with tips for cycling & hiking
For these cycle rides we based ourselves at the Lytton Lawns Campsite just outside of Milford.
This site is part of the Shorefields Complex ( a couple miles away in Milford) and you are allowed to use their facilities, which includes a swimming pool.
The site is well equipped, with an excellent sanitation block and a dedicated motorhome service point. There are fully serviced hard standings available though they do tend to be rather small, so you have to take care when reversing onto them.
The alternative is Hurstview http://www.hurstviewleisure.co.uk/index.htm
And though they apparently have new toilet facilities, since we last went and it is a good location, we think Lytton Lawn is superior.
This cycle ride is not arduous and is of a comparatively short length, but it has spectacular coastal views of the Solent and it is a route to be savoured. It is also a good idea to combine this cycle with lunch, in the delightful old town part of Lymington.
There are plenty of suitable watering holes in Lymington. Also you are at the seaside and there is an excellent fish and chip shop in the main high street.
The coastal walk offers great bird watching opportunities.
Turn right out of the campsite and take the minor road down to Keyhaven and at the end of this road turn left into the village.
At the car park take the road to the left and after a few hundred metres take the path on your right, the Solent Way.
It is acceptable to cycle this path but remember pedestrians always have priority.
Follow this path all the way around the coast until you reach Lymington.
You return the same way.
Photograph of Hurst Castle, accessible by ferry from Keyhaven or across the shingle bank by foot
A typical Solent view
Again turn right out of the campsite towards Keyhaven.
This time you turn right, taking the short section of path along the coast, before it rejoins the road again.
When the road veers to the right, you take the footbridge and follow the path at the foot of the shingle ridge until you enter Milford.
Go through the car park and follow the coastal path as far as you can.
Your cycle now turns into a walk, as you follow the coastal footbath for about a mile into Barton but trust me this is not a hardship; it is a beautiful walk, with stunning coastal views.
You then pick up the road and follow this until you reach the ‘Holiday Camp’. You then have to take the residential road to your right, until you pick up the main road.
Turn left, along this road for about ½ a mile and I suggest you use the pavements here.
At Chewton Bunny, take the footpath on your left and then follow the residential roads parallel to this path and continue on these roads, bearing left to pick up the coast again.
Follow the coastal path until you reach Highcliffe Castle, the setting for Downton Abbey. This is a good spot for taking refreshment but we prefer to go onto Mudeford, a mile or so further on, so that we can enjoy the sea views.
You take the path following the cliffs and then follow this down until you reach a residential area and then carry on down until you pick up the coast.
There is a short section along the sand until you reach Mudeford and your well earned break.
You have the option of catching the ferry and crossing Christchurch Harbour, to explore Hengistbury Head and then to continue along the coast for another 6 miles to Bournemouth.
You return the same way but with one vital exception, when you reach Milford, take the 1 mile detour to the village and pick up a fish and chips supper, from the excellent chippie and return to the coast to eat it, bliss. Watch out for the seagulls though.
If you are early enough, also try the superb sausages, from the butcher next door. Two suppers sorted in one trip.
And stop for a pint in the Gun Inn at Keyhaven. This pub also does pretty good food.