They have a saying in Britain, “summer is coming, and you wouldn’t want to miss that wonderful day!”, but seriously, British summers can be wonderful, and often bring with them long stretches of perfect weather for long bike rides. And goodness knows that the scenery is there in abundance.
This year we contacted our valued associates at the motorcycle clothing retailer, Custom Lids, and asked them to recommend some rides for us. Together we came up with the following list:
The Cat and Fiddle, A537 Buxton to Macclesfield
If you like hitting those curves, this is the route you can’t miss this summer. It’s only a bit less than miles (11km) long but promises to deliver for the thrill-seekers among you who love to lean into it. Just be careful, and obey that speed limit sign please; remember it’s a public road and not a racetrack! Not to mention we want you to finish the riding season in one healthy piece without having to test the depths of the British healthcare system!
The North Coast 500, Scotland
This one is ideal for all the touring bike enthusiasts out there. This one is a whopping 516 miles (just over 800km) long, and is a circular route that starts and ends at the famous Inverness Castle, which in and of itself is a major sight to see.
Experienced riders in the UK may not even be aware of this amazing and picturesque route, because it only opened in 2014. But it has something for everybody, passing through beautiful small towns. We recommend giving yourself at least a good solid week to drive this thing, otherwise you may feel a little rushed.
For more information on this topic, visit www.northcoast500.com.
The Horseshoe Pass, A542, North Wales
The Horseshoe pass is for those who love the mountains and the valleys around them, and don’t mind having their ears pop due to changes in elevation. Wales is absolutely stunning this time of year, and this route will let you experience all of what this part of the country has to offer in spades. Please remember that when it comes time to go down the other side of those hills, coasting in neutral is never a good idea; keep it in gear and be prepared to downshift rapidly if necessary.
Cheddar Gorge, B3135
Cheddar is known for its cheese, but also for the famous Cheddar gorge, which is truly a natural wonder to behold. This is another one with lots of hairpin bends in it, especially as you approach the gorge.
This ride probably and arguably has the best of some wonderful natural scenery, but the downside to that is that especially in summertime, the traffic can get a bit intense. Try to plan around the crowds by going very late or very early, and consider staying over or waiting out the afternoon at the attraction or in town somewhere.
Hardknott Pass, Lake District
This one is great for those who want a real riding challenge. You won’t get the traffic of the gorge, and what you will get is lots of up and down and left and ride to challenge the experienced and seasoned rider. If you want to push the limits of your machine (within reason of course), this is the ride for you!