We're pretty excited for the British round of MotoGP at Silverstone this weekend, as we're sure thousands of bikers across the UK are. Apart from a little bit of rain on Sunday, the weather's looking pretty good for the weekend as well, which makes a nice change.
But rather than just ride straight there on the M1 or whichever boring motorway happens to connect Silverstone with your home, we've come up with four routes that will make your ride to and from the circuit a little more exciting as well as helping you towards your #ride5000miles goal.
Check out our other Great Rides.
Love it because: The M1 is a miserable stretch of road at the best of times – so why not take a huge chunk out of it and enjoy some great riding instead? Turning off the motorway at Loughborough leads to a lovely stretch from Melton Mowbray to Northampton that is full of superb bends and beautiful countryside. The B6047 is a biker haunt and you are sure to meet a few more riders on their way to Silverstone. If you are in no rush, this route also has loads of places to stop for a bite to eat.
Take a picture at: For a quick detour, take the excellent B664 from Market Harborough towards Uppingham and stop at Eyebrook Reservoir. It was one of the locations used by the Dam Busters squadron for practice runs.
Stop for a cuppa at: There are loads of options on this route.
Watch out for: It’s a rural area, so watch out for slow moving tractors. Approach blind bends with extra caution as it is harvest time and the combine harvesters are on the roads.
Love it because: If you decide to start this route at Duxford, you do have to double back on yourself briefly but it is a small inconvenience and means that instead of the dull A505, you can enjoy the more entertaining B1038 instead. This is a nice relaxed ride that takes in some really historic locations. Not only is Duxford home to the Battle of Britain team, Bletchley Park is where Alan Turing and the squad of WWII codebreakers broke the enigma code. If you are into your military history, this route has it all.
Take a picture at: When heading through Milton Keynes, take a quick detour to Bletchley Park, home of the WWII codebreakers and the first computer.
Stop for a cuppa at: If you have a few hours to kill, spend it looking around the simply fabulous Duxford Imperial War Museum, the UK’s largest aviation museum. Just remember you are meant to be going to Silverstone!
Best bit: The A507 leading into Baldock is a fantastic stretch of road that has some excellent corners to really get you into the MotoGP spirit.
Love it because: Getting to Silverstone from London is pretty easy – just follow the M1 north and turn left –but this route avoids the motorway completely. If you are in no rush to get to the track, why not make the journey there a little bit more interesting? Starting from High Wycombe (sorry, there is a bit of the M40 involved) you head north to Princes Risborough on a major A-road before picking up the quieter A4129 to Thame and then doubling back on the A418 to Aylesbury.
From here you join the delightful A413 to take you through Buckingham and onto the A43, which leads to Silverstone. Not only is this a nice road, when you get near Silverstone you can usually find a sneaky road into the circuit, avoiding potentially lengthy queues on the A43!
Take a picture at: The clocktower at the centre of Aylesbury is a local landmark or the statue of John Hampden, who helped spark the Civil War back in the 1600s.
Stop for a cuppa at: Just before Silverstone, follow the signs to Stony Stratford then take the A5 towards Towcester and you will see the award winning bike-friendly Super Sausage café. It is as good as it sounds…
Watch out for: On a GP weekend there may be some odd diversions as you get near Silverstone, so watch out for lost car drivers U-turning as they try to avoid the circuit.
Love it because: The Cotswolds, with its villages full of stone houses, is one of the most beautiful locations in the UK and this route showcases some of the best this stunning area has to offer. Starting at Cheltenham you take the A40 out towards Andoversford before heading onto the B4068 towards Stow-on-the-Wold. This road both overlooks and cuts through some beautiful villages such as Naunton and Lower Swell. Turning at Stow the A424 and then the A44 takes you into Broadway down Fish Hill, which is certain to get your pulse racing and tyres warm! After a quick tour of Broadway, you head back through some more ‘chocolate box’ villages as you head to Banbury before picking up the A422 and then the A43 towards Silverstone.
Take a picture at: The Cotswold Farm Park is located just outside Naunton and has now been rebranded Adam’s Farm as Countryfile presenter Adam Henson owns it.
Stop for a cuppa at: Stow-on-the-Wold is full of lovely pubs and coffee shops if you need a break. Parking can be a pain, but it’s far easier on two-wheels.
Watch out for: There are often speed cameras on Fish Hill and the police are also very active on the A40 and A44.