The British Isles do offer some excellent motorbike riding when you know where to go. Combine this with masses of history going back many thousands of years, warm hospitality and a long established bike culture (no problems getting spare parts or a cup of tea) and you have the makings of a really great , vacation tour.
Time it right, get on your touring road bike and you can join one of the famous motorbike 'runs' such as the egg run down in the southwest of England at Easter.
Our favourite 7 day, motorcycle vacation tour takes a circle round one of England's best scenic motorcycle rides:
By using the right roads and having discovered some amazing places to visit en route, this little trip can open your eyes to the wonders of English biking. Taking your motorbike past the castles, hills and lovely bendy roads of England can be a real thrill.
Here's a nice run to the coast we enjoy. Start by heading to Epsom in South West London, just inside the M25. From here take the A24 south to Dorking and then switch to the A25 East to Guildford. A 248 and A3100 to Godalming and then at Milford switch to the A3 south to Hindhead. A great place to stop and stretch your legs at the amazing devil's punchbowl. A couple of massive antique and reclaimed timber yards in town too.
Now get back on your bike and leave the A3. Instead, head due south on the 287 (joins the 286 after 5 miles) and then leads you down to Midhurst through thick forests before delivering you up onto the south downs where the views are spectacular.
From Chichester, follow signs to Selsey for a unique south coast experience. This seaside town is an oddly charming place and the beach is wonderful.
The Devil's Punchbowl is just east of Hindhead, this whole area is the largest open space in Surrey. It includes Hindhead, Invall and Weydown Commons. Much of this area is in the care of the National Trust.
We saw an article in Motorcycle Mechanics by Bill Roughton from Nottingham. He suggested the following day trip around the Derbyshire Peak District. We tried it and absolutely loved the day.
"Start in Nottingham, then head first to Matlock Bath for a coffee shop breakfast. We tackle some lovely scenic and twisty sections to take us through Dovedale and the varied terrain of the White Peak before heading North through the well-dressing villages and onto Castleton, Winnats Pass and The Dark Peak. We skirt Ladybower reservoir and usually have lunch at a lovely Inn on Strines Moor. Depending on time, weather, and preferred pace, we sometimes pull in the Snake Pass or even the Cat & Fiddle during the day, before taking a back-route back to Chesterfield & home." (Motorcycle Mechanics, April 2003)
Wales has some great , vacation biking opportunities and a warm welcome awaits We particularly enjoy a route which takes us round
Once you get your bike up in the mountains of Wales you gain a new appreciation for this wonderful part of the island of great britain.
We tried out this route, loosely based on one we read about on on scotland by bike. It was a week to remember, with perfect weather, great hospitality, stunning scenery and lots of laughs, fun and excitement.
Scotland Mototrbike Tour Day One
From Edinburgh, quick bash north to Perth before a lovely climb into the Grampian Mountains. We passed Balmoral and stopped at the Glenfiddich distillery. Beautiful bike riding roads as we headed for Speyside. Spent the night in Fraserburgh. Lots of Harleys on the seafront, indicating a well travelled route. However, there were stretches to come where it felt like we were the only riders ever to have exlored this part of the island.
Scotland Mototrbike Tour Day Two
Coastal road to Inverness at the top end of Loch Ness. then open up the throttle to Ullapool. The ferry to Stornoway was too many hours away so we hauled ourselves back into the motorbike saddle and bumbled slowly down the west of Loch Ness, looking for the beastie. Found some lovely stretches of road to muck about on. We headed west again at Invermoriston and took a meandering loop round a couple of big hills before rejoining the A82 to Ft William.
Scotland Mototrbike Tour Day Four
A830 out to the coast is stunning, Take the time once you reach the coast to stop your bikle and drink in the light. This stretch is followed by a loop south.
Scotland Mototrbike Tour Day Five
A great end run down the A85.
England's best road
A537, Macclesfield to Buxton, England
This legendary 11km-long stretch of winding Peak District road has in its time been described as both "Britain's Best Biker's Road" and "Britain's Most Dangerous Road".
Leaving Macclesfield you are soon leaning into one tight corner after another as you rise into the peaks. Crest the top and the road stretches into easy sinuous curves giving you time to enjoy the wonderful windswept scenery. In the late summer afternoon, the light up here can be almost biblical.
Despite the shortness of the route and the 50mph speed restriction you will surely want to stop when you reach the Cat and Fiddle pub for coffee and a chat with the other boys and girls who have just completed the run. You will know us by our idiotic grins that remain fixed to our faces for up to an hour after completing the cat and fiddle run.