Motorcycling in the UK: All You Need to Know before Hitting the Road

Although the UK may seem small compared to other countries, it boasts an abundance of remarkable riding routes scattered across England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. Despite its unpredictable weather, the UK offers a treasure trove of splendid roads, breathtaking scenery, and rich history, making it an ideal destination for motorcycle exploration.

Best Time for Motorcycle Riding in the UK

The motorcycle season kicks off in spring when the weather, while not flawless, remains sufficiently favorable to hit the road. As summer rolls around, the conditions become ideal for motorcycle enthusiasts in the UK to fully embrace the thrill of riding. As November nears, some argue that it marks the end of the season for motorcycles, while others firmly believe that no time of the year should dictate when you hang up your helmet. The choice is yours—whose side will you take?

North Coast 500

Distance: 760 km

The North Coast 500 (NC500) is a breathtaking motorcycle route in Scotland, stretching clockwise from Inverness and encompassing the West, North, and Eastern coastlines. Renowned as one of the UK’s most picturesque routes, it offers an array of captivating scenery and experiences. While the diverse roads ensure an engaging ride, the trip is equally about the sights and encounters along the way – from ancient castles and majestic mountains to pristine beaches and, if you’re fortunate, glimpses of dolphins.

Embarking on the NC500 on a motorcycle promises an unparalleled adventure. Spanning 516 miles, this route showcases Scotland’s stunning coastal landscapes, leading riders from the historic Inverness Castle to the northern coast’s rugged cliffs and sandy shores.

Although the North Coast 500 was established as recently as 2015, it has swiftly gained popularity. Consequently, it can get quite crowded during the summer months. For a more serene riding experience, consider tackling the route in late spring or early autumn, despite the possibility of less favorable weather conditions and fewer crowds and midges!

The NC500 is an official route with resources to aid in preparation for your journey.

Robbie Roams NC500 THE ULTIMATE GUIDE! Everything You Need To Know in 5 Minutes! North Coast 500 Road Trip Guide

Woolacombe to Bridgewater Route

Distance: 112.4 km

Departing from Woolacombe, the trail unfolds with gentler terrain, allowing riders to leisurely soak in the surrounding vistas. As the landscape gradually changes, one can’t help but notice the shift in scenery from rugged cliffs to serene woodlands. Along the way, Baggy Point offers a bird-eye view of bustling seabird colonies and intrepid rock climbers dotting the craggy cliffs.

The route transitions to a smoother path closer to the shoreline, offering unobstructed panoramas of the sea and sky. Passing through the charming villages of Croyde and Saunton, both renowned havens for surfers, riders are greeted by the rhythmic pulse of the ocean and the laid-back atmosphere of coastal living.

However, the journey isn’t just about the surf and sand – it also offers glimpses into the area’s rich natural heritage. Traversing Saunton Sands, riders may encounter limited access due to its designation as an army training location. Yet, this inconvenience is swiftly forgotten as the trail leads to the breathtaking Braunton Burrows, nestled behind the sandy shores.

Freddie Dobbs North Devon | One of the Best Beaches in the UK- Woolabombe Beach | Motorcycle Road Trip

Crocketford —  Inverarey

Distance: 243 km

Located in Dumfries and Galloway, Crocketford sits at a pivotal road junction, approximately 8 miles (13 km) northeast of Castle Douglas. This quaint village is also known as Ninemile Bar, as it was a toll road established in the 18th century, precisely 9 miles (11 km) from Dumfries.

The journey culminates in Inveraray, where the majestic Inveraray Castle awaits. This historic castle serves as the ancestral home of Clan Campbell and the residence of the current Duke of Argyll. It is one of Inveraray’s most prominent landmarks, drawing visitors from far and wide to admire its grandeur and delve into its rich history.

GPZ ed Stunning ride past Inveraray Castle, home of the Duke of Argyll

Richmond – Bently Route

Distance: 220 km

Richmond, situated in the scenic south-west of London, approximately 13.2 km west-southwest of Charing Cross, boasts an idyllic setting along the picturesque River Thames. Renowned for its abundance of green spaces, including the expansive Richmond Park and protected conservation areas such as Richmond Hill, the town offers a tranquil retreat amidst the bustling city life. Beyond Richmond, Bentley Wood emerges as a captivating 688 ha nature reserve and Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI).

Where to stay

Inverness City Suites: Website

Dornoch Castle Hotel: Castle Street, Dornoch Sutherland IV253SD Website | Instagram

Red Cow: 59 Sheen Road, Richmond, Surrey, United Kingdom TW9 1YJ Website | Instagram

Motorcycle Rentals

Spyder Motorcycles: Silverstone Circuit, 18, Silverstone Park Silverstone Race, Towcester NN12 8TL Website 

Superbike Rental: Stondon Hall Farm, Brentwood, UK CM150LD Website | Instagram

Where to Eat

Bike Shed Moto: 384 Old St, Hackney, London EC1V 9LT United Kingdom Website | Instagram

Loomies Cafe: Alton Road, West Meon, GU32 1JX Website | Instagram

Penny Garth Cafe: Market Pl, Hawes DL8 3RD Website 

If you encounter any errors or have extra routes, events, or locations to add to the guide, don’t hesitate to reach out on WhatsApp. Your input is valuable to us, and we are enthusiastic about refining the guide for an improved experience.

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