Mablethorpe to: Cleethorpes & back
Not very long but nice & twisty through a couple of villages,not many cars & no speed traps, (at least not on last trip). When you arrive in Cleethorpes find the A46 out towards Lincoln, you will come accross the A18, turn left towards Louth (another nice road) this will eventually bring you out on the A16 at Ludborough, turn right towards Louth and go round the by-pass and either take the A16 down towards Skegness for fast sweeping bends or go straight on round the by-pass and take the A157 back towards Maltby Le Marsh & Mablethorpe for another tight & twisty road.
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.
Morpeth to: Lowick
I was heading up from London, on a break in Northumberland, heard it was a lovely place and I had been recommended an Inn, in a place called Lowick nr 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 one camera and that was a 30mph through one of the small villages, Long Horseley. North of this village is probably the most exciting and fastest (if you're so inclined) sections. Eventually, I came into Wooler and, took the B6525 East back towards the A1 and my destination. Again this road was outstanding, with even less traffic, apart from the odd car and tractor. Approximately 8 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.
Hockliffe to: Luton
Start this ride at Wheels International in Hockliffe, north of Dunstable. It's a mix of scenery and great scratching. Turn right out of the bike shop and right again at the lights for a nice fast windy road to Woburn. Once there turn right into woburn Park and stick to the limit through the grounds (watch for cattle grids). Come out the other end into some great twisty country lane with excellent visibility (possibly some deer/horses on this stretch). You will come to a fork in the road after a couple of miles, Take the right fork to Tingrith (You can go left if you want some suicidal tight hilly bends, This will take you to Flitwick but you wont want to stay there for long :-) Once in Tingrith keep bearing right until you come under the M1 to the A6120 Go straight across this rd and keep bearing left towards Sharpenhoe. Eventually you will reach the A6 which is as fast as you want South towards Luton. The whole journey has virtually no traffic or gatzo's and the roads are old but great through a mix of fields and woodland. I've done this route in the wet and dry with no problems. Turn back to Hockliffe and you can have a hot choccy or coffe and a fag in the bike shop while deciding on your next dream machine Or turn off the A6 into Barton le-clay and take the astounding Hexton road to Hitchin which has been beautifully re-surfaced just for your pleasure.
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