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The Top 5 UK Motorcycle Rides

Jas Murphy November 26, 2020

While winter mightn’t be the best time to be riding a motorcycle, it is a great time to plan some trips for when the sun is shining again. The UK isn’t as famous as the States for coast-to-coast roads, but it does have some excellent tarmac. Below we’ve detailed what we think are the top 5 UK motorcycle rides. Once you’ve got your licence, taking some time on a new and beautiful piece of bitumen is a great way to improve your riding skill and enjoy the freedom of two wheels.  You’ll find details of the route and exactly what it is that makes them so good we’ve included them on our list.

1. The Cat and Fiddle A537, Peak District

The natural beauty, wilderness and feeling of utter isolation in the Peak District attract around 13.25 million visitors each year.  The A537 from Buxton to Macclesfield, aka the Cat and Fiddle, has been enticing keen motorcyclists for years. The 11.5-mile road twists and turns its way through the western side of the Peak District, each corner offering a heart-stopping thrill with unrivalled views of the national park. Noted as one of the most dangerous roads in the UK, we recommend sticking to the 50mph limit as you take this difficult yet rewarding stretch of tarmac.

2. Minehead to Barnstaple A39, North Devon

The A39 covers some beautiful scenery in the southwest, starting at Bath and finishing at Falmouth in Cornwall. The most spectacular stretch of the 197-mile road has to be between Minehead and Barnstaple, taking in parts of the dynamic Somerset and North Devon coastline. Sweeping bends and good visibility introduce you to Exmoor, but it’s just past Porlock that things get interesting. A red 25% gradient hill climb sign alerts you to the road ahead as you leave the village. This is almost equal to the other end near Lynmouth by a 15% gradient down to the village. However, you will pass through stunning Exmoor scenery, dramatic cliff-top roads and some quaint Devon villages. They’re the perfect place to stop for a brew or classic Devonshire tea.

3. North Coast 500, Scotland

Given the beauty of Scotland, it’s difficult to choose just one ride here, but this circular route makes it onto almost every motorcyclist’s top rides list. Affectionately known as Scotland’s answer to Route 66, the 500-mile loop begins and ends in Inverness. Expect coastal scenery almost all the way.

Riders will reach the northernmost tip of the UK – John O’Groats and have the chance to stop at some excellent tourist spots throughout. Castles, lighthouses and extreme coastal cliffs are sure to etch this trip deep into your memory. It’s no wonder this route is such a favourite with motorcyclists in the UK.

4. Brecon to Snowdonia A470 Cardiff to Glan Conwy Trunk Road

Don’t take this ride in too much of a hurry. You’ll traverse two national parks, wind your way around beautiful mountains and through lush valleys, and take a steep hill climb up Abergwesyn Pass’ 25% gradient. It’s a 185-mile trek and you’ll want to give yourself a few days to take it all in. Not only is the scenery gorgeously varied, but the route is also dotted with excellent restaurants (some Michelin-starred). You’ll easily find B&Bs, and places of note where you can stop to stretch your legs.

5. Lydden Hill Track Day

Not all UK motorcycle rides need to be lengthy journeys taking in stunning scenery and difficult roads. Lydden Hill has made it to our list thanks to the well-organised and physical track days. This little track in Kent is best known for the World Rallycross Championship. It only holds a handful of track day events over the year. They’re friendly, old school and staffed by approachable, knowledgeable people who clearly want you to enjoy your day. You can expect eight 20-minute sessions over the course of the day with instructor insight available. Riders can get some photographic evidence of a great day out too; £20 should cover around 35 good pictures. You can pay for days in advance or pay per session. If you’ve never had a track day on your bike, check out our blog for the full low-down.


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