Cycling in Dorset


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Cycling in Dorset is a great opportunity for exercise, an environmentally friendly mode of transport and a fantastic way to explore Dorset’s coast and countryside. There are many cycle paths throughout Dorset that connect geological highlights and other points of interest together. Whether you want to cycle on roads or on dedicated off-road trails, iCoast helps you plan your day with lots of cycling routes to choose from. There are some parts of the coast, such as on busy esplanades, that have restrictions on cycling at certain times of the year. These are shown in iCoast.

The Dorset Cyclists’ Network website has a lot of information useful to local and visiting cyclists.

What do I need?

If you don’t own bike or are on holiday without your bike you can hire bikes from many places in Dorset. Check out the iCoast map for direct links to a range bike hire services.

When is the best time to do it?

Cycle paths are generally open to the public all year round. If you are cycling at night make sure you have appropriate lights and reflective equipment. If you choose to cycle in challenging weather be sure you have suitable protective/insulating clothing.


Planning your trip

What to look out for?

Cycling can be great for seeing lots of different wildlife with many cycle paths going through and around areas such as woodlands and quarries where there is an abundance of plants and creatures.

Do your bit:

Watch out for the wildlife

Please follow these steps to make sure that you do not disturb wildlife while you are cycling on the Dorset coast:

  • Think about whether you are going to be going through or landing at any areas that are important for wildlife.
    • The Dorset coast has some Special Protection Areas for birds where birds are particularly sensitive to disturbance between:
      • November and March birds are “over wintering” and need to conserve energy reserves.
      • Mid April to the end of June birds are breeding. If birds are disturbed during this time then birds can abandon eggs or chicks.
    • Don’t linger for too long when you are close to wildlife – Its great to look, but then move on.
    • Avoid damaging the different types of plants.
Watch out for other users
  • Cycle paths are shared with other cyclists, pedestrians, horses and wheelchairs. Be considerate of other users and acknowledge them when they give way.
  • Remember that if you are cycling on a footpath, you are obliged to give right of way to walkers.
Watch out for the environment
  • Take all rubbish home – do not discard rubbish at sea or on the beaches. Marine and beach litter spoils peoples experience of the Dorset coast, can harm marine wildlife and can disrupt commercial  industries such as litter getting tangled up in fishermen’s nets. Find out more about marine litter in Dorset.

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Explore the Dorset coast with iCoast