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Written by Kate Marsham (Guest Blog) on 8th May, 2017

Each month we will be featuring a guest blog from a Love Velo traveller. This month, Kate and her family explored the New Forest on the May bank holiday weekend.

I have 2 kids, Archie who is our 5 year old and Amber, our eight year old. The kids’ ages means we need to be out and about or they get fidgety. We have the best of intentions most bank holidays. My husband and I won’t be working so lets do something ‘interesting’ we always say. Problem is, we don’t organise anything and so we are either chasing some weather in the UK – but isn’t everybody, or we are scratching around for things to do close to home. London is teeming with things to do but you would be amazed how unadventurous our bank holidays have been. Anyone for ten pin bowling in a noisy arcade (please don’t judge!). This year, we decided to go and explore a pretty area of the UK by bike. We landed on the New Forest as it’s just an hour and 45 mins on the train.
   The Bell Inn hotel
We arrived at the Bell Inn hotel, a beautiful little boutique hotel in Bramshaw. We checked in where our bikes were waiting for us, which was great for us to maximise our time, and rode out to the imaginatively titled Forest Road. It does what it says on the tin I guess because from there, we were straight out in to the heart of the New Forest. The ride was reasonably flat which was great as I had Archie in a bike seat and whilst he’s 5, I didn’t fancy carting 2 people up a hill. As we headed south towards Lyndhurst, we approached a bend. Slowing down, we trundled our way round to be greeted by the site of wild horses crossing the road. The UK can be much maligned in favour of a European jaunt, but here we were, family spending quality time together, getting some exercise, exploring, and being greeted by wild horses!
Horses on the road
From here, we rode down towards Brockenhurst and then looped back up to Lyndhurst where bunting was stretching across the road. The only thing that could have made this a more English setting was for someone to have started singing the national anthem. I am not much for tea but the quaint English villages means I was chomping at the bit for cucumber sandwiches and a cup of English Breakfast so we stopped at the Lyndhurst Tea House. Refuelled, we hit the off road trails to be greeted by yet more wildlife and vast expanses of greenery, something I miss being a country girl living in London.
Local shops in Lyndhurst
Back at the hotel, we relaxed, the kids totally worn out and us sitting smugly knowing that we had enjoyed a staycation (uurrgh horrible word) and enjoyed some of the best weekend cycling that the UK can offer. August bank holiday we are going to do the same thing in the Lake District.
View of the Lake district