Forum home Road cycling forum The cake stop

Moving to the New Forest

Just had an interview for a job in the New Forest, but don't really know the area at all. I'm guessing it quite good for cycling, but what are the surrounding areas, such as Southampton and Bournemouth like?
«1

Posts

  • Ben6899Ben6899 Posts: 9,544
    edited May 2021
    Heading there this afternoon, for a week's holiday. Taking the bike.

    I love the place, and won't rule out living there one day. Personally, I wouldn't choose Southampton or Bournemouth, but that's just my taste. Property might be relatively expensive, but that obviously depends on your current situation.
    Ben

    Bikes: Donhou DSS4 Custom | Condor Italia RC | Gios Megalite | Dolan Preffisio | Giant Bowery '76
    Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ben_h_ppcc/
    Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/
  • N0bodyOfTheGoatN0bodyOfTheGoat Posts: 4,866
    North east of Southampton, it gets much more pleasant beyond Horton Heath or Durley, heading up into the rolling hills of the South Downs. Heading more east, the same can be said just beyond Botley. It amazed me ~4 years ago how little I had to head out that way to experience a much more rural feel, but it's even better when you get out between Beacon and Butser Hills or traverse a short busy stretch to head towards South Harting or Milland.
    Plenty of 200-350ish foot climbs, with a fewer number of 300-650ish foot ones, the biggest being from around Petersfield/ Sheet to Warren Corner.

    Southampton city centre and the surrounding surburbia isn't such fun around rush hours and will get worse as more of the bus/cycle lanes are removed, but there are meanding routes you can take to avoid a lot of it.
    ================
    2020 Voodoo Marasa
    2017 Cube Attain GTC Pro Disc 2016
    2016 Voodoo Wazoo
  • Dorset_BoyDorset_Boy Posts: 5,004
    Where in the NF will the job be based?
    Southampton itself is a dump. The nicer areas are to the east of the city centre, the west has the docks.
    You'll pay a premium for property within the forest itself.

    Cycling wise, it's exposed and gently rolling, so can be hard work on a windy day, and lots of tourist traffic in summer.

    Plenty of good cycling north and west of Ringwood as you get into Dorset, but don't tell anyone!
  • Ben6899Ben6899 Posts: 9,544

    Where in the NF will the job be based?
    Southampton itself is a dump. The nicer areas are to the east of the city centre, the west has the docks.
    You'll pay a premium for property within the forest itself.

    Cycling wise, it's exposed and gently rolling, so can be hard work on a windy day, and lots of tourist traffic in summer.

    Plenty of good cycling north and west of Ringwood as you get into Dorset, but don't tell anyone!


    One of my favourite routes is out towards Cranborne, but *ssshhhh*
    Ben

    Bikes: Donhou DSS4 Custom | Condor Italia RC | Gios Megalite | Dolan Preffisio | Giant Bowery '76
    Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ben_h_ppcc/
    Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/
  • Dorset_BoyDorset_Boy Posts: 5,004
    Shaftesbury - Zig Zag - 6d - Cranborne - Ringwood - Highcliff - Christchurch - Hurn - Wimborne - Blandford is a nice but relatively flat one.

    Chalke valley is good with some tough climbs off it.
  • DeVlaeminckDeVlaeminck Posts: 7,800

    Just had an interview for a job in the New Forest, but don't really know the area at all. I'm guessing it quite good for cycling, but what are the surrounding areas, such as Southampton and Bournemouth like?

    I bow to local knowledge but Southampton has always seemed ok to me - typical UK medium sized city. Bournemouth is bigger than you expect and has some bits that appear past their prime - what large urban area doesn't - but I like it.

    It's an area of the country that if we decided to move in retirement I'd certainly consider. Maybe a bit far out from the New Forest but I did some work with the local authority in Petersfield some years ago and certainly on a Summers day it's absolutely lovely.
    [Castle Donington Ladies FC - going up in '22]
  • Where in the NF will the job be based?

    Oops, should have said. The job would be in Lyndhurst. So anywhere that's about a half hour commute.
  • Dorset_BoyDorset_Boy Posts: 5,004

    Where in the NF will the job be based?

    Oops, should have said. The job would be in Lyndhurst. So anywhere that's about a half hour commute.
    Fordingbridge, Ringwood, Wimborne even would be options, plus to the south of Salisbury.
    Mind you, in peak summer you might take 30 minutes to get into Lyndhurst!
  • shirley_bassoshirley_basso Posts: 5,265
    edited May 2021
    I grew up right in the absolute centre of the NF - Sopley and then Burley. My mum still lives in Burley and we head back every 2 -3 months. We didn't have much money (all in the house) so never went on holiday - we spend every summer on Heingustbry Head, renting the little beach huts.

    Our house used to back directly onto the forest so horses would literally walk into the garden. Had to watch out for deer as well nibbling buds off flowers.

    I couldn't think of a nicer place to live.
    • 10 mins from the beach (Avon/highcliffe) for some wind / kite / SUP / regular surfing
    • Beautiful countryside on your doorstep - for walking / hiking / camping / road + MTB + Gravel cycling - more rolling than hilly.
    • Very good transport links (trains to London - 1h30 / M3 / A31)
    • Good 'shopping' in Ringwood / Bournemouth / Southampton
    • If you have ever heard of the Royal Oak in Fritham - that is a perfect short bike ride away.
    Happy to answer any questions - conscious it's a big place. Mr Goo lives there as well, I think. New Milton way.

    There are no 'not nice' areas as far as I can think of but there are some places where there's a bunch of Local Authority affordable homes close together, but these are easy to avoid.

    EDIT: This is the west side, right on the Hampshire / Dorset border (Hants side)
  • shirley_bassoshirley_basso Posts: 5,265
    edited May 2021

    Where in the NF will the job be based?

    Oops, should have said. The job would be in Lyndhurst. So anywhere that's about a half hour commute.
    Lyndhurst is an absolute nightmare to drive in and out of because of the one way system and town centre traffic lights but the surrounding area is absolutely beautiful.

    Look at Brockenhurst (MT), Boldre, Beaulieu (T), Sway (T), Ashurst (T), Hordle (bit of a retirement town), New Milton (watch out for Mr Goo!)

    (T = stopping train to london, MT = main /fast line to London)
  • shirley_bassoshirley_basso Posts: 5,265
    If you want some good cycle routes and go exploring - check out the New Forest Sportive routes (all organisers).

    I'd disagree re: Fordingbridge / Salisbury - I think would be a nightmare drive into Lyndhurst - i'd check Waze timings during a 'normal' rush hour.
  • surrey_commutersurrey_commuter Posts: 15,853
    Shirley, I salute you.

    Man starts talking about moving to the sticks and looking for place to live and you give him a list based upon ease of getting back to London
  • shirley_bassoshirley_basso Posts: 5,265
    edited May 2021

    Shirley, I salute you.

    Man starts talking about moving to the sticks and looking for place to live and you give him a list based upon ease of getting back to London

    To some people this is important.

    I am one of 4 siblings, I don't live in London and my 3 siblings do. My mum lives in the NF and I live 3h drive away.

    It can feel isolating and if you are moving from somewhere where you know a lot of people to somewhere you know noone. You may want to know how easy it is to visit them / have them visit you.

    Plus the guy is moving there for work - he may have a corporate HQ in London he needs to return to from time to time.

    Or he may not care at all. Either way, it's information I know which I am happy to share and the OP can use it as they wish.

    Also - those are the nicest villages in the surrounding area (that I know of) and they happen to have train stations which go to London. You can of course look at the tiny hamlets in between if you want.

    Anything else helpful to add Mr imaginative living in Surrey?
  • surrey_commutersurrey_commuter Posts: 15,853

    Shirley, I salute you.

    Man starts talking about moving to the sticks and looking for place to live and you give him a list based upon ease of getting back to London

    To some people this is important.

    I am one of 4 siblings, I don't live in London and my 3 siblings do. My mum lives in the NF and I live 3h drive away.

    It can feel isolating and if you are moving from somewhere where you know a lot of people to somewhere you know noone. You may want to know how easy it is to visit them / have them visit you.

    Plus the guy is moving there for work - he may have a corporate HQ in London he needs to return to from time to time.

    Or he may not care at all. Either way, it's information I know which I am happy to share and the OP can use it as they wish.

    Also - those are the nicest villages in the surrounding area (that I know of) and they happen to have train stations which go to London. You can of course look at the tiny hamlets in between if you want.

    Anything else helpful to add Mr imaginative living in Surrey?
    I concede I probably should have used an emoji but that is a hell of a rant.

    My comment was actually genuine as that is exactly the advice I would want but also annoys stick dwellers.
  • shirley_bassoshirley_basso Posts: 5,265
    I nearly ended it with an expletive, so count yourself lucky ;)
  • Dorset_BoyDorset_Boy Posts: 5,004
    edited May 2021

    Shirley, I salute you.

    Man starts talking about moving to the sticks and looking for place to live and you give him a list based upon ease of getting back to London

    To some people this is important.

    I am one of 4 siblings, I don't live in London and my 3 siblings do. My mum lives in the NF and I live 3h drive away.

    It can feel isolating and if you are moving from somewhere where you know a lot of people to somewhere you know noone. You may want to know how easy it is to visit them / have them visit you.

    Plus the guy is moving there for work - he may have a corporate HQ in London he needs to return to from time to time.

    Or he may not care at all. Either way, it's information I know which I am happy to share and the OP can use it as they wish.

    Also - those are the nicest villages in the surrounding area (that I know of) and they happen to have train stations which go to London. You can of course look at the tiny hamlets in between if you want.

    Anything else helpful to add Mr imaginative living in Surrey?
    I concede I probably should have used an emoji but that is a hell of a rant.

    My comment was actually genuine as that is exactly the advice I would want but also annoys stick dwellers.
    Having any form of public transport is something those of us who live in rural villages want. Having a train connection would be great!
    Ddn't realise that Smog Lovers don't understand that. :p
    And I remembered the emoji!
  • elbowlohelbowloh Posts: 7,078
    As Shirley says, Lyndhurst is a nightmare to drive to / through, particularly in holiday times, but is a lovely little town with some nice cafes and pubs. If it was me, I'd live somewhere rural within cycling distance. I wouldn't consider Southampton or Bournemouth.
    Felt F1 2014
    Felt Z6 2012
    Red Arthur Caygill steel frame
    Tall....
    www.seewildlife.co.uk
  • surrey_commutersurrey_commuter Posts: 15,853

    Shirley, I salute you.

    Man starts talking about moving to the sticks and looking for place to live and you give him a list based upon ease of getting back to London

    To some people this is important.

    I am one of 4 siblings, I don't live in London and my 3 siblings do. My mum lives in the NF and I live 3h drive away.

    It can feel isolating and if you are moving from somewhere where you know a lot of people to somewhere you know noone. You may want to know how easy it is to visit them / have them visit you.

    Plus the guy is moving there for work - he may have a corporate HQ in London he needs to return to from time to time.

    Or he may not care at all. Either way, it's information I know which I am happy to share and the OP can use it as they wish.

    Also - those are the nicest villages in the surrounding area (that I know of) and they happen to have train stations which go to London. You can of course look at the tiny hamlets in between if you want.

    Anything else helpful to add Mr imaginative living in Surrey?
    I concede I probably should have used an emoji but that is a hell of a rant.

    My comment was actually genuine as that is exactly the advice I would want but also annoys stick dwellers.
    Having any form of public transport is something those of us who live in rural villages want. Having a train connection would be great!
    Ddn't realise that Smog Lovers don't understand that. :p
    And I remembered the emoji!
    I can't even remember what thread it was on but it was ascertained than civilisation is being within 5 miles of Waitrose and as such he needs to live at least 3.7 miles on the Lymington side of Lyndhurst
    https://www.waitrose.com/shop/BranchFinderSearch?postCodeValue=lyndhurst
  • DeVlaeminckDeVlaeminck Posts: 7,800
    elbowloh said:

    As Shirley says, Lyndhurst is a nightmare to drive to / through, particularly in holiday times, but is a lovely little town with some nice cafes and pubs. If it was me, I'd live somewhere rural within cycling distance. I wouldn't consider Southampton or Bournemouth.

    Just out of interest why not ? Just not a fan of large conurbations or something specific to those.
    [Castle Donington Ladies FC - going up in '22]
  • shirley_bassoshirley_basso Posts: 5,265
    Southampton is generally pretty grim.

    Bournemouth not to bad.
  • Dorset_BoyDorset_Boy Posts: 5,004

    elbowloh said:

    As Shirley says, Lyndhurst is a nightmare to drive to / through, particularly in holiday times, but is a lovely little town with some nice cafes and pubs. If it was me, I'd live somewhere rural within cycling distance. I wouldn't consider Southampton or Bournemouth.

    Just out of interest why not ? Just not a fan of large conurbations or something specific to those.
    Southampton is a dump. It's a port city with lots of docks. East of the Itchen river is ok, and north of the M27 likewise, but the city itself - 'orrible.
    Bournemouth connurbation is fine and some nice areas close to the beaches. Also some very expensive areas at the Poole end - Sandbanks, Canford Cliffs.
  • elbowlohelbowloh Posts: 7,078

    elbowloh said:

    As Shirley says, Lyndhurst is a nightmare to drive to / through, particularly in holiday times, but is a lovely little town with some nice cafes and pubs. If it was me, I'd live somewhere rural within cycling distance. I wouldn't consider Southampton or Bournemouth.

    Just out of interest why not ? Just not a fan of large conurbations or something specific to those.
    If I had a good job in the middle of the New forest I'd want to be in the forest somewhere nice. I only live in the burbs now because of work. Nothing against those two places in particular, I quite like Bournemouth.
    Felt F1 2014
    Felt Z6 2012
    Red Arthur Caygill steel frame
    Tall....
    www.seewildlife.co.uk
  • webboowebboo Posts: 4,262
    Isn’t Bianchimuncher located round Southampton/ New Forrest way and I believe he is a ride leader. So if there is ever a reason to locate that way there you have it.
  • surrey_commutersurrey_commuter Posts: 15,853
    webboo said:

    Isn’t Bianchimuncher located round Southampton/ New Forrest way and I believe he is a ride leader. So if there is ever a reason to locate that way there you have it.

    Just give him your phone and Garmin and he will do the ride for you
  • ugo.santaluciaugo.santalucia Posts: 26,779
    edited May 2021
    Going against the grain... I don't like it. Cycling is average and you constantly have to cross some horrendously busy A road. Traffic around the small towns is a gridlock most of the time... It always took me half an hour just to get through Lyndhurst. Maybe outside the holiday season things are better, but overall it is over rated. I'd rather live on the Isle of Wight and ferry, if you can work from home a couple of days a week...
  • Thanks for all the comments, really helpful stuff!
  • shirley_bassoshirley_basso Posts: 5,265

    Going against the grain... I don't like it. Cycling is average and you constantly have to cross some horrendously busy A road. Traffic around the small towns is a gridlock most of the time... It always took me half an hour just to get through Lyndhurst. Maybe outside the holiday season things are better, but overall it is over rated. I'd rather live on the Isle of Wight and ferry, if you can work from home a couple of days a week...

    Ugo in clueless generalisation shocker.

    Sounds like you went to the wrong place at the wrong time.
  • N0bodyOfTheGoatN0bodyOfTheGoat Posts: 4,866
    edited May 2021

    Southampton is generally pretty grim.

    Bournemouth not to bad.

    Is your name shirley related to time spent in SO15? :D

    I moved to Southampton from Wirral in the early 90s for uni, at the time the city seemed to have more going for it than back home. But if it wasn't for my partner's strong links to east of the Itchen (which as written earlier, is one of the better areas), I'd happily leave these days for somwhere more affordable and rural, such as Warminster staying reasonably close.
    ================
    2020 Voodoo Marasa
    2017 Cube Attain GTC Pro Disc 2016
    2016 Voodoo Wazoo
  • ugo.santaluciaugo.santalucia Posts: 26,779

    Going against the grain... I don't like it. Cycling is average and you constantly have to cross some horrendously busy A road. Traffic around the small towns is a gridlock most of the time... It always took me half an hour just to get through Lyndhurst. Maybe outside the holiday season things are better, but overall it is over rated. I'd rather live on the Isle of Wight and ferry, if you can work from home a couple of days a week...

    Ugo in clueless generalisation shocker.

    Sounds like you went to the wrong place at the wrong time.
    We stayed in Burley... There is a rather nice large pub with rooms outside the village, the kind of place that gets rammed with families at weekends... White Buck, maybe? We did a lot of cycling and a bit of walking. As I said, the cycling was average... not particularly interesting as a roadie. And you always end up having to cross these bloody A roads, carrying huge amounts of fast traffic. Maybe with wise mapping one can avoid the worst of it, I suppose... but overall I was underwhelmed. The woodland is nice, but the paths are too big and it feels a bit like being at "centerparks", something made up to look pretty and be safe for kids. Not a lot of wildlife, other than the ubiquitous ponies and some free range cows. The traffic to get into the towns or even just to cross them is horrendous in summer.
    The thing I enjoyed the most was seeing adders at the reptile centre... I love seeing snakes in their environment.
    Since then, we only crossed it to head to the Isle of Wight, every time finding the inevitable bottlenecks of traffic.

    On the contrary, the Isle of Wight is a bit more run down and less upmarket, but the cycling is a lot more interesting and varied, a lot less traffic too and some fantastic coastal roads. I'd move there tomorrow if I had the chance...
  • Dorset_BoyDorset_Boy Posts: 5,004
    Ugo - there are two major roads, one that you cross by bridge or underpass - the A31 that becomes the M27, and the A35, which can be busy, but isn't really that fast. However the A35 is local traffic only, all through traffic is on the A31 dual carriageway.
Sign In or Register to comment.