Riding in the UK is probably the most enjoyable for me. Not because I am a Brit, I have lived outside the UK now for 25 years, but probably because its easy to get to by ferry, the roads and landscape are superb and also a lot of the fun is finding these great pubs for overnight stays on our tours. I always use the Good Pub Guide to find the best accomodation for the trips. All links are shown below and also if you want to find somewhere to stay my suggestion is to start with the guide.
This section is the tour section dedicated to riding in the UK be it north or south of the border. All the files you will find will be BaseCamp .gpx files and will include a pdf screen shot. The routes and tours take into account any overnight stays with links to websites for accomodation as well as tour photos from the trip.
The Whisky Tour,Scotland, 2018.
Day 1 - Newcastle to Blairgowrie
After a fine crossing on the DFDS ferry we arrived in Newcastle. Took sometime to get off and through the border check but then we were on our way. Already way over 25 degrees and no clouds in sight we headed to the border for the usual photo shoot at the border crossing.
After the border onwards across the new Queensferry bridge arriving in Blairgowrie around 1630. Overnight stay was at the Heathpark Lodge B&B.
Border Crossing, Scotland
Day 2 - Blairgowrie to Abelour
Again, very hot from early in the morning we headed out east towards Glamis with a quick stop at the castle. Continuing west across the Cairn ó mount via Fettercairn with stunning views from the summit but very windy. After the summit we dropped down to Aberdeenshire and headed towards Dufftown. As we were still early we stopped at the first distillery for a
The Glenlivet Distillery, Scotland
tour. The Glenlivet. Arrived at the Dowans Hotel in Abelour around 1900 just in time for an excellent dinner. Hotel was very good, comfortable with great food. A worthy stop!
Day 3 - The Whisky tour
first stop the famous Glenfiddich for an early morning tour and a dram before 1200! Thereafter we headed south towards Grantown and passed a number of other distilleries en route. A brief lunch in Grantown and then headed back to the hotel in Abelour.
The Glenfiddich, Dufftown, Scotland
Day 4 - Abelour to Blairgowrie
Again a very warm with beautiful sunshine as we headed south towards the Cairngorm mountains. Crossing just before Tomintoul the wind had us holding on to avoid being blown off the road. Great ride down into Ballater and a quick visit to Balmoral before heading for a tea stop in Breamar.
We arrived back in Blairgowrie in time for dinner and a rest.
Crossing the Cairgorms
Day 5 - Blairgowrie to Romaldkirk
The longest day of the tour. We had 360 km to cover but luckily the first 150 were back down the motorway across the Queensferry bridge and south towards Galashiels. We lost one of our party along the way but after our lunch stop in Jedburgh we hooked up again just outside of Corbridge and headed down the Penines via Alston to Romaldkirk. That evening we stayed at the Rose and Crown. Great accommodation but the food was less that expected. Finally the first rain showers accompanied by
The Rose and Crown Inn, Romaldkirk
thunderstorms luckily occurred during the night.
Day 6 - Romaldkirk to Hull
Unfortunately we awoke to slight drizzle only for it to get quite heavy as we were planning to leave. We waited until 1030 and then headed out. We were caught a bit short about 10 minutes into the ride and got quite a heavy downpour which luckily lasted only 5 minutes. A lunch stop at the Tearooms in Hovingham and then on to the ferry port. Dinner on board was excellent. All in all a really
Hovingham Tea Rooms
great tour with exceptional weather.
Mid UK Tour September 2017
2 intrepid riders decided that one UK trip for 2017 was not enough and booked a tour for September hoping for a break in the weather. Crossing from Holland via the Harwich ferry we arrived Thursday 7th in sunny South East England. We had decided to look in on Cannon BMW in Braintree to sample the new K1600 GTLE instead got a ride on the new Bagger and on a new model RT. After the fun of this it was off up through spectacular Finchingfield and west towards the Cotswold’s. Our overnight stay was the Lamb Inn at Gt Rissington. A lovely pub with very comfortable
The Bagger & RT at Cannon's of Braintree
rooms and friendly service.
Next day leaving we headed north west along the Welsh border towards Chester. A couple of heavy showers but generally the roads remained dry. We arrived at the Pheasant Inn in Buwardesly, a superbly located pub with spectacular views of Liverpool at just over 30 miles away. Good food and an excellent location.
Day 3 took us East about toward Norfolk. Having left a little later and in the middle of a real rain
storm we decided to find the most direct route
The Pheasant inn, Burwardesly
east and the motorways around the Midland cities. At around lunch time the weather had cleared so we resumed our original route and headed east towards Kings Lynn. Over night stay was at the Rose and Crown in Snettisham. Great place with good food and accommodation.
Day 4 took us north and then east along the Norfolk coats toward Cromer. We tried to get a sandwich at the Ingham Swan but regrettably being Sunday they were full. Later in the afternoon we decided to venture into Colchester for a curry and then headed back to the ferry at Harwich. Weather was relatively kind but as usual the riding and scenery as well as overnight stays was superb.
Ferry point in Norfolk
Roll on 2018!
The National Parks Tour July 2017
Trip to the 6 national parks in the UK. Crossing at Hook of Holland to Harwich then heading north into the Dales, Peaks, Lakes, Scottish Borders, and returnnig via the North York Moors national park. 5 days riding with 4 nights in superb English country pubs.
Day 1 Harwich to the Peaks
After a good breakfast at the Premier Inn outside the ferry port we headed into Suffolk through beautiful pink housed villages. Traffic was a bit heavy
The Merry crew somewhere in Lincolnshire
due to rush hour but soon we were well on our way and heading up through the home counties. Lunch stop was at the Berkeley Arms in Wymondham just outside Melton Mowbray. Great pub with excellent sandwiches and they even had a cosy parlour where we were able to sit quietly and relax with all our gear. Really appreciative to the landlord for that! Final destination was the Manifold Inn at Hulme end. Great location with comfortable rooms in the outbuilding of the pub. Food and pub were fine although a bit busy due to there being a large campsite just opposite. All the same a comfortable night and ready for day 2.
Day 2 - Hulme End to Winster
Regrettably Saturday was a bit on the wet side. Leaving Hulme End and heading north through the Peaks and Dales we were hampered by low cloud and rain. Passing over Snake Pass and the Dales did not offer the fantastic views we had hoped for. Only right at the end of our trip arriving in the Lakes did it dry up and the sun came out. Despite
Ullswater, Lake District, Cumbria
damp riding we arrived at our destination - The Brown Horse, in Winster early evening in time for a few beers. Accommodation was excellent. Great rooms and a very busy pub with very good food. Well worth a visit especially if your keen on getting away from the tourist hotspot of Windemere which is just up the road. Great food & rest and ready for day 3.
Day 3 - Winster to Seahouses
Weather was perfect. Blue skies and a few picturesque clouds as we packed up and headed north into the Lakes. Up along Windemere and over to Ullswater past fantastic scenery heading further north towards the Scottish border. We crossed just west of Kielder Forrest and headed north towards Hawich. East along great sweeping roads (A7) towards Jedburgh, Flodden Filed and then dipping down towards the Northumberland Coast. Temperatures had
Harbour view, Seahouses, Northhumberland
risen substantially by the time we arrived in Seahouses of stop for the night. Overnight stop was the Olde Ship at Seahouses. Amazingly quaint pub with equally spectacular rooms, great food and superb views. Their website simply does not do it justice but judging by the crowds in the beer garden when we arrived advertisement is the least of their problems. After a great dinner, wander along the harbour wall we retired for the evening.
Day 4 - Seahouses to Levisham
Sad to leave Seahouses and the Old Ship but our tour had to continue to the next destination. Driving south West into the Pennines we headed towards an old familiar stop at the Rose and Crown Romaldkirk for lunch. Weather along the road was again spectacular, warm but also breezy as we headed over the Pennines. After lunch the road took us further south into
View of Levisham from The Horseshoe Inn.
the North York Moors national park to the Horseshoe Inn at Levisham. The pub is one of my favourites for many reasons, The food is excellent, the location very peaceful and the accommodation perfect. Seems the rest of the Group agreed and this came a close second on our tour only to Seahouses. After a great dinner and short walk through the village off to sleep and ready for the final leg of the tour.
Day 5 - Levisham to Hull Ferry
Weather for the last day again superb. bright sunshine, blue skies and breezy. Perfect riding conditions. We set up back into the National park heading north and then West in a big loop around the Park. Heading South East past Castle Howard, through Beverley and out towards the Coast. Heading down the Coats to Spurn Point for a last stop before heading back to the Ferry.
Bamborough Castle, Northhumberland
North England & Scottish Borders Tour
The autumn adventurers
Last days of September 2016 and a small group of hardcore GS riders decided to return to the UK for a 4 day trip through the Borders of Scotland. Taking a gamble on the weather we set off on Wednesday from Rotterdam arriving in Hull on the Thursday morning. Heading North West towards the Peaks and on up towards Teesdale to our first stop at the Rose and Crown in Romaldkirk. Weather predictions for the 4 days were good. Friday took us up the Pennines into the Kielder Forrest and then West into Dumfries & Galloway to Newton Stewart and the Creebridge Hotel. Some dramatic scenery on route but beware of the sheep and non fenced areas of the Pennine roads. Saturday we headed north East through the Borders towards Girvan and then eastwards culminating at Kirk Yelthom just outside Coldstream and the charming Borders Hotel. A real gem hidden away at the end of the Penninie Way and popular with walkers.
Kielder Forrest border crossing
Accommodation was superb at all locations and can be recommended to all who wish to make this trip. Sticking to the A and B roads made riding faster but nonetheless enjoyable with some extreme gradients in the Borders. Kielder is particularly beautiful and North Galloway is also very pretty. Blessed by good weather throughout, this area of UK is really quite spectacular.
Talla Linfoots - Borders - gradient about 35%!
Hull to Romaldkirk ENG022 (Basecamp file)
Hull to Romaldkirk ENG022 (pdf file)
Romaldkirk to Newton Stewart ENG 23 (Basecamp file)
Romaldkirk to Newton Stewart ENG023 (pdf file)
Newton Stewart to Kirk Yelthom ENG024 (Basecamp file)
Newton Stewart to Kirk Yelthom ENG024 (pdf file)
Kirk Yelthom to Hull ENG025 (Basecamp file)
Kirk Yelthom to Hull ENG025 (pdf file)____________________________________________________________________________________________________
Wales, Hereford, Devon, Sussex & Essex Tour
8/9/10/11/12 July 2016
July 2016 saw 6 enthusiastic riders head out across the channel to UK again. Taking the ferry from Rotterdam to Hull the tour started just across the Humber Bridge at South Ferriby.
The first leg (day) took us south along the Trent and then west into the Peak District National Park. Final destination just west of Stoke on Trent in the village of Hill Chorlton. Overnight stay was at Slaters Country Inn. A lovely venue with comfortable accommodation and quality food and beer.
The Fox Goes Free......and the tour guys!
Day 2, takes you West into Wales and then down through the centre of Wales south through to the Brecon Beacons National Park. The tour then heads Eastwards through to the Wye Valley and the overnight stay at the Cottage of Content in Carey. This quirky but quintessentially English country pub is a gem in the Wye valley and really worthy of an overnight stay.
Day 3 heads further south towards and over the Severn Bridge. Heading South through Cheddar Gorge then North West towards Exmoor National Park and then south to the village of Coleford and an overnight stay at the New Inn. The New Inn is a listed thatched building with beautiful rooms built into the out buildings Superb location, great food and overnight stay.
The Cottage of Content, Wye Valley
Day 4. The road takes you directly East through Somerset, Doset and into Hampshire running through the New Forrest at Fordingbridge and crossing the M3 at Winchester. Continue heading East into the South Downs National Park to the final stop in the village of Charlton. The Fox goes Free is a very popular country inn just north of the Goodwood racecourse so be sure to book well in advance. The food is outstanding and the accommodation also top notch.
Day 5 takes you North East into the home counties towards the Dartford crossing. Then on into Essex heading through the country lanes towards Colchester and our dinner stop at the Butt and Oyster in Pinmill on the river Orwell. After an excellent dinner a short ride to Harwich and the ferry back to Holland.
Hull to Hill Chorlton ENG017 (Basecamp file)
Hull to Hill Chorlton ENG017 (pdf file)
Hill Chorlton to Carey ENG018 (Basecamp file)
Hill Chorlton to Carey ENG018 (pdf file)
Carey to Coleford ENG019 (Basecamp file)
Carey to Coleford ENG019 (pdf file)
Coleford to Charleton ENG020 (Basecamp file)
Coleford to Charleton ENG020 (pdf file)
Charleton to Harwich ENG021 (Basecamp file)
Charleton to Harwich ENG021 (pdf file)
Yorkshire, Wales, Herefordshire, Cambridgeshire and Humberside Tour 2014
Another amazing tour through the British countryside, windy lanes and hills. The Tour starts again at the ferry port in Hull. Heading up through the North Yorkshire moors to the picturesque village of Crayke. Here the overnight stay is in the Durham Ox. Before you reach Crayke be sure to stop for a drink at the Black Swan in Oldstead a most charming village pub but with a Michelin star restaurant. Access is via tiny country lanes but the pub itself is spectacular. Like on all these legs Good Pub Guide recommended accomodation is used. Part of the fun of these routes is clearly the superb British countryside, the windy and hilly roads but the importance of a good night sleep in comfortable but affordable accommodation is also vital!
Snowdonia National Park
Day 2 takes you into (from the East side) and down through the Yorkshire Dales and then West towards the Wirral & Chester. Be wary of heavy traffic both 4 wheel and particular cyclists in the Dales as this is a particular tourist favourite especially driving through many of the beautiful villages. This part of the tour has some spectacular roads with high vantage points and great views. Many of the roads ridden were the same used by the recent Tour de France in North Yorkshire. Overnight stay is at the Pheasant Inn in Burwardsley situated just outside Chester. The pub is in a remote location with spectacular views from the high ground all the way into North Wales and as far as Liverpool. Spot Liverpool cathedral on the horizon at over 30 miles away!
Day 3 heads further West into North Wales. Here the roads become more mountainous as you head towards the Snowdonia National Park. Through the park passing under Mount Snowdon and the route drops straight down through central Wales into Herefordshire. This was the most spectacular part of the tour with steep and windy roads as you climb high into the national park. Be wary of cattle grids and sheep on the roads! The overnight stay is in the picturesque village of Kilpeck at the Kilpeck Inn. Spend a few minutes to take in the village church which is unique as well as over 700 years old.
Day 4 heads due East leaving the hills behind into the northern home counties. Roads are more flat but nonetheless windy and challenging. Day 4 ends in the Norfolk Fens area in East Cambridgeshire near Ely. Overnight stay is in the village of Sutton Gault at the Anchor Inn a 400 years old pub with quite a facinating history. Here the quality of this "quirky" pub is the excellent food and restaurant. If staying overnight be wary - the Inn is said to be haunted!
Day 5 takes you up through the flatness of the Fens into Lincolnshire, heading out to the East Coast and finally crossing the Humber bridge back to the ferry in Hull via our last stop point in Walkington, Yorkshire. As is always the case the last day of a tour can be a bit of an anti-climax and although much less dramatic than the West Coast of Wales it has its charm especially the Lincolnshire countryside with its vast areas of open country and fields.
Hull to Crayke ENG012 (MapSource file)
Hull to Crayke ENG012 (pdf file)
Crayke to Burwardsley ENG013 (MapSource file)
Burwardsley to Kilpeck ENG014 (MapSource file)
Burwardsley to Kilpeck ENG014 (pdf file)
Kilpeck to Sutton Gault ENG015 (MapSource file)
Kilpeck to Sutton Gault ENG015 (pdf file)
Sutton Gault to Walkington ENG016 (MapSource file)
Sutton Gault to Walkington ENG016 (pdf file)
North of England Tour ENG008/009/010/011
This specatcular 4 day tour encompasses 4 national parks, a number of great pub B&B's and a brief stint over the border into Scotland. The route starts at the ferry point of the P&O ferry in Hull. It heads north into the North Yorkshire moors. The overnight pub is the Horseshoe Inn in the village of Levisham, a Good Pub Guide recommended pub for accomodation as are all the overnight stays on this trip. Day 2 takes you west through the Yorkshire Dales and on into the Lake District. Overnight is at the Three Shires Inn in the village of Little Langdale.
Kielder Forrest, Scottish Borders
Day 2 heads north across the border into Scotland enjoying some spectacular scenery of the Scottish Borders before returning to England through the Northumberland National Park. Final overnight is at the Rose and Crown Inn in Romaldkirk before the final leg back to the ferry at Hull. Not a cheap option for those arriving from Holland but a real gem of a tour in the spectacular north of England.
Shankend Viaduct (disused, Nr Hawich, Scottish Borders
Hull to Levisham ENG008 (MapSource)
Hull to Levisham ENG008 (pdf)
Levisham to Little Langdale ENG009 (MapSource)
Little Langdale to Romaldkirk ENG010 (MapSource)
Romaldkirk to Hull ENG011 (MapSource)
Rotterdam to Hull Ferry cardeck
East Anglia Tour - Harwich to Ingham and back ENG004 & ENG005
This tour was actually planned for the PCMC as their after summer tour. Thanks to the generosity of one of the members this tour came to fruition quicker than we had expected. Born out of the enjoyment I had riding my bike back from London to Harwich I decided to plan a weekend tour in East Anglia. The tour starts with the overnight ferry from Hook van Holland to Harwich, has a days riding up the Suffolk and Norfolk coasts to one of the most spectacular pubs in Norfolk where we lodged for Saturday night - The Ingham Swan. Next day on along the top of Norfolk on the famous A 149 Cromer to Hunstanton road heading west as far as The Wash and then inland and round back to Harwich to catch the Sunday ferry back to Holland.
The Peak District Tour ENG006 & ENG007
This tour is a two day, one way trip from Rotterdam to the Peak District and back via Harwich.Ferry to Hull from Europoort, Rotterdam. Beware of delays at immigration in Hull which can be lengthy. Heading north from Hull into Yorkshire along beautiful country lanes and quiet villages through the Port of Goole, along the Derwent to the lunch stop at the Jenny Wren pub. The route then crosses the midlands, runs south of Sheffield and enters the northern end of the Peak District National Park, Superb scenery, winding lanes and picturesque village. Evening stop over in The Bear Inn in Alderwasely.
Second day heads south, a small stint on the M1 , through Melton Mobray and towards the Essex countryside. Lunch at the Lion in Ramsey St Mary´s and onwards to the final stop The Crown Inn in the picturesque village of Stoke by Nayland for our dinner. Final stage takes you down towards Colchester, along the A120 Wix bypass to the ferry at Harwich. Check in time is not before 9 pm so there is no hurry to leave the Crown Inn too early!
Hull to Alderwasely ENG006 (MapSource file)
Hull to Alderwasely ENG006 (pdf file)
Alderwasely to Harwich ENG007 (Mapsource file)
Alderwasely to Harwich ENG007 (pdf file)
South Coast UK 1761 km (ENG001)
This round trip tour of the Southern part of England starts at Harwich and takes 6 days to complete. It passes through the southern downs, the New Forest, Dartmoor and ends its Westerly route at Lands End. If anyone needs more information about this trip please contact me at [email protected].
ENG001 pdf file (screenshot)
Essex Tour km 121 (ENG002)
Recently I purchased a new Triumph Rocket 3 Touring (shown on the website) and rode it from the dealers at North City Triumph in Romford back to the ferry Terminal at Parkestone Key, Harwich. As I had time to kill before my ferry left for Holland and coupled with the fact that I did not fancy riding motorways all the way with a brand new bike I decided to plan a short tour through the country lanes of Essex through areas where I grew up. The day was a superb March spring day and the thrills of the winding English country lanes is hard to beat! Well worth the trip.
Suffolk & North Essex Tour km 188 (ENG003)
Born out of the joy of riding English country lanes this route is a perfect day trip for those looking for something a bit special as a weekend away from the flat Dutch landscape. Taking the Stena ferry from Hook of Holland on the Friday night with cabin and bike you arrive at Harwich next morning at 0630. Cabin and ships are superbly laid out even for the biker traveller. Loading the bike onto the ferry can often be concerning especially if the weather is not flat calm. The vessels are state of the art with perfect parking places for bikes. They have a special "bike" lane with cables on deck for easy and secure lashing. Don't worry if you haven't done it before the crew are there to help. Cabins are also very comfortable and modern, ideal for a restful night before arrival at 0630! Time for breakfast and then off into the Essex coutryside. There are many country pubs for a stop along the way; far too numerous to name so I suggest you choose your own. Worth noting on the home leg is driving through East Bergholt. This is Constable country and if you take a small detour you can visit Flatford Mill which is authentic enough, just missing the Haywain! Before getting back on the ferry on Saturday night its worth stopping at the Premier Inn next to the ferry terminal and the Mayflower Carvery which is better than ships cuisine and less than half the price. Take the ferry back on Saturday night, enjoy a comfortable night's sleep and arrive in time for breakfast in Holland!
The trips below show a holiday trip to Scotland including the journeys to and from the ferry terminal in Newcastle. I have tried to make both the northbound and southbound trips as varied as possible and away from main roads.The northbound trip drives through the Borders via Jedburgh and Sir Walter Scott country near Dryburgh. There is a lunch stop planned at the Dryburgh Abbey Hotel.
The trips use Blairgowrie as a base location. I have chosen Blairgowrie because I know the area very well. There are three day trips listed which explore the surrounding countryside. I have used the Altamount House Hotel as home location due to its biker friendly nature, good accomodation and also reasonable prices.
Newcastle to Blairgowrie. 294 km (SCO001)
This trip leaves the Newcastle ferry terminal and heads towards Scotland on the Jeburgh road. The trip includes a lunch break at the magnificent Dryburgh Abbey deep in the Scottish Borders and then continues further on to the Edinburgh bypass. After the bypass the road heads on to Blairgowrie via the A9.
Blairgowrie to Fettecairn. 215 km (SCO002)
This route starts in Blairgowrie and heads east through Glamis to Montrose. It then heads up the coast past the Castle at Dunotter and up as far as Stonehaven. From Stonehaven the route heads inland to Banchory before crossing the hills passing through the Cairn 'o Mount and down to Fettecairn. The route then returns to Blairgowrie through Brechin and Alyth.
Blairgowrie to Balintore. 117 km (SCO003)
This short tour takes you up to the Glen Shee ski area before heading back down to the Blackwater reservoir. From there the route takes you towards Kerrimuir and back to Blairgowrie through Alyth. Many of the roads are very small on this trip so take care as they can be a little in need of repair.
Blairgowrie to Pitlochry & Queens View. 135 km (SCO004)
This trip heads north to Bridge of Cally then swings round towards Pitlochry. A stop is planned at the Erdradour distillery (but no sampling!). The route then takes you to Queens View at Loch Tummell and then over the hills towards Kenmore and on to Amulree. This last part of the trip is very steep and narrow with high winds across the hills so care is required in this remote area. The road then returns through Aberfeldy back to Blairgowrie.
Blairgowrie to Newcastle. 301 km (SCO005)
This trip takes you back to Newcastle over the Tay Bridge and through Fife before heading through Coldstream back down to the ferry point at Newcastle.