From coastal tracks to mountain passes, the UK has some of the best motorcycle routes in the world. Whether you’re after a leisurely journey to clear the head or a fast paced thrill ride, there are plenty of options to choose from. We are going to be taking a look at five routes to inspire your next road trip in the UK.
The North Coast 500
Starting at Inverness and stretching for 500 miles along Scotland’s northern coastline, the North Coast 500 offers the freedom of the open road with breathtaking views of the country’s beautiful coastal scenery.
It’s easy to get too and follow, with lots of opportunities to tackle challenging roads and take on intriguing detours or side routes. You can forge your own adventurous experience along meandering tracks that pass by prehistoric caves, deep lochs, harbours, and mist-covered valleys.
A slow pace is advised in order to enjoy the various village stop-offs along the way, many of which offer 24 hour fuel stops. If a fast pace is more your riding style then it is possible to complete the entire route in three days or less.
The wild and windswept road offers a journey into the mythology and history of Scotland, it’s an experience not to pass up. There’s even the option to become an NC500 member and earn a sticker for your bike at the end.
The Cat and Fiddle Road
The A537 from Buxton to Macclesfield gets its namesake from the Cat and Fiddle Inn, the second-highest public house in England. The Inn sits at the summit of the route, which boasts scenic views, along with challenging twists and turns across Greater Manchester, the Peak District and the Cheshire Plain.
It’s widely considered one of the most dangerous roads in the UK, due to a series of sharp, often blind bends. Bad weather, especially in the winter, increases the severity of the route – therefore a great deal of caution is needed. A large number of safety measures have been put in place over the years to ensure that you can enjoy the road without taking unnecessary risks.
Despite the notoriety the road is a mecca for motorcyclists and extremely popular.
Cardiff to Llandudno
Known as the Cardiff to Glan Conwy Trunk Road, the A470 is a long-distance ride that takes you from the south to the north coast.
The 185 mile route is rich in a variety of changing scenery and forestry, passing through two National Parks. Beginning at Cardiff, the road heads across the Brecon Beacons, coming close to the Storey Arms and the starting point to the walk up Pen y Fan, the highest point in South Wales.
The A470 continues to twist and turn and has plenty of opportunity for detours to take in the natural splendour of the valleys. Diversions can take you to the likes of the Elan Valley reservoir roads and the Aberystwyth Mountain Road, along with the Devil’s Bridge.
It continues north and eventually to Snowdonia National Park, ending at the coast in Llandudno.
Antrim Coast Road
The A2 Antrim Coast Road follows the Northern Ireland coastline and is often praised as one of the UK’s finest tourist rides.
The majority of the route winds through lush countryside and follows scenic coastlines, whilst often passing in between steep sloping glens. You have the option of leisurely taking in the ample sights from Larne up to the Giant’s Causeway or knuckling down for an epic thrill ride, with twisting corners that seem perilously close to the sea. You could always run the route twice and do both of course.
Minehead to Barnstaple
A glorious 36 mile stretch of the A39, begins in the coastal town of Minehead and runs to Barnstaple, the oldest borough in the UK.
You’ll get to enjoy strong visibility and sweeping bends as you come to the village of Porlock, then the route takes an interesting turn – offering a handful of hairpins, chicanes and fast straights.
Enjoy a stunning ride over Exmoor, and take in the sights as you drop down Countisbury Hill and into Lynmouth. The route manages to tick all the right boxes for a varied bike trip – a rich, rewarding ride for any motorcyclist.