Cycling Breaks in Dorset

Dorset is the perfect base for a cycling holiday at any time of year, but spring and autumn are particularly popular due to cooler temperatures and quieter roads.

Join an organised tour

Whether you’re an experienced rider or just looking for a new adventure on your break to Dorset, our expert guides and cycle hire companies are here to help.

The Carter Company offer gentle, self-guided cycling itineraries with planned routes, overnight accommodation, cooked breakfast each day, luggage transfers, bike hire, GPS route directions, maps and more. Their short breaks start at 4 or 5 nights, however they are happy to create a tailor-made trip just for you. You can also upgrade to electric bikes to make your journey that little bit easier!

Discover Dorset your way

If you’d rather make up your own cycling break itinerary, we’ve got over 30 suggestions for day rides taking in both Dorset’s coast and countryside. There are also a couple of NCN (National Cycle Network) routes in the county for the more experienced cyclists amongst you.

NCN Route 2 enters the county from neighbouring Hampshire at Christchurch in the east of Dorset. It then travels through Bournemouth, Sandbanks, the Isle of Purbeck, Wareham, Dorchester and Bridport before continuing west into Devon.

If you’re looking to travel north to south, NCN route 26 travels from neighbouring Somerset, heading south through Sherborne, past Sutton Bingham Reservoir and next to the River Frome into the county town of Dorchester. It then continues south through the seaside resort of Weymouth onto the Isle of Portland.

NCN route 256 connects the New Forest National Park and market town of Ringwood to Wimborne Minster via Ferndown, and NCN 25 links Dorset’s biggest resort of Bournemouth to Poole, Wimborne Minster and Blandford Forum before heading north into Wiltshire.

Easy cycle routes

Whether you are an experienced rider or not, sometimes you just want an easy day of riding which is more about the scenery (and perhaps a pub or two) than climbing big hills.

Our blog lists five short cycle rides which are mostly flat, and perfect for all abilities.

From cycling alongside the award-winning beaches at Poole and Bournemouth, to exploring hidden north Dorset and the beautiful Bride Valley, the longest of these routes is only 14 miles one-way. Great for beginners and those getting back in the saddle after a break. 

Bike Hire

If you haven’t got a bike or want to upgrade to an electric bike for your holiday, our specialist cycle hire experts can help you.

Cyclexperience is based at Purbeck Park near Corfe Castle and offers both standard and electric bike hire. They also hire out tandems, kids bikes, tagalongs, child seats, child trailers and dog trailers too, so no member of the family is left out.

Go Continental

The Tour De Manche cross-channel cycle route connects the south coast of England with northern France.

In Dorset, the route travels from Poole to Weymouth and then continues west to Plymouth in Devon. Via ferry, the route crosses the English Channel to Brittany in France, travelling east through Roscoff, St-Brieuc and Saint-Malo. It then enters Normandy and continues east to Saint- and Cherbourg before heading back to Poole via ferry.

Highlights along the route include Corfe Castle, the Jurassic Coast, Dartmoor National Park, Morlaix Bay, Mont St Michel and the D-Day beaches at Normandy.

The ferry ports at Poole, Roscoff and Saint-Malo allow cyclists to shorten the route or link with Jersey in the Channel Islands.

The whole route is 435 miles (or 700km) in length and there are various guide books available offering itineraries to suit all riders.

You can find more information on the Freewheeling France website.

Where to stay overnight?

So you want to book a cycling break to Dorset but not sure where is bike-friendly. Don’t worry, we’ve got lots of places to stay which welcomes cyclists and all their (sometimes muddy) equipment.

Whether you want budget-friendly hostels, bunkhouses or campsites for a cycling tour or looking for a bit of luxury at a spa hotel, we’ve got options for all tastes and requirements.

Some of our accommodation have made special provisions for cyclists such as bike storage, drying rooms or packed lunches. Alternatively, search and book somewhere to stay using our online Accommodation guide.

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Family Bike Rides

Read our blogs for family friendly cycle rides on the North Dorset Trailway.

What does your Dorset look like? Adventures on our epic coastline? Visiting attractions with family? A walk through the beautiful countryside? Or perhaps a chilled out evening eating and drinking with friends? Discover a sample of your #VisitDorset images below and share your love for Dorset using the hashtag on Instagram.