8 great Bank Holiday blasts #ride5000miles
So, what are you doing this weekend?
Inverness to Inverness on The North Coast 500 - Rich Newland, Deputy Editor
Scotland has some of the quietest, and most stunning, roads in the whole of the United Kingdom (we’re still united, aren’t we?), and this route means you don’t even have to do your own road hunting, or rely on pot luck or Google Earth for research. As the name suggests, the route clings to the coast like a particularly voracious limpet, gifting you some of the most mesmerising scenery you could hope for. Just don’t get too distracted, because the roads are sinuous and demanding – not to mention wildly rewarding. Factor in some lunch stops, and the odd Loch detour, and it’s a perfect Bank Holiday weekend on two wheels.
Llangurig to Aberystwyth on the A44 - Liam Marsden, Web Producer
The A44 is one of the many reasons I love Wales. It winds through the middle of the country and is a supremely fast and smooth ribbon of tarmac, with plenty of Shellgripped corners. My favourite is a 70mph hairpin a few miles west of the entrance to Sweet Lamb that’s ultra grippy and makes you feel like an absolute hero all the way round. Slow the pace down and the scenery is pure Welsh magic. Jump off the 44 into the wilderness and things get even better!
Pickering to Whitby on the A169 - Adam Child, Senior Road Tester
As MCN’s professional Yorkshireman I’ve been riding the A169 for over 20 years and it still satisfies on all levels. Its mix of everything from fast, sweeping bends to tight Alpine-style hairpins makes it challenging and rewarding on any type of bike. Bank Holiday traffic can be heavy, and you have to make allowances for tourists who stop without warning to take pictures, but if you can save your ride until evening, the sun setting over the moors, will make your day. Simply stunning!
Sangatte to Le Touquet - Alison Silcox, Office Manager
Just over the channel, at the Calais end of the Tunnel, lies the D940, which hugs the coast from Sangatte to Le Touquet. It’s an undulating road that combines tight twisty bends with long sweeping sections across big open countryside. Before reaching Le Touquet it passes the vast military cemetery at Etaples. At times there are unrestricted views out to sea, and on a clear day you can glimpse Dover’s White Cliffs and imagine, just beyond them, the Bank Holiday traffic piling up on the M20.
5. Scottish Highlands
Loch Lomond to Inverness on the A82 – James Archibald, Junior Web Producer
I’m from Devon but, like so many of us, my riding home is Scotland – and the A82, the main artery running through the West Highlands, is my favourite route. It’s a cracking road in its own right and also a link to so many other incredible routes. If you are planning to ride in Scotland this addictive river of asphalt should be included. It can get extremely busy, so try to ride early or late in the day and be patient with those less fortunate four-wheel users. And be sure to check out the Green Welly Stop in Tyndrum on the way through.
6. East Anglia
Hunstanton to Cromer on the A149 - Matt Wildee, Senior Editor
A twisting, turning, rising, falling ribbon of coarse tarmac that follows north Norfolk’s coastline. During the day it’s jammed with Audis and dawdling holiday-makers, but in the evening it’s a mouthwatering challenge that tests agility and stability. Stop for a breather in any of the old fishing villages that adorn the route and drink in the region’s gentle, quiet beauty. This Monday, I’ll be there.
Clumber Park to Manchester – the A57 - Emma Franklin, consumer editor
When visiting my Liverpool homeland, I take this route as an alternative to the boring transpennine M62. Skirting through the Peaks and past the reservoirs used for the Dambusters’ training runs, the A57 Snake Pass is a stunning, sinuous, and spellbinding route through England’s hilly heart. OK, most of it is covered by 50mph average speed cameras, but some of the shellgripped corners are still tight enough to put a smile on your face, even at reduced speeds. Relaxed Bank Holiday bliss.
Anglesey to Llanfairpwllgwyngyll, on the A5205 - Michael Neeves, Chief Road Tester
This magnificent 34-mile ride follows the top half of the Angelesy coastline. It’s a twisting, undulating rush of tarmac and is magical to ride. If you close your eyes you could be on the Isle of Man TT course.
And it’s close to the majestic Anglesey circuit, so could make the perfect weekend. All we need now is some decent weather…