A20 Strangford Lough, Co. Down to: Bishopscourt / Sunflower races ?
Ideal if you're going to the Bishopscourt races (and you should!) A20 Strangford Lough & Down Coast Circular, County Down Start this one anywhere, equal but different views if you reverse the route (almost prefer it.) Take the A20 south from Newtonards to Portaferry. Roads can be congested up to Greyabbey but open up along the Lough side (smell those sedentary depositis when the tide is out!). Some rolling hills towards Portaferry. Stop near the casellated ruin near Exploris which is up a slight hill from the (signposted) ferry if you like a visit the sealife museum there. Good caf1/ice cream dispensing. Take the ferry to Strangford (need some money but much cheaper for bikes). Even in the wet the open, chain-dragging ferry is reasonably safe with anti-slip paint. As the ferry jinks around you try and balance the ?bike. Bizzare or what ? Try this with some kind of overtall, top heavy trail bike with a full tank of fuel, but only if I1m watching please! Sorry. Get waived off the ferry, and take the first signposted turn left to Ardglass (A2), following the coastline South. As you emerge from Strangford you might see some seals basking in the shallows by a picnic / viewing spot. From here on the road is narrow and bendy but loadsafun. Pass via Ballyhornan to Ardglass. Great fish and chip shop (obvious). The B1 Downpatrick road on your right as you come in takes you to the Bishopscourt racetrack, home of the International Sunflower Trophy Races, close by. Excellent. This 3detour2 could be handy if the roads from Downpatrick are bunged. Through Ardglass keep going South to Killough, through Minerstown and past Tyrella Beach. There1s a pausing opportunity here too if you want axles buried in sand and to pay to park. Keep on the A2 and eventually over an old switchback railway bridge. Pass some weird winblasted stands of trees. Eventually you emerge on the main A24 Newcastle Belfast road. The possibilities are endless. North back to Belfast via Ballynahinch ? South to Newcastle and the Mournes ? The A25 to Downpatrick and the western shores of Strangford Lough through Killyleagh ? Or reverse the route ? Up to you but - enjoy.
Chipping Sodbury to: Cricklade
Basically two completely different stretches of road, bisected by Malmesbury in the middle. From the A46 ( Chipping Sodbury end) to Malmesbury has numerous 'dogleg' corners with a couple of 'ton up' straights. Plenty of 'technical corners' after that. From Malmesbury, take the 1 mile long bypass tothe next roundabout and rejoin the B4040 and on to Cricklade and the Cotswolds Water Parks if you want to try Jetskiing. This is the best bit!!! First straight is followed by a very technical section, including a 90 degree turn, a humpback bridge( together, but all visible) and a wooded section with sweeping curves and 'damp spots'. Great straights from here on to Cricklade. No Gatso's or Cop's in 4 years of nailing it. Never speed in the villages please! if you want a different return journey, try the B4040 back to Malmesbury, then take the B4014 to Tetbury and then the A433 ( past Charlie's house at Highgrove near Westonbirt) and A46 back to Bath. Another amazing ride in itself.
Creagan to: Creagan
The A828 used to take a detour all the way around Loch Creran until a bridge was built on the coast. This has left a six mile oxbow of old A-road abandoned with only one house on it and virtually no traffic whatsoever. And it is the most amazing bit of road, hugging the loch it is a never ending series of bends, sweepers, switch backs and blind rises. Going north, pass over the new bridge and keep your eyes open for a small sign saying local traffic only. The is the entrance to the Creaganring. Have fun.
Gorebridge to: Carlisle
This road is great because there are very few long straights and it isn't policed as heavily as the A68. (Fewer accidents).
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