Call us biased but we firmly believe the UK is among the best places in the world to ride a motorcycle. So much so the list of incredible riding locations rolls off the tongue with ease.
There’s the epic scenery of the Highlands of Scotland, the desolate beauty of Dartmoor, and the brilliant roads of the Peak District. And let’s not forget the joy of riding Snowdonia, the Yorkshire Dales, the coast of Cornwall, the Lake District… OK, you get the point.
But with so many wonderful places to ride on our doorstep it can be difficult to decide where to go next. So we’ve teamed up with UK Motorbike Tours to bring you a list of our favourite places to ride in the UK.
Highlands of Scotland
Scotland is a country blessed with abundant natural beauty and an embarrassment of stunning roads, so much so that you are spoilt for choice when it comes to riding. If you only have a handful of days in this wonderful country, we’d recommend heading west to the Highlands and in particular Glen Coe to immerse yourself in one of the most beautiful landscapes in the world.
After you’ve spent time enriching your soul with the views of Glen Coe, ride north and travel the famous Bealach na Ba road to Applecross. Then double back (it’s a road you’ll happily ride twice) and cruise over to the Isle of Skye via the iconic bridge linking the island to the mainland. Explore the Isle of Skye’s coastal roads as long as time allows, but be sure to ride the Quiraing Pass in the north, a truly spectacular mountain pass.
Ask a Yorkshire lad or lass where you can find God’s own country and they won’t hesitate to point to their home county. And who are we to argue? Gorgeous scenery, friendly locals and brilliant motorcycling roads abound.
We’d recommend Buttertubs Pass, a beautiful ribbon of Tarmac that wriggles for 6.2 miles between the villages of Hardraw and Thwaite. Also be sure to check out the B6255 which rises and falls amid sweeping bends and sprawling views of the Dales stretching to the horizon. The joy of riding the Yorkshire Dales is there are so many beautiful places and brilliant roads to explore, you’ll want to keep coming back for more.
Devon and Cornwall
You can pack a lot into a day or two of riding in Devon and Cornwall. While the counties may not boast iconic motorcycle roads like the Cat and Fiddle or Snake Pass, they certainly make up for it in terms of sheer beauty and variety of the landscape. Many riders stick close to the coast and quite rightly so. The rugged cliffs, golden sands and rolling waves of the South West make it one of the most popular tourist destinations in the UK.
Pick up the A39 at Minehead in Devon and ride the north coast of both counties down towards the surf resort of Newquay, stopping along the way to explore vibrant seaside towns and quaint fishing villages such as Wollacombe, Tintagel and Padstow. If you’ve got time, head further south and ride the stunning B3306 between St Ives and St Just in time to watch the sunset over the Atlantic Ocean.
Photo: Rune Hestbech
Wales is a little like Scotland in the fact it is blessed with riches when it comes to motorcycle roads. Wherever you choose to ride, be it the twisting mountain passes of Snowdonia or the scenic coastal roads of Cardigan Bay, you are in for a treat. However, we do have a soft spot for the Brecon Beacons with its sweeping bends, tight turns and beautiful scenery.
Highlights include the A4069 Black Mountain Road that twists and turns for around 20 miles on the western edge of the Brecon Beacons. And we love the Gospel Pass which at 549m is the highest road pass in Wales. It’s a narrow lane snaking its way over the Black Mountains with simply stunning views. Just be sure to keep an eye out for oncoming traffic.
Boasting the likes of Snake Pass, the Cat and Fiddle and Winnats Pass, it would be all but impossible to leave the Peak District off a list of our favourite places to ride in the UK. These names alone are enough to get many a UK biker tingling with excitement, and quite rightly. The Peak District combines a selection of brilliant roads with jagged hills and imposing valleys.
The fact the Peak District is located in the centre of the country is both a blessing and a curse. It’s easy to get to for many of us but the roads do get busy in summer. However, make an early start and with a bit of luck you’ll get more than enough time alone to enjoy riding this beautiful part of the UK.
Do it all!
Photo: Jim Crossley
Riding end-to-end from Land’s End in the far south west of the UK to John O’Groats in the far north has become something of a rite of passage for bikers, cyclists and a fair few long-distance runners and walkers over the years.
With this in mind, UK Motorbike Tours runs its End-to-End tour over six days, taking in some of the highlights the UK has to offer. These include the Brecon Beacons, Snowdonia and the Lake District. Run over six days, the tour is a great way to explore our island nation, with the bonus that when you finish you can proudly say you are an End-to-Ender!
UK Motorbike Tours
UK Motorbike Tours specialises in providing enjoyable and relaxing motorcycle holidays showcasing the very best of the UK and Ireland. Whether you’re a solo rider or book with friends, owners Matt and Amanda Goddard aim to ensure you have the trip of a lifetime with like minded riders of all abilities. The company offers a selection of fully escorted tours with overnight stays at three and four-star hotels or quality bed and breakfast accommodation, ensuring you have a brilliant time on and off the saddle.