Seeking a more relaxed cycling tour to last year’s Lands End to Lowestoft ride, Tom, Andy and I set off from Hayling Island for a mini tour of Hampshire and Dorset – and managed to include a total of 7 ferry trips along the way! I don’t know exactly what it is, but I love taking my bike on ferries. It’s always cool to involve water crossings and as we found out there is a huge variety of ferries you can take bikes on. Also… you get a nice rest from the saddle!
Day 1 had us take the Hayling ferry over to Portsmouth, followed by the catamaran to Ryde, the Yarmouth to Lymington car ferry and the Christchurch harbour ferry and making it to Bournemouth by the first night.
Day 2 took us further west, taking the Sandbanks car ferry and then for cream tea at Corfe Castle by 11. Staying parallel with the coast but inland for most of the afternoon we eventually dropped down to Weymouth for tapas on the beach whilst contemplating the notable climb up to our hotel at the top of Portland. It was worth it for the view though and the excellent food at the New Inn.
On Day 3 we took a different route back through south east Dorset, stopping for lunch at Lulworth cove before riding north around Poole harbour. We did get slightly more off road on our way to Lulworth than was ideal though and we found ourselves riding across grassy hills with no tarmac for miles. This was courtesy of Andy’s GPS, you may know as Sharon from our previous trip. Views and weather were fantastic.. though I’m pretty sure this is where my carbon fork developed a hairline crack which led to them being replaced straight after the trip. No ferries on day 3 – what were we playing at?
Day 4 was the highest mileage day, having us cross across the New Forest and then 2 Ferries before taking a fairly direct route back to Hayling Island. The Ferries were the somewhat tired Hythe ferry and the completely pink and adorable Hamble ferry.
All in all great trip and somewhat more relaxed than many whilst still covering enough distance to justify eating very well indeed…