Cycling Breaks in Dorset

With the Tour of Britain cycle race visiting Dorset for the first time in September 2022 and lots of bike lanes popping up all over the county, there is no better time to book a cycling break to the beautiful south coast.

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!

For a more back to nature break, try out Wessex Gravel Adventures ‘bikepacking’ trips and experiences for groups of up to 8 people. You’ll camp overnight and explore the Jurassic Coast, North Dorset, the Wessex Ridgeway or Cranborne Chase Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty with your guide. You can book one of their 2 day cycling breaks (some including hotel accommodation, evening meal and luggage transfer) starting from their base in the harbourside town of Poole. If you’re limited on time, they also offer day rides.

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 Resevoir 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.

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.

If you’re visiting the north of the county, Dorset Adventures is based at Compton Abbas Airfield near Shaftesbury. They have a range of mountain bikes and e-bikes to rent and also offer guided rides for groups, couples and families.

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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