The UK's best motorbiking roads

As all you bikers know, you're never too far away from your next great adventure.

A hairpin bend in the Brecon Beacons is perfect for motorbike riders

And here in the UK we have some of the best motorbiking roads going.

No matter where you are, there's a beautiful ride waiting for you not too far away.

So don your leathers and gear and treat yourself to one of these.

Just make sure you have motorbike insurance before setting off. 

 

The Antrim Coast – Northern Ireland

The home of the Northwest 200 event every May, this 60-mile stretch of the A2 is a biker’s heaven.

The route follows the Northern-Irish coastline along well-maintained tarmac.

You'll get a good mix of sweeping bends, long straights and smooth hills, combined with the magnificent scenery resulting in a truly epic ride.

Keep heading west and not far from Lisnagunogue you’ll find the Giant’s Causeway – a set of 40,000 volcanic rock columns that's now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

 

North Coast 500 – Northern Scotland

With road trips like this on our doorstep, there’s no need to go abroad.

Created in 2014, this 516-mile circuit around the north coast of Scotland gets quite busy in the summer months.

It’s one of the most spectacular ways to see the Scottish Highlands, taking in Loch Ness, John O’Groats and Smoo Caves on your way around the beautiful Scottish coastlines.

With castles, mountains and beaches on your trip, you’ll be riding smooth roads that seem to have been built with bikers in mind.

There are plenty of pubs and inns en-route as well, so you’ll be well catered for with food and refreshments.

Doing the whole route by motorbike should take around five days according to the official website, including overnight stays and rest stops.

You’ll even get a sticker for your motorbike when you finish.

Listening to The Proclaimers on repeat for the week is optional but recommended.

 

Hardknott Pass – Lake District

This Roman road is the joint record holder for the steepest road in England, the other being Rosedale Chimney Bank in North Yorkshire.

Recommended for more experienced bikers, this route will offer a challenge no matter how long you’ve been riding.

It’s a 1 in 3 gradient, single track road with a number of hairpin bends and is regarded as possibly the hardest climb you can ride on two wheels in the UK.

Make sure you have the right motorbike for this journey, as heavier motorbikes might have difficulty with the climb and you’ll have to be confident in your brakes on the descent.

Check the weather before you leave – riding this in a winter blizzard in the dark during really isn’t a good idea.

Finally try to have a clear road ahead of you.

The climb is difficult enough with a bit of momentum – getting stuck in a traffic jam sucks all the fun out of it.

Your reward at the top of the 1,291 ft ascent is an epic view of the Isle of Man and the Irish Sea.

There's also an abundance of local pubs and restaurants in the area.

 

Cat & Fiddle climb – Macclesfield to Buxton

A famous route that’s also been dubbed “The most dangerous road in the UK.”

Over the years there have been many motorbike accidents and a number of lives have been lost.

For this reason, the speed has been limited with average speed cameras and there is often a significant police presence both overt and unmarked, to ensure that riders remain safe.

Sharp corners and rolling countryside make it popular with all kinds of road users, so watch out for cyclists, as well as wandering wildlife.

It remains one of the best biking roads in the country, despite the addition of average speed cameras – but it demands respect.

Seven and a half miles of frequent sharp bends, steep drops at the side of the road and dry stone walls all add risk to the journey.

As with many of these routes, bad weather can increase the danger significantly.

The Cat and Fiddle Inn for which the route was named has set up a live webcam so riders can assess the weather before setting out.

 

Brecon Beacons – South Wales

Mid and South Wales hold some of the most superb scenery in the UK, making a ride around the Brecon Beacons National Park a favourite of many riders.

There are plenty of planned routes to find online, with well-maintained roads running both around and through the park.

For example, the B4560 Llangynidr Road running north from Beaufort to Talgarth is frequently used for test drives on television programmes.

With views over the Brecon Beacons and the Black Mountains this awesome winding riding road offers incredible scenery combined with a challenging ride.

It does get busy at weekends and can be hazardous in bad weather, where it will sometimes be closed due to ice and/or snow

Other options include the A470 from Conwy to Myrthr which stretches the length of Wales, the ‘Devil’s Staircase’ at Abergwesyn Pass, or the A4069 Black Mountain Road.

With its incredible coastlines, coupled with the rolling hills, mountains and lakes of Mid-Wales, the principality offers a biker’s paradise littered with well-maintained roads that’ll rival anywhere else in the country.

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Woolacombe to Bridgewater

63 miles of mostly uninterrupted coastline is the reason this route makes our list.

It’s part of the Atlantic Highway that runs from Bath to Falmouth.

The journey encompasses cliff-top views as you ride across Exmoor, combined with pretty little Devon villages like Lynton and Lynmouth and the challenging steep descent of Porlock Hill (watch that last corner).

Alternatively, if you’re going the other way, the challenging descent of Porlock Hill becomes a leg-breaking ride.

Steep isn’t the word as it climbs 1,300 ft in less than two miles, with gradients as steep as 1 in 4.

If that feels a bit much there is a much gentler toll-road as an alternative – but this can get crowded with caravans in the summer.

While caravans are common on this route, wide sweeping bends with good visibility make passing almost a pleasure.

 

West Cornwall Coast Road

At just 13 miles this route will take about half an hour, but once you’ve finished, you’ll want to turn around and do it again!

Travelling between St Ives and St Just you have the Atlantic coast on one side on the Cornish moorland on the other. It can get a bit windy!

Concentration is essential as you navigate tight, twisting country lanes combined with amazing views across the Celtic Sea and Cornish moorland.

This coastal route follows the B3306, offering incredible scenery as it crests the high ground, passing abandoned tin mines and a number of Neolithic sites along the way.

After St Just it’s not far to Land’s End, or for a quieter experience try Cape Cornwall.

Either way it’s worth finishing your route by riding on to see the Longships Lighthouse at Sennen.