Friday 17 August, and Monday 20 August. With Harry. About 500 feet of climbing, and some rough going on forest gravel tracks. Warm.
Setting off from the Boltons Bench car park, we walked through Lyndhurst with its busy one-way system - if ever a place needed a by pass, this is it!
We took the A337 for a few hundred yards before turning left for Pikes Hill, and continuing to Emery Down. A very narrow road with far too much traffic - I know, it is the height of the tourist season!
We then encountered a very large group of cyclists from Germany, doing a guided cycle tour. Too many in one group for my taste, but whatever floats your boat.
From Emery Down we turned left just after the pub, cycling past Millyford Bridge and the Portuguese Fireplace climbing steadily towards the Bolderwood parking area, where we paused briefly before heading down Bolderwood Arboretum Ornamental Drive, which wasn't too busy and then across the A35 and down Rhinefield Ornamental Drive. This was pretty busy, and at one point we were overtaken by at least 20 motorbikes in a herd!
We reached Brockenhurst, cycled through the ford and headed for the Buttery cafe for coffee and teacake. No longer full of badger and bear toys - now we have a cock and hen!
After that it was over to Balmerlawn, and following the forest tracks to Lyndhurst.
On Monday we followed the route in reverse.
A good stretch of the legs.