An English Motorcycle Vacation - Tips and Routes

For riders looking for a special international motorcycle trip, Clutch and Chrome has some ideas for those wanting to lay some miles down on English roads.

These route tips come courtesy of U.K. Servicing Stop and only focus on roads worth riding in England itself. Other parts of the United Kingdom such as Scotland and Wales have enough beautiful roads of their own to warrant separate riding tips articles.

Before looking at these routes, a few tips for American riders cruising across the pond.

Aside from the basic challenge of riding on the opposite side of the road, highways are fewer and generally speaking the roads are smaller. Winding their way through farmlands and historic right of ways, the roads also tend to twist and turn. Add to this, tractors and various types of farm equipment could be entering the road, riders should maintain a comfortable bubble of safety and a speed considerate to reacting to any surprises.

Looking further ahead and into upcoming bends will help keep riders out of any close calls. Helmets are mandatory in the entire United Kingdom so riders should be prepared to don a lid.

Finally, even in the summer, England can be wet and cold. Bikers heading to England for a motorcycle trip should pack accordingly.

With all the above out of the way, where is there to ride?

When looking at the following routes, its important to remember that at least for the sake of the below, its not really about size. The routes may seem shorter than some riders are used to, but with many of the following being more challenging for the previous reasons given, bikers should find their technical riding skills flexed or in some cases, stretched.

1. B4632 - Cheltenham / Gloucestershire - Between Cheltenham and Stratford and 29.3 miles long, this B road allows a stunning drive through picturesque little towns which belong to the infamous Cotswolds.

2. A3055 - Isle of Wight – Starting in Totland and finishing in Ryde, this 31.1 mile long A road covers hills, sea views, small towns and open green fields. But, for those who do not live on the island, then be prepared for a ferry there and back.

3. A39 - Bath / Somerset – Starting in Bath the A39 really doesn’t offer too much until you pass Minehead. This 36 mile long A road holds mile after mile of beautiful moorlands and small ol’ English towns, in the summer it would be a perfect ride.

4. B3135 - Cheddar / Somerset – This 14 mile long road from Cheddar to Oakhill is home to, as you guessed it, Cheddar Gorge. The gorge holds not only historical importance, but is also extremely beautiful. It can be assured that no one can experience anything like this in the whole of England. Driving this route will challenge even the best riders with sharp twists and turns as well as cliff edges.

Besides, who could pass up riding visiting a place called Cheddar?

5. Rhinefield Ornamental Drive - New Forest/ Hampshire – A small but stunning ride in the New Forest. Located 2 miles from Lyndhurst, the ride is perfect for those looking for a good old picturesque route. With plenty of parking spaces and a whole forest to drive through and explore, this would make a perfect summer outing. The whole forest has multiple roads of attraction but, Rhinefield Ornamental Drive is highly recommended.

6. B6270 - Downholme / North Yorkshire – Roughly the distance of a marathon, this 26.6 mile long B road from Downholme to Nateby takes every rider on a tour through the Yorkshire Dales and should leave a smile on the face. Take good use of the weather and enjoy this particular ride this summer.

7. B3276 - Padstow / Newquay – With narrow and bendy roads the B3276 is a 13.6 mile long coastal road. The scenery here is stunning; with some of the best views of Cornwall’s sea front and beaches. This, mixed with the dips and climbs of the terrain make it the perfect summer ride. It must be noted however that there can at points, be heavy traffic during vacation periods so make sure that you pick the perfect time to go, whenever that may be.

8. A272 - Heathfield / Winchester – 85 miles long this road making this the route to settle into that motorcycle rhythm. The entire journey takes bikers through mainly rural areas, small villages and tiny towns. This route is extremely reminiscent of the roads which used to cover England 50 years ago.

9. B4425 Burford / Stratton – The B4425 from Burford to Stratton covers 14.1 miles of glorious open roads, small English country sides and also a beautiful little river. Servicing Stop cannot recommend this drive enough as it encapsulates what a British ride is through a tour of sleepy little England.

10. A537 ‘Cat and the Fiddle’ multiple areas – The Cat and the Fiddle is, for many drivers clubs, one of the best roads to drive on in the whole country. Located between Buxton, Derbyshire, and Macclesfield, Cheshire, the route is named after the Cat and Fiddle Inn at its summit. This drive isn’t even based on a particular road as it consumes many different A and B roads for a most excellent drive. As beautiful as this drive is, which it really is, be careful for motorcyclists. This road is rather notorious for motorcycle related accidents due to its twists and turns, so riders should pay extra attention.

The final challenges for American bikers heading to England for a motorcycle road trip would be to enjoy as much tea and cakes as can be found and watch out for the British beer! It will knock an unfamiliar rider on their denim butts.

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