini break with one extra cycling day in the New Forest National Park. In this situation you do the Ancient South England Tour first, returning to Brockenhurst on the Wednesday night . On the Thursday, you can then do the extra cycling day. An extra night in Brockenhurst is in that case added to the package, including a charge for another guidebook with maps, directions, etc. Note that if you also rent bicycles, there will be a charge for the extra day rental (the extra New Forest cycling day).

You'll need to book this arrangement at least four weeks in advance.

City Cycling   Country Lanes   Morris Dancing  

Prices 2017 for Tour with six cycling days and rest day at Stonehenge (classic):

Please note: the package with six cycling days is not available for start dates on 23 April, 30 April, 21 May, 28 May, 20 August or 27 August 2017.

£ 469 per person for booking by five people
£ 479 per person for booking by four people
£ 489 per person for booking by three people
£ 499 per person for booking by two people
£ 729 per person for booking by one person

Included are:
- 7 nights Bed & Breakfast accommodation
- Route Book including maps, route directions and visitor information
- High visibility vests
- Emergency assistance when required
- VAT

Prices are based on people sharing rooms. On a booking for 3 people or more we expect 2 people to share a double bed.

Not included are:
- Entrance fees for museums and attractions
- Lunch / Dinner / Additional Drinks and Snacks
- The return journey between your home and Brockenhurst
- Luggage transport between accommodations (bring your own small handlebars bag (for our route book) and pannier bags (if you intend to transport your own luggage))
- Bicycle Rental
- Taxi rides between Stonehenge and your Stonehenge accommodation (if required)
- Extra night accommodation in Brockenhurst at the end of the Tour (if required)
- All extra costs related to emergency assistance
- Travel and Cancellation Insurances

Prices extra options:

Please note: all extras need to be booked at the same time as the booking of the main package!

Bicycle Rental:
Bike hire for 7 days: £109 per person (including helmet)

All bike rentals come with lock, pump and puncture repair kit. We expect all parties to be able to fix punctures themselves without assistance. For any serious repairs, the free breakdown repair service applies. In that case, taxi transport will be provided to the bike repair shop in the next town, for two riders with their bikes only. We can arrange the same service to people who bring own bikes, but in that case you pay the cost for taxi transfers and repairs yourself.

Daily luggage transport service:
£495 per party

Note charges are based on one bag per person per day. You'll be required to present your luggage for transport by 9 am daily. The courier will deliver the bags at the next accommodation by 6 pm at the latest. If you have more than one piece of luggage per person, please advise us in advance.

Extra night accommodation in Brockenhurst:
£55 per person (for a booking by one person only you'll be charged an extra £45).

You can book an extra night of accommodation on the Sunday of your return in Brockenhurst. This overnight stay is not part of the main package. The extra overnight stay is Bed & Breakfast as all other overnight stays. We’ll endeavour to book you in the same accommodation as on your first night in Brockenhurst at the start of the arrangement, but we can’t guarantee this. Please note it is not possible to park your car at the Brockenhurst accommodation during the week you are away cycling, see also the travel information page.

Salisbury Cathedral   Savernake Forest   map  

Prices 2017 for Tour with three cycling days::

£ 349 per person for booking by five people
£ 359 per person for booking by four people
£ 369 per person for booking by three people
£ 379 per person for booking by two people
£ 529 per person for booking by one person

Included are:
- 4 nights Bed & Breakfast accommodation
- Route Book including maps, route directions and visitor information
- High visibility vests
- Emergency assistance when required
- VAT

Prices are based on people sharing rooms. On a booking for 3 people or more we expect 2 people to share a double bed. We’ll endeavour to book the second night in Brockenhurst (on your return after the cycling) in the same accommodation as on your first night in Brockenhurst at the start of the arrangement, but we can’t guarantee this. Please note it is not possible to park your car at the Brockenhurst accommodation during the days you are away cycling, see also the travel information.

Not included are:
- Entrance fees for museums and attractions
- Lunch / Dinner / Additional Drinks and Snacks
- The return journey between your home and Brockenhurst
- Luggage transport between accommodations (bring your own small handlebars bag (for our route book) and pannier bags (if you intend to transport your own luggage))
- Bicycle Rental
- Taxi rides between Stonehenge and your Stonehenge accommodation (if required)
- All extra costs related to emergency assistance
- Travel and Cancellation Insurances

Prices extra options:

Please note: all extras need to be booked at the same time as the booking of the main package!

Bicycle Rental:
Bike hire for 3 days: £49 per person (including helmet)
Bike hire for 4 days: £64 per person (including helmet)

All bike rentals come with lock, pump and puncture repair kit. We expect all parties to be able to fix punctures themselves without assistance. For any serious repairs, the free breakdown repair service applies. In that case, taxi transport will be provided to the bike repair shop in the next town, for two riders with their bikes only. We can arrange the same service to people who bring own bikes, but in that case you pay the cost for taxi transfers and repairs yourself.

Daily luggage transport service:
£249 per party

Note charges are based on one bag per person per day. You'll be required to present your luggage for transport by 9 am daily. The courier will deliver the bags at the next accommodation by 6 pm at the latest. If you have more than one piece of luggage per person, please advise us in advance.

Extra night accommodation in Amesbury (for non-cycling day at Stonehenge):
£50 per person (for a booking by one person only you'll be charged an extra £25).

By booking an extra night in Amesbury, you create an optional rest day near Stonehenge. This extra night B&B is in the same accommodation as your first night in Amesbury.

Extra night accommodation in Brockenhurst:
£65 per person (for a booking by one person only you'll be charged an extra £50).

By booking an extra night in Brockenhurst, you allow for an extra cycling day in the New Forest area on the Thursday, after your three-day ride. This extra night B&B on Thursday night is in the same accommodation as on Wednesday night. If you book this extra service, you’ll also receive our South Coast & Forest guide book with maps and directions, which is included in the extra charge.

Travel Information:

By train: We recommend you travel to Brockenhurst by train. South West Trains runs a direct link with London Waterloo and the journey time is approximately 90 minutes. Cross Country Trains also serves Brockenhurst station with a good connection to Reading and the Midlands. Both companies carry bicycles for free, but reservations are recommended. Total travel time from London to Brockenhurst: approximately 2 hours.

By plane: If you travel from further afield, Southampton Airport is the airport to which to fly. The airport is the hub of carrier FlyBe. The airport has a direct train link from Southampton Airport Parkway station to Brockenhurst. Total travel time from Southampton Airport to Brockenhurst: approximately 30 minutes.

By car: Take exit 2 from the M27 motorway and follow signs with the freight route to Lyndhurst to avoid long delays on arrival in Lyndhurst. In Lyndhurst follow the A337 to Brockenhurst. Note you are only allowed to park your car on B&B premises on nights you are actually staying there. Long stay paid parking is available at Brockenhurst station. Some Brockenhurst public roads have free on-road parking at your own risk, but spaces can be limited. Overnight parking in car parks in the surrounding New Forest is not permitted! Total travel time from London to Brockenhurst: approximately 2 hours.