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Route advice please: Exeter to New Forest

londoncommuterlondoncommuter Posts: 1,550


  • jamesesjameses Posts: 653
    Can't help too much with this one, but I would definitely avoid that main coast road. It's okay as far as Axmouth, but beyond there you end up crawling up some quite long, steep climbs and it's a busy road. Not fun.

    You might be better off heading further North; Axminster - Marshwood - Broadwindsor - Beaminster - A356 T-junction is a nice route I ride occasionally (usually in the opposite direction). I don't know the roads beyond there, sorry!
  • I'll have a look at least for the Dorset part but from 1st glance you won't enjoy the A350 or A31 on a bike. They're busy at the best of times and in holiday season even worse. I'll post back later, but I did a nice route back from Dorchester to New Forest two summer's ago which avoids the major roads where possible.
  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 79,667
    Stay N of the A31 and you should be able to avoid Bournemouth. The roads through Linwood are all lovely and lots of opportunity to cut south (under/overpasses over A31) if you need to.

    Dorset is all pretty spectacular as well. Just stay off the A35.
  • Have you checked out the Sustrans route 2? May be rubbish but a place to start?
  • This is a route from Child Okeford to Sway avoiding Blandford and main roads. The section following the River Tarrant is a delight. Thereafter it uses a section of the Castleman Trailway to get from 3 Legged Cross to Ringwood; it's perfectly rideable on a roadbike, and keeps you off the A31 (which I'm not sure you can cyle on anyway - it's effectively Dorset's motorway). It pops out near the Ringwood Brewery if that's of any interest. Then follow the quieter forest roads to Burley Street and then onward to Sway.
  • Many thanks everyone on this and my other posts. Advice taken (although I think I'll give the trailway a miss on my 23c tyres).

    I will partially blame you all though as my 520 shouts Off Course a million times when I'm on a back lane in the middle of nowhere....
  • Have fun. You'll be fine on the trailway with 23C!
  • Dorset_BoyDorset_Boy Posts: 6,665
    You'll need to alter your route from Sturminster Newton as Haywards Bridge (to Child Okeford) is closed until October.
    When you come down the hill to Sturminster, turn left at the lights and cross the bridge, go through the centre of Stur and turn right at next lights. Down the hill past the Xchange and left at the lights at the bottom. Then follow the road to Manston and turn right on the sharp bend before The Plough and go to Child Okeford. At the top of the Child Okeford drag turn left (before the War Memorial) and head to Iwerne Minster. you'll pass my house at the bottom of Tower Hill, the climb out of Iwerne.

    Also do not go on the A31 from Ashley Heath to Ringwood - it's a 70 mph fast & busy 4 lane dual carriageway! There is away around it if you zoom in close on the maps.

    You could also alter your route a little to take in Bulbarrow Hill, the highest point in (N) Dorset, or go vi Shaftesbury and do Zig Zag...
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