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The roads you voted for

Published: 13 May 2002

These are just the first of dozens of the roads you have voted. We’ll continue to add to the list and improve it with links to map sites to help you pinpoint them.

There’s no clear winner yet, so keep your votes coming. Don’t forget to include any pictures you might have in the e-mail and tell us why it gets you vote as the best biking road in Britain.

Send your votes to dave.batchelor@emap.com

The roads are listed by region below:

SCOTLAND

My favorite stretch of road is the A891 between Lennoxtown and Strathblaine in Scotland. The road has everything apart from speedtraps. Andrew Lyall.

I recently travelled to John o’Groats from London in one hit on my VFR 750. For sheer grin factor the A9 between Inverness and Thurso in the North of Scotland is absolutely Fantastic! 115 miles of absolutely fantastic biking road fast straights, twisty bits challenging bends - EVERYTHING you want in one long stretch of road.

There are no Gatso's (fixed that is) The mobile ones they use are such that, apparently only do one side of the carriageway i.e. the direction you are travelling in, so if you are on the ‘wrong’ side of the road it doesn't pick you up. That came from a local constable. Alan Gray.

The B863 road to Kinlochleven in the Scottish highlands is by far the best road in Britain. It's got it all; fantastic views, perfect gritty surface, no police and it's up and down like a roller coaster.

I discovered it five years ago on a tour of the highlands, a group of us wanted a place to stay near Fort William so we took a detour, thankfully the Tail Race inn at Kinlochleven had some rooms, because the road was that amazing we just dropped our bags off and went for a blast up and down it. (Despite having just ridden over 600 miles to get there). The nearest comparison to it would be Cadwell Park or the T.T course on the mountain. The road starts at Glencoe village (B863) and (A82) and winds it's way around Loch Leven and ends in North Ballachulish, 15 miles of heaven. Tony Owen.

I am fortunate enough to live in the Gatso free (almost) Scottish Borders. Here is a great run to avoid cameras, cars and boredom.

Start in Duns - home of Jim Clark museum and hometown of Louise Aitken-Walker - The Whip and Saddle pub does great food and is biker friendly. Head out of town West towards Greenlaw on A6105 - the corners start straight away - see the fast left and right where I parted company with a CBX 750 a few years ago, and onto a 1 1/2 mile straight then up over a very fast five miles of moorland road. Continue through Greenlaw, staying on the A6105 towards Earlston - this features corner after corner and dip upon dip with spectacular views from the top of Gordon Bank (wasn’t he in the world cup winning team?).

Turn South on A68 at Earlston (Gatso facing you as you leave town - so you have an opportunity to gesticulate to the camera) and after two miles, just before crossing river Tweed, turn left and then right under the main road towards Gattonside and Galashiels.

This is a short (three miles) stretch of B-road along the River Tweed and features three huge jumps - if you don't get both wheels off the ground here you never will.

Through Galashiels head West on the A72 towards Peebles. This is another very scenic road following the river but there tend to be a lot of cars, buses etc. When you reach Innerleithen, turn North in the middle of town (I use the term 'town' loosely, as these are little more than villages) onto the B709.

This is a very well surfaced B road with wide-open corners, and follows a beautiful valley for about 12 miles. At the North end of the Valley turn at signpost on right for Heriot until you reach the A7.

This is another very scenic, very fast road, and again - no cameras. At the village of Stow, turn left onto B road over moorland to Lauder. You get up to over 1200 ft. here and again very fast and open. At Lauder turn South on A68 for one mile and then turn left at Thirlestane Castle, and follow road for a couple of miles until you pick up the A697 and turn right - signposted for Coldstream.

I have been keeping the best to last - Follow this road at whatever speed you dare for five miles and then turn left onto B-road signposted Westruther and Duns. You now have left the fastest/scariest section - plenty of twists until Westruther and then Five miles of virtually straight moorland road - wide and well surfaced, with just a couple of kinks to test your nerve and suspension.

You will emerge onto the A6105 again, and turn left onto this for the last three miles to Duns finishing with the tricky/fast corners you started the day on.

Back into the Whip for a pint of I.P.A. and the opportunity to bore the pants of anyone who will listen to your tales of daring do. This is a round trip of about of about 80 miles and if this does nothing for you - sell your bike and buy a comfy chair for the fireside!

Simon Mark

IRELAND

The best roads for motorcycles have to be the north coast roads round Portrush and Coleraine where the NorthWest 200 takes place. Jonathon Adams.

ENGLAND

Hampshire

My fave road, the A32 in Hampshire, not a very long run but on a good summers day (if we ever have one!) its great, nice easy bend and beautiful countryside, can be fast but is best at leisurely pace. What's the hurry? Stewart C.

Try these two: Basingstoke to Alton on the A339 – it’s a long run on quiet roads (National Speed limit mostly) - open countryside either side and some good fresh tarmac in sections. The only word of warning is to take it easy just as you leave/enter Basingstoke; I've seen mobile speed traps there a few times. Or.

Horsham to Arundel Head out of Horsham on the A264 towards Five Oaks/Billingshurst connect with the A29 in the direction of Billingshurst - but take the bypass around Billingshurst NB The Bypass whilst v. fast is also a favorite of the mobile speed traps.

Then 1) Turn right and follow the A272 to Petworth - fantastic roads! you can then either take the A283 to Pulborough and pick up the A29 to Arundel, or follow the A285 (signed to Chichester) then turn left on to the A27 to Arundel

Or 2) Go straight on and follow the A29 to Arundel, through Pulborough to Arundel - could even stop off at the 'Bykas' cafe just outside Arundel. Richard Hind.

Essex

South Woodham Ferrers to Burnham on Crouch

This is the famous Sunday Breakfast run to the Cabin in Burnham on Crouch. It’s wide enough to overtake in many places; there are lots of dips and plenty of switchbacks, culminating in a series of 13, 90-degree bends coming into Burnham.

The road surface is generally good on the bends and with your tyres still hot from the blast up from South Woodham its the perfect place to improve cornering skills.

The run starts at South Woodham Ferrers, heading out on the B1012, it crests a hill with a wide T-junction at the top (watch out for people jumping out here). Then runs down through a set of bends and a dip to another set of 90-degree bends, this section is generally known as "cow pat corner" due to the farmyard opposite.

The farmer often moves the cows across the road, and they leave sh*t everywhere, (thankfully its on the straight in between the bends).

The road straightens out to some nice long sections and fast sweeping bends before hitting another set of 90-degree bends at North Fambridge where the road changes number to the B1010. The next section up to Althorne, its fast and includes a set of great switchbacks and some lovely long straights.

The plod like to set up at Althorne where the limit is 30 so watch out for speed traps on the weekend at the Fords Coach garage on the right hand side. Out of Althorne the 90 degree bends start, linked together by some decent straights, its time to concentrate hard as you have to get on the brakes, get it cranked over and get the power on early coming out of the bends time and time again.

Halfway up the high street in Burnham on the right hand side is the Cabin, a biker friendly place to stop for a bacon sarny or the full brekky and get ready to do the whole thing in reverse order. Jeremy Shannon

Try the B1012/B1010 between Southwoodham Ferrers Essex to Burnham on

Crouch Essex. Not a very long road but lots of fun. Locally known as the Burnham

Bends, it has 9 different bends from 90 degrees to sweepers.

On a weekend you get hundreds of bikes out here just riding the bends. The Dengie Hundred is an exceptional motorcycling area, and the meeting point in Burnham is The Dairy Cafe. Lesley Willmore.

Hertfordshire

It’s a toss-up between the A507 from Baldock to Shefford which is fantastic, fast open and biker friendly and the A414 from Hatfield to Hertford. That’s dual carriageway with some excellent roundabouts that can been seen from over a mile away (so you can plan). Not many spaces for coppers either.

Andrew Cutler

Northumberland

I was heading up from London, on a break in Northumberland, heard it was a lovely place and had been recommended an inn, in a place called Lowick, near Berwick upon Tweed.

Just North of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, I took the A697 off the drudgery and speed cameras of the A1, still heading North, it was a beautiful day and the dramatic Northumberland landscape opened up in front of me. (This section to the Wooler B6525 junction is approx. 50-60 miles) There are some wonderful long straight sections on this road mixed up with swooping bends and tight hairpins. The landscape is breathtaking and rugged, but beware, although a good surface, at fast speeds the road demands all your concentration.

I did only notice two cameras and that was 30mph through two of the small villages, Long Horseley after about 10 miles into the run and Long Framlington about 25 miles in. North of this village is probably the most exciting and fastest (if you're so inclined) sections, truly breathtaking. Eventually, I came into Wooler and, took the B6525 east - back towards the A1 and my destination (Lowick).

Again this road was outstanding, with even less traffic, apart from the odd car and tractor. Approximately eight miles to Lowick now and after negotiating and absorbing, possibly the most outstanding ride I've ever had, I turned off at Lowick (B6353) and was ready for the wonderful hospitality I received at The Black Bull, Lowick. The entire trip is very much recommended. Kristian.

Cheshire

On a recent ride from Chester to the Cat and Fiddle I discovered the A54. It’s a fantastic road that takes you up into the peak district with great views of valleys and lakes. It has steep inclines and tight twisty turns.

You don't know what’s coming over the next rise. The best bit of the A54 is the bit between A523 and A537, just south of Macclesfield, as it passes Allgreave. Two great pubs there as well, The Ram especially has great views to rival the Cat and Fiddle. Aaron Burghart

Cumbria

One of the best roads I have come across is the A684, starting at the A1 just north of Thirsk going across to Kendal. Excellent twists, sweeping bends and switch back, but don't expect to use fifth and sixth too many times!

Good stopping place at Hawes but very busy or there is a small friendly cafe at Bainbridge. Down side to this route is there isn’t many petrol stops so be told! Cheers - Steve Smith

Derbyshire

The Cat and Fiddle run,A54/A537, goes (or went since they slapped the limits on) without saying, however since moving down South I’ve discovered the joys of the A507 Baldock to the A10. An excellent mix of corners and a reasonable length too. Regards,

Graeme Castles

On a recent ride from Chester to the Cat and Fiddle I discovered the A54. A fantastic road that takes you up into the peak district with great views of valleys and lakes. It has steep inclines and tight twisty turns. You don't know what’s coming over the next rise. The best bit of the A54 is the bit between A523 and A537, just south of Macclesfield, as it passes Allgreave. Two great pubs there as well, The Ram especially has great views to rival the Cat and Fiddle.Aaron Burghart

Isle of Man

The TT course can be fast or not, it’s up to you. There are great views over The Mountain or you can take the coast road between Peel and Kirkmichael. Richard Bregazzi

Kent

My fav road starts at the end of the M20, take the A259 towards Dymchurch then branch of on the B2075 toward Lydd on the road are some slow hairpin bends and some excellent fast and sweeping roads all the way to A21 (the Hastings road) which is another good road by the way.

For me living in the south east it is approximately 130 miles round-trip which is an excellent day out and about a tankful on my GSXR1000. All the best, Ian Patterson.

Oxfordshire

The best road in my neck of the woods is the back road from Kislingbury (just west of Northampton) to Middleton Cheney on the border with Oxfordshire. Known locally as the "Banbury Lane", it used to be known to the Department of Transport as the B4525. However, it was downgraded a few years ago and the B4525 is now the road from the A43 at Syresham to Middleton Cheney.

The bad thing about the downgrading is that you have to know where the road is to find it. The good thing is that with no through traffic being directed to it there are fewer cars than there used to be.

Starting from the A45 you pass through Kislingbury and then through Bugbrooke. In Bugbrooke you have to turn right at the green in the middle of the village, then after a couple of miles you reach a staggered junction to cross the A5 (take care here as traffic on the Watling Street can approach at quite a rate).

The road then carries on through a number of villages till you get to Middleton Cheney and the road into Banbury. Keep to the limit in the villages and take all your fun on the rest of the road. Some challenging bends linked by some nice fast stretches, with a bit of rural traffic thrown in to keep you on your toes. Downgraded roads elsewhere offer more fun, but you need to have an old map to compare against a new one to find them. From Banbury if you head south on the A4260 (ex-A423) and turn left at Adderbury you come onto the B4100. Prior to the building of the M40 this road used to be the A41 so what you've got is an old trunk road, still reasonably well surfaced, but with a negligible amount of traffic all the way to Bicester. Ian Sargent

WALES

Like many bikers out there I have many fave roads, but most of them are a good day out. But my absolute fave has got to be the A44 to Aberystwyth.

Starting out at Worcester heading east through Bromyard to Leominster all is quite gentle as a warm up both for the bike and me. Then things start to get a little more interesting as you approach Llandegley, if you are in no rush for time take a detour north on the A483 to Newtown.

Fantastic piece of road that can give a thrill if you are just bumbling along or right on it! Then cut back west on the A489/A470 towards Llangurig and pick up the A44 again from there. Then its back to fast sweeper type stuff with a few 'catch you out " switchbacks, if a car gets in the way just turn round and have another go; see how long you can get your sliders to leave a mark!

Then when you get to Aberystwyth park on the prom near the ices/hot dog hut, take in the view, talk to other bikers then look forward to the manic blast home. See you there! Jase.

One of my favourite roads is the A483 between Builth Wells & Newtown Powys mid Wales. The first ten miles are fast & open mainly straight, but once past Llandridnod Wells the road takes on a different guise a fast flowing mixture of tight & open bends that get the adrenaline flowing big time.

The last eight miles contain three tight hairpin bends as good as anything on the continent, and the best thing about this road is that its "just as good on the way back "! Ken Tucker.

It’s got to be my local roads around the A489. This road combines initially a two-mile hill climb then 12 miles of tight corners where a supersports bike is probably not out of second or third gear for long.

Then it has some long (for Mid-Wales) straights with deceptive corners ending up by Welshpool airport and a good open road. Then it’s 15 miles back to Newtown on main roads. I have a Ducati Paso906 with "Conti" silencers and I am told you can hear me up the first hill from Newtown! Howard.

On balance is the B5105 from Ruthin to Cerrigydrudion in North Wales.

Brilliant either way...taken from the Ruthin end there's a steady climb through the woodland until you get to Clawdd-newydd, and from then it's a roller-coaster trip over the high ground with the Clocaenog forest on your right.

Take it at a medium-fast pace rather than a serious warp factor: visibility is good to se if there's much coming the other way and you can often use the whole of the road safely and still enjoy the view.

There's a walking-pace bend by the pub in Llanfihangel GM, and when you get to Cerrig, take a right up the B4501 to the visitor centre at the Brenig Reservoir (Llyn Brenig to the Welsh-speakers) for a cuppa in the caff. Then it's back on the B4501 to the main A541 Denbigh moors road, over to Denbigh and then back to Ruthin via the A525.

Downsides? 'Cos it's not an A-road, there's always the risk that Dai the tractor has left vast amount of agricultural crud behind, and the A543 is a bit like the Cat and Fiddle - a brill road but too popular for its own good and inhabited by headbangers and Heddlu (police to you and me) in equal measure.

But the whole circuit is ideal for a summer evening or a winter afternoon (but there again remember it's a high-level route and winter can bring patches of ice). Go out and enjoy! William Leece.

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