Best Motorbike roads and routes in the UK
Tuesday, 13 August 2013
Bikers are probably the only people, who truly appreciate the open road although drivers will suffer from potholes etc, they can be simply dangerous to a motorcyclist. Tarmac, not the most exciting word but tell a biker that there’s a solid, smooth stretch winding through the countryside and he will no doubt gear up and head out. After all, what biker wants to be sat looking at his bike with nowhere to go, or just dodging potholes and suffering from aches or at the mercy of an uneven road!
The UK has some amazing roads for all kinds and levels of bikers. There are challenging windy and twisty roads for those who want the thrill, long stretches of open road for bikers who want to chill, long sweeping bends to push the bike and coastal, countryside routes which surely appeal to almost everyone who appreciates picturesque and beautiful scenery.
So how do you find these roads? Read? Ask? Research? Well, it’s part experience and part research. Those living life on two wheels will know about the best routes, if you’re new to biking or just looking to find those little gems ask around. Don’t be afraid of just jumping on your bike and heading out for a day, you might just find your own hidden stretch that hasn’t been discovered or appreciated yet. Grab a map or Sat-Nav and make sure you phone is charged just in case though!
To get you going, here are some of my top roads in the UK for motorbikes. Wherever you decide to go, remember to ride safely, keep your eyes open for hazards and stay within the law......
Welsh Road/Fosse Way. Leamington Spa - Warwickshire
This is one the most bikers in the county and further a field will inevitably ride. Located in Warwickshire the Fosse way was built by the Romans and has stood the test of time, the Fosse has some great long straights. Able to take you through straights and bends from county to county, this is one road that not only is great in itself but leads to so many other choices.
The Antrim coast road, A2 Northern Ireland
This is a 60-mile biker-friendly place. The NW200 is staged in the area, so those who didn’t take up the career as a racer can enter their very own road trials, stick to the speed limit and don’t get carried away with the overtaking manoeuvres! The Giant’s Causeway is right at the end, so why not spend a few days and make the most of the open roads and scenery.
The A423, Southam to Banbury
Just off the Welsh Road and Fosse Way there is a popular road for any local biker, this route has a mixture of long and short corners with a few very safe overtaking spots. Towards Southam side you will find a set of hairpins around 3 or 4 in a row with a lay-by soon after so you can spin around and go again, these are followed by some sweeping fast corner letting you bring that knee out.
A44, Evesham to Morton-On-Marsh (Fish Hill)
For me this is somewhat of a legendary road I have been on it more times than I can count even in a car this is a great piece of road. I have had second thoughts about even putting this road into the list as many times as I’ve been there I know more people that have accidents the air ambulance is a frequent visitor in the summer months. Fish Hill is a great road but even when you know the road it will still catch you out, the bends are great but they tighten unexpectedly and still despite even press stating every incident bikers aren’t taking the first few runs to get used to it. So enjoy this route it is truly a great run but make sure you take a fair few steady runs both up and down the hill to get used to it.
The A82, Glasgow to Inverness
The A82 has graceful sweeping bends between Glasgow Inverness, without anything to deter the ride. If there was a road made for bikers this would be a contender. The road even passes the famous Loch Ness, I can’t promise that you will catch a glimpse of the wee beasty though! If you do hit this road enjoy the sights there are lots of guest houses and campsites to recuperate from a day’s riding.
A422, Bridgetown to Brackley
The A422 is often quieter than expected as the M40 runs just next door and with a section running from Banbury to Stratford, in the summer you will no doubt bump into the other riders heading to the Riverside in Stratford upon Avon. There are to excellent sections, one before Banbury and one just after on the way to Stratford upon Avon, the second being more rural and scenic and very enjoyable.
A283, Shoreham By Sea - Pulborough
This is a great road once you know it, and has some great corner combinations which are very rewarding. On the weekends it can become very busy with cars and caravans which commonly travel slower than. For a difference when coming up from shoreham at storrington take a left at the roundabout on B2139 towards Amberley. This road is quite fast with a couple of straights and sweeping corners. You can take a break at Houghton tea shop by the river or stick with it and ride on to the A29 roundabout and stop at the bury hill car park cafe.
The Cat and Fiddle, A537 Buxton to Macclesfield
The Cat and Fiddle. This run is 11 Kms running through the Peak District, between Buxton and Macclesfield. It has been named one of the most dangerous roads in the Uk and has been given a 50 mph speed limit, however. It is still one of the most popular roads in the UK. If it is your first time on this road take it easy, there are a few corners that will easily catch you off guard. There are plenty of riders on this road and you will find experienced people but remember this road is challenging so ease off the first few times!
The A4117, Clee Hill, Shropshire
The A4117 gives you a long ride through the beautiful hills. Riding from Ludlow to Cleobury gives you a more challenging descent but gives stunning views. There are always plenty of riders around. I have been told that it’s best to stop for a break at the top of Titterstone Clee Hill, which is more than 1500ft above sea level to take in the stunning views of the Malvern Hills and Welsh mountains.
The Horseshoe Pass, A542, north Wales
The A542 in north Wales has got to be one of the greatest roads. The steady incline makes the ascent and descent comfortable, easy and enjoyable. This gives even the most novice bikers a chance to experience the open road and have fun in safety. The Horseshoe Pass found its name because it takes a similar shape as it winds around the valley. It is 1,400 ft above sea level and the peak is a great place to stop and watch the world go by before taking to the road.
Hardknott Pass, Lake District
This is another old Roman road which is known as the Hardknott Pass. It is without a doubt one of the UK’s most difficult roads. The Pass has a 1 in 3 gradient making it the joint-top steepest road in country. It is a difficult road and should not be tackled light heartedly, the narrow winding road can be challenging but reaching the summit at 1291ft will be well worth it. The single-track takes you through the Lake District between Eskdale and the Duddon Valley, before the Wrynose Pass takes you on to Ambleside.
So there we have it, my top motorbike roads and routes for the UK. Ofcourse this is just a selection there are many other thrilling roads out there so why not get in touch and let me know your favourite rides for a chance to win merchandise and have your article on the site.
We feel like we should give a mention to the most dangerous roads around the U.K, stay safe out there everybody!
The Most Dangerous Roads in the U.K
When you think of dangerous roads often the first thought is motorways, surely that would be the obvious answer it has the highest speed limit together with what seems to be the highest traffic count on a daily basis. However, the single carriage road has been named Britain's most dangerous roads in a report by the Road Safety Foundation.
There are some roads in the U.K where the only hazard you will ever be likely to bump into is a herd of cattle or some noisy sheep. Typically, not all routes are as secure. Some are to a point, just dangerous. The report from the road safety foundation also named further high risk routes and parts of the country where motorists are at risk. So what and where are the most dangerous roads?
Between Macclesfield and Buxton the A357 was identified in the report as the most dangerous road in the UK.
Between Llandovery and Carmarthen the A40 was identified as the most improved road, improved junctions and markings combined with new anti-skid surfaces saw the number of serious accidents reduce from 27 to just seven from 2005 to 2008.
The West Midlands was shown to be the safest region, the report noted the number of fatal crashes had even decreased by five per over recent years.
The Top 10 dangerous roads
- A357 Macclesfield to Buxton - Cheshire/Derbyshire
- A581 Rufford to Chorley – Lancashire
- A5004 Whaley Bridge to Buxton – Derbyshire
- A675 Blackburn to Preston – Lancashire
- A61 Barnsley to Wakefield - South/West Yorkshire
- A285 Chichester to Petworth - West Sussex
- A5012 Pikehall to Matlock – Derbyshire
- A621 Baslow to Totley - Derbyshire/South Yorkshire
- A625 Calver to Sheffield - South Yorkshire
- A54 Congleton to Buxton – Derbyshire
A single carriage road known as the Cat and Fiddle a 7.5 mile stint has also been named Britain's most dangerous road in the report by the Road Safety Foundation
The most dangerous roads in the U.K to avoid
Just in case you have any doubts about just how dangerous the A537 "Cat and Fiddle" is, over the last decade there has been eighty five crashes resulting in death or serious injury and 2012 was the fourth consecutive year that it topped the list of Britain's most dangerous roads.
Next is the single lane route on the A5012 which runs between Pikehall and Matlock in the Derbyshire Peak District. A route where sixty percent of all crashes, involve cars running off the road or a collision on a junction.
The A809 between the B8050 and the A811 comes third and is Scotland's most dangerous carriageway. Between 2001 and 2010 a total of 41 accidents were fatal or serious crashes
Between Baslow, Derbyshire and Totley, the A621 has seen 41 incidents.
Let's leave the U.K and go through the most dangerous road in the world
Russian Federal Highway
In this area of Russia is becomes extremely cold during the winter. Due to the conditions, the road surface is just mud or ice. Long traffic queues are a common sight and when it rains motorists can be trapped in the mud. Driving along this road has enough dangers during the winter, however. This road in Russia is known to have just as severe dangers in the summer months with robberies, attacks and even kidnappings when vehicles are trapped!
Route 5 in Chile
Travelling between Arica and Iquique is not something to be advised lightly. This road passes through mountain ranges which are very steep. Many vehicles have ended up at the bottom of these steep passes, it's a quiet road with little scenery or other vehicle so be alert and never travel here if you are tired.
The James Dalton Highway
This highway has a level of fame brought by the TV series, Ice Road Truckers. It connects the Elliott Highway in Canada with oil fields in Prudhoe Bay, Alaska. The road is mostly just 414 miles of gravel and for much of the year it is just thick ice and snow. Visibility is almost non-existent and even experienced drivers have died just because of a brief lack of concentration.
Sichuan to Tibet Highway
The highway between Tibet and Sichuan is 2.412 km long. It crosses some of the most beautiful places in China, but even though it is home to some of the most beautiful views, it also a place of mudslides and rock avalanches. One of the most dangerous sections is where the road passes through the high mountains.
The Death Road
The Death Road has more than earned its name. The North Yungas Road in Bolivia has claimed hundreds of travellers lives on this 69km stretch of steep mountainous roads. Running between Coroico and La Paz in the Amazon, the route runs along the side of vertical drops. There is minimal room for vehicles to pass each other and as a result many have fallen. A safer route has been built in the last few years, but you can still drive the death road.
Some good news
It's not all bad news. The total number of serious and fatal crashes on Britain's roads has dropped by 36% over the last decade and the risk on motorways and "A" roads has fallen by a quarter in the last five years. The safest roads are in the West Midlands, the roads with the lowest traffic flow, are in Wales.
What makes for a dangerous drive?
There's no one single factor, most accidents usually have a combination of events
- Higher traffic volumes. The more cars on the road, the more chance there is for an accident
- High speeds
- Sharp bends
- Poorly designed or maintained roads
- Blind junctions
- Lack of concentration
- Low visibility and weather conditions
- Loss of control
- Poor condition or maintenance of a vehicle
- Avoiding an accident
The best suggestion to avoid being involved in an accident on the road unfortunately is also the least practical, avoid using the roads altogether. Realistically for any motorist that's not an option. But you can reduce the risk by:
- Driving carefully
- Never drive tired
- Staying alert of your surroundings
- Anticipating other vehicles movements.
- Stick to speed limits
- Pay attention to warning signs and road signage