Author: Billy Johnson

Ride the best mountain roads in England

There are few more exhilarating experiences in life than whipping up a twisting mountainside surrounded by jagged peaks in search of adventure on two wheels.

And while the thrill of testing your riding skills against some of the world’s most challenging roads is an addictive one, it’s the feeling of wonder that you get travelling through the pristine wilderness of the mountains that has adventure bikers flocking to the likes of the Alps, the Pyrenees, the Rockies, and Patagonia each and every year.

Enter your email address below to sign up to the ABR newsletter and receive the 96-page Guide to Motorcycling in Britain absolutely free.
Your Free Guide to Motorcycling in the UK
Enter your email address below to sign up to the ABR newsletter and receive the 96-page Guide to Motorcycling in Britain absolutely free.

But don’t think you need to travel to far-flung foreign lands to experience the thrills of high-elevation riding. While the UK’s largest country could never be described as the roof of the world, England offers plenty of sensational roads that twist their way through dramatic mountain scenery that are just waiting to be explored.

And in the latest issue of Adventure Bike Rider magazine (March/April issue), you’ll find a guide to the best of them so you can strike out on your own mountain adventure.

Simply head over to the ABR shop HERE to order your copy today with free UK postage.

In the meantime, I’ve highlighted three of my favourite roads through English mountains to whet your appetite…

Hardknott Pass

If you’re up for a technical challenge, Hardknott Pass is the place to be. Situated in the heart of the stunning Lake District, this road is one of England’s steepest, boasting gradients of up to 33%. So, it’s not for those with vertigo.

The narrow strip of tarmac twists its way from Eskdale eastwards to the Duddon Valley, passing through some of the most spectacular scenery in the UK.

It has a fearsome reputation, but it’s not as difficult to ride as some may suggest. The main challenge is passing oncoming traffic along the tight switchbacks on the road’s eastern side, so keep an eye out for campervans taking up too much of the road. But take it easy and you’ll have more time to soak up your glorious surroundings.

As an addedd bonus, once you reach the end at Cockley Beck, you’ll find another fantastic road, Wrynose Pass, awaiting you.

Tan Hill Road

God’s own country offers plenty of glorious riding, and Tan Hill Road is one of the best places to find it.

Start by heading over to the village of High Green in the Yorkshire Dales. Ride northwest following the sign of Tan Hill and along a minor road. It’ll soon become a single lane stretch of asphalt, meandering its way upwards across miles of sprawling moorland.

The remote, bleak, and beautiful landscape gives you a sense of true adventure, and by the time you reach the Tan Hill Inn (England’s highest pub), you’ll appreciate seeing other people again.

Kielder Forest Drive

This 12-mile stretch of gravel road slices its way through Northumberland National Park, and it’s an absolute delight to ride.

While it’s not the highest road out there, as your tyres scramble along the unpaved yet well-maintained road you’ll be surrounded by the majestic Kielder Forest, and you’ll be forgiven if you find yourself thinking you’re in Canada for parts of it.

Although it’s a gravel surface there’s nothing particularly challenging about it, and even if you’ve never ventured off the blacktop before, I urge you to give it a go. The scenery is simply incredible, with huge skies overhead and forested lakes all around.

Just be aware that it’s closed during winter, but it’s just opened as of 1 April. It’s also a toll road, costing £3.

Hungry for more?

Issue 74 of Adventure Bike Rider magazine

We’ve got you covered in the latest issue of Adventure Bike Rider which is out now. Inside you’ll find the complete guide to all these roads and plenty more, as well as greenlanes to ride, and another brilliant UK route that traces the history of the English Civil Wars.

And that’s not all, there’s also a full review of the brand-new Suzuki 800DE, travel stories from South America, Italy, and the USA, along with loads more adventure biking entertainment, inspiration, and knowledge.

Get your copy today with free UK postage right over HERE.