Top 10 Places for Motorcycle Touring in the UK

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With plenty of must-see places to visit on a motorcycle, you don’t really need to step out of the UK!

With its winding roads, stunning scenery and unique attractions, our little island has some of the best motorcycle routes around if you know where to look!

From the North Coast 500 in Scotland to the A2 Coast Road in Northern Ireland, there are plenty of options for an unforgettable ride. Explore the Peak District or take the tumultuous route around Snake Pass.

And if you’re feeling adventurous, why not take a journey through Wales and visit the Brecon Beacons? Or the rugged coastlines of Devon and Cornwall?

No matter where you choose to visit, plan ahead and check out some of these must-see locations on your motorcycle.

Whether you’re looking for an adrenaline rush or peaceful countryside views, there’s something here for everyone. So what are you waiting for? Get your bike ready, and let’s go!

motorcycle touring UK - bike in lancashire

Motorcycle Touring in the UK: The Scotland North Coast 500 (NC500)

Riding the North Coast 500 (NC500) on a motorcycle is an experience like no other. This 516-mile route takes you through some of Scotland’s most stunning coastal scenery, from Inverness Castle to the rugged cliffs and beaches of the north coast.

Along the way, you’ll experience breathtaking views of Loch Ness and other lochs and picturesque villages and towns. Whether looking for a leisurely ride or an adrenaline-filled adventure, the NC500 has something for everyone.

The route follows main roads along the coast, so it’s easy to navigate even if you’re unfamiliar with Scotland’s roads. You can also take detours off the main route to explore hidden gems, such as remote islands or ancient ruins.

The journey is best enjoyed over five days, allowing plenty of time to stop and take in all Scotland offers. If you have time, add a few extra days to your trip and get there via the Lake District.

Either way, riding the NC500 should be at the top of your list. With its stunning views and unique experiences, it’s sure to be an unforgettable journey!

rider at john o'groats

Motorcycle Touring in the UK: The Devonshire Coast

Devon offers some of the most scenic motorcycle routes in the country. Known for its rolling hills, sandy beaches, and quaint coastal towns, it’s a perfect destination for a motorcycle tour.

Riding the coastal roads which follow the coastline from Plymouth to Exeter is a nice way to spend a day, with lovely views of the English Channel, Dartmoor National Park, and the historic city of Exeter.

Along the way, there are plenty of opportunities to stop and enjoy some of the region’s finest attractions.

Another route to consider is one that closely follows the Tarka Trail, which takes you through the heart of Devon’s rural countryside. Start in Barnstaple and enjoy the scenic valleys, rolling hills, and quiet country lanes. 

You can also stop at quaint villages such as Winkleigh and Great Torrington or visit the historic Tiverton Castle.

Devon has many other options to offer. The Dartmoor National Park has winding roads and stunning moorland views. You can also explore the rugged coastline of Exmoor National Park, where you can spot wildlife such as red deer and wild ponies along the way.

Overall, Devon is the perfect destination for a motorcycle tour. The county offers a variety of routes to explore, from coastal roads to rolling countryside. With its stunning scenery and unique attractions, Devon has something to offer every rider.

Motorcycle Routes in Devon

  1. Devon Coast to Coast: This route takes you through Totnes, The Pig and Whistle, and Bickleigh near Tiverton as you ride from Salcombe to Dunster.
  2. Dartmoor & Exmoor National Parks: Starting in Ilfracombe, head east to The Valley of Rocks, Minehead, Buckfastleigh and Slapton Sands.
  3. Two Moors Way: An epic coast-to-coast ride that will take your breath away with its beautiful views. Start from Porlock and work down to Ivybridge through Exmoor & Dartmoor National Parks.
  4. Torquay: Start in the Riviera town of Torquay and head out for a day of exploration!
  5. Blackdown Hills & East Devon: Cruise through the East Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
motorcycle touring UK - devon

Motorcycle Touring in the UK: Peak District

Let’s start with Snake Pass! Riding Snake Pass on a motorcycle is an unforgettable experience. This twisting and challenging road takes you from Glossop to the Ladybower Reservoir along the A57. And you can expect some outstanding views and exceptional scenery.

As you leave Glossop, you will be welcomed by a series of tight bends, seemingly designed to push you! The road then dares you to ride faster as it ushers you through the forest, tight valleys, and finally out onto the moor.

Riding the Snake Pass is not just about testing your skills as a rider. It’s also about taking in some of England’s most spectacular scenery.

Whether you’re looking for an adrenaline-filled ride or want to take in some stunning views, this route has something for everyone.

Be careful, though; there’s a reason it’s one of Britain’s most dangerous roads!

Motorcycle Routes in the Peak District

  1. Woodhead Pass
  2. Derwent and Ladybower reservoirs
  3. Winnats Pass
  4. The Cat & Fiddle
  5. Our suggested route
winnats pass peak district

Motorcycle Touring in the UK: Lake District

The Lake District is one of the most beautiful regions in the UK. And taking a motorcycle tour of the area is a fantastic way to explore its stunning scenery.

The Lake District is a biker’s paradise with its winding roads, scenic routes, and various attractions. Whether planning a day trip or a multi-day tour, there are plenty of routes to choose from.

One of the most popular routes for motorcycle touring in the Lake District is the A591, which takes you from Windermere to Keswick. This scenic route offers stunning views of the mountains, forests, and lakes and takes you through some of the area’s most charming towns and villages.

Along the way, you can stop off at some of the many attractions in the area. Try Grasmere, the home of the poet William Wordsworth, or Derwentwater.

Another popular route is Kirkstone Pass, one of the highest passes in the Lake District.

This route takes you up to 1,486 feet above sea level and offers breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains and valleys. It also offers a challenging ride for more experienced riders. It then passes beautiful Hartsop before descending into Ullswater. Be careful, though – Kirkstone Pass can be a bit naughty!

Whether looking for a leisurely ride or a more challenging adventure, the Lake District offers something for every motorcycle enthusiast. 

Motorcycle Routes in the Lake District

  1. Kendal
  2. Lakeside, Windermeremere
  3. Grasmere
  4. Wrynose Pass
  5. Hardknott Pass
  6. Wast Water
  7. Buttermere

Related: Motorcycling In The Lake District: Ride This 2-Day Route

motorcycle touring UK - rider at buttermere lake district

Motorcycle Touring in the UK: Cornwall

Cornwall is a stunning region in the UK and a great place to explore on two wheels. Cornwall is the perfect destination for a motorcycle tour with its rugged coastline, rolling hills, forests, and charming villages.

From the vibrant city of St Ives to Tintagel Castle, there’s something for every rider to enjoy.

Ride along the A30 for spectacular views of Dartmoor National Park and Bodmin Moor. Or wind your way through the quaint villages of Penzance and Newquay – where you can get plenty of fresh Cornish air by enjoying a coastal ride.

As if that wasn’t enough, Cornwall also boasts some of the best roads in the UK. So it’s perfect for taking your bike out on an adventure!

Whether you’re looking to take a leisurely ride or tackle more challenging terrain, Cornwall has something for everyone.

Motorcycle Routes in Cornwall

  1. The A30
  2. St Ives Bay & Gwithian
  3. The Lizard Coast
  4. Bodmin Moor
  5. St Agnes & Cliffs of Land’s End
  6. Pentewan Valley & Par Sands Beach
  7. Padstow to Port Isaac via Tintagel Castle
  8. Perranporth and St. Agnes Heritage Coast
port isaac cornwall

Motorcycle Touring in the UK: Ireland

Ireland is a beautiful country to explore by motorcycle. With its winding roads, stunning coastlines, and ancient castles, it’s no wonder why so many people choose to take a motorcycle tour of Ireland.

From the Cliffs of Moher to the Wild Atlantic Way, there are plenty of amazing sights to see on an Irish motorbike tour.

The Wild Atlantic Way is one of Ireland’s most popular routes for motorcycle touring. This route stretches along the western coast of Ireland and takes riders through some of the most breathtaking scenery in the world.

Along this route, you can explore quaint fishing villages, dramatic cliffs, and rugged landscapes.

County Kerry is a great option for those looking for a more off-the-beaten-path experience. Here, you’ll find remote beaches and wild moorlands that are perfect for exploring on two wheels.

There are also many historic sites, such as Trim Castle and Killarney National Park.

Motorcycle Routes in Ireland

  1. County Donegal: This county is home to some of Ireland’s most stunning landscapes, including Glenveagh National Park and Slieve League Cliffs.
  2. Glenbeigh: Located on the Ring of Kerry, this small village is known for its breathtaking views and winding roads, making it an ideal spot for motorcyclists.
  3. Kenmare Bay: This bay is located on the Iveragh Peninsula and offers stunning views of land and sea. It is a great destination for motorcyclists looking for spectacular scenery.
  4. Valentia Island: This island off the coast of Kerry is known for its rugged coastline and picturesque villages, making it a great place to explore by motorcycle.
  5. Skellig Ring: This scenic route takes riders through some of Ireland’s most beautiful countryside, with plenty of stops to take in stunning views of mountains, lakes, and more.
  6. Slea Head: Located at the tip of Dingle Peninsula, this area offers incredible views over the Atlantic Ocean and plenty of winding roads perfect for motorcycles.
  7. Kells Bay: Located on the Ring of Kerry, this area offers stunning views out over Kells Bay and plenty of winding roads, making it an ideal spot for motorcyclists.
  8. Antrim Coast Road: With its breathtaking views and thrilling curves, this ride will stay with you long after you’ve returned home.
motorcycle touring UK - ireland

Motorcycle Touring in the UK: The Cotswolds

The Cotswolds is a great way to explore this picturesque region of England. With its rolling hills, ancient villages and breathtaking views, it’s easy to see why so many people come here.

From the smaller roadways connecting charming villages to the more challenging mountain passes situated high up in the hills, there is something for everyone when it comes to motorbike touring in the Cotswolds.

Cheddar Gorge is one of the most popular destinations for motorcycle riders in the Cotswolds.

This natural wonder offers stunning views of the gorge and limestone cliffs from multiple vantage points along its 3-mile route.

The Fosse Way is another popular route for motorcycle tours in the Cotswolds. This route follows an old Roman road built over 2,000 years ago and stretches from Exeter to Lincolnshire.

The Fosse Way takes riders through some of England’s most iconic towns, such as Bath, Warwick and Stratford-upon-Avon, making it a great option for those who want to experience more than just stunning scenery on their tour through this beautiful region.

Motorcycle Routes in The Cotswolds

  1. Stratford-upon-Avon: Visit Shakespeare’s birthplace and explore its many historic sites.
  2. Chipping Campden: This picturesque village is a great place to take a break from riding and enjoy some traditional English charm.
  3. Broadway Tower: This iconic landmark offers stunning views over the surrounding countryside.
  4. Bourton-on-the-Water: Stroll along this charming village’s main street, lined with shops and cafes.
  5. Stow on the Wold: Enjoy a leisurely ride through this historic market town with interesting sights and attractions.
cotswolds village

Motorcycle Touring in the UK: Yorkshire

Riding in the Yorkshire Dales is an experience like no other. With its rolling hills, quaint villages, and stunning scenery, the Yorkshire Dales offer an unforgettable adventure for riders of all types.

The region is divided into three distinct areas -The North York Moors, The Pennines and The Yorkshire Dales- each offering a unique riding experience.

If you’re looking for a challenging off-road ride full of twists and turns, head to the North York Moors. Look no further than the Pennines and the Yorkshire Dales for those seeking a more leisurely ride with plenty of scenic views.

No matter where you choose to explore, there are plenty of attractions to keep you entertained along the way. From romantic castles to historic churches, there’s always something new waiting around every corner.

You can also find plenty of quaint villages that serve as perfect rest stops for a bite to eat or a refreshing cup of tea!

Riding in the Yorkshire Dales is an experience that will stay with you forever.

Motorcycle Routes in Yorkshire

  1. Devil’s Bridge
  2. Buttertubs Pass
  3. Tan Hill
  4. Wensleydale Creamery
  5. Ribblehead Viaduct
  6. Brimham Rocks and The Strid
  7. Hawes
motorcycle touring UK -riders in yorkshire

Motorcycle Touring in the UK: North Wales & Snowdonia

If you want to explore some of the most beautiful and rugged countryside in the United Kingdom, you will want to take advantage of a motorcycle tour of North Wales and Snowdonia!

The stunning views of Snowdonia National Park make this a ride you’ll never forget. 

You can take a trip up to Llanberis Pass, which offers stunning views of the entire valley. For an even more adventurous route, ride around Anglesey Island, which features its unique geological landscape with miles of rugged coastline and wild plants and animals.

On your way back along the mainland coast, stop at Old Colwyn for some excellent seafood and local Welsh delicacies.

Further inland, cruise through rolling hills on the A470 as it takes you across Bala Lake and past Dolgellau before ending your journey near Aberystwyth.

No matter what type of motorbike touring experience you’re after, North Wales has plenty to offer – from spectacular scenery to fun-filled riding.

Motorcycle Routes in Snowdonia

  1. Bala
  2. Dolgellau
  3. Carneddau mountains
  4. Betws-y-Coed
  5. Pen y Pass
riders in north wales

Motorcycle Touring in the UK: South Wales

Exploring South Wales and the Welsh Valleys on a motorcycle is an incredible experience. From the rugged coastlines to the rolling hills of the Brecon Beacons, there are plenty of routes to explore.

Whether looking for a leisurely ride through the countryside or an adrenaline-filled adventure, South Wales has something for everyone.

The Rhondda Valley offers a unique glimpse into industrial history, with its mining towns and villages shaped by centuries of industry. The winding roads take you through some of the most picturesque parts of Wales, with stunning views of rolling hills and valleys.

The Brecon Beacons is another must-see destination for motorcyclists visiting South Wales. This area is renowned for its stunning landscapes and challenging roads, making it one of the best places in Britain for motorcycle touring.

With its diverse terrain, from smooth highways to tight, twisty bends, this region offers something for riders of all levels.

No matter what type of rider you are or where your journey takes you in South Wales and the Welsh Valleys, there’s something to suit your needs.

With its rich history and beautiful scenery, this region will provide an unforgettable experience for any motorcyclist exploring this part of Britain.

Motorcycle Routes in South Wales

  1. Brecon Beacons
  2. The Black Mountain Road
  3. Bwlch Y Groes
  4. Brynamman
motorcycle touring UK - south wales

Motorcycle Touring in the UK: Conclusion

We’re all quick to jump on ferries and trains to haul ourselves out of the UK and into Europe. And I have a part to play in that.

But there’s something warming about choosing to explore the UK instead. 

We don’t have the Alps. But we have plenty of mountains and fabulous roads of our own.

So, if you’re wondering where to go on your next motorcycle, why not give some locations on this list a go? You won’t be disappointed!


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