HARROGATE to: SKIPTON
JUST WANTING A QUICK BLAST ON A FINE ROAD,GOD CREATED THIS FOR A CBR,LEAVING HARROGATE TOWARDS SKIPTON AFTER 1ST ROUNDABOUT PUB ON CORNER (TRAVELLERS)NICE STRAIGHT BEWARE RIGHT HAND TURN APPROX.3/4 MILE SIGNPOSTED HAMPSTHWAITE,SWEEPING LEFT HANDER OVER BROWE THEN HOLD ON TO YOUR NUTS FOR A REEL THROTTLE OPENER,BEWARE CROSSROADS,SWEEPING BENDS BOTH LEFTIES AND RIGHTIES,NICE PACE TILL MENWITH HILL AGAIN BEWARE X ROADS,THEN OPEN HER UP DOWN HILL AND UP RIGHT HAND TURN APPROX. 3/4 MILE THEN RIGHT HANDER KNOCK DOWN SPEED SLIGHTLY FOR DECENT INTO LEFT HANDER THEN YOUR AT THE INTERESTING BIT ,ROCKY DROP TO RIGHT SO BE CAREFUL NICE TWISTY PEG GRINDING ROAD LEADING TO HIGHEST POINT OF TRIP.BEWARE THE POLICE OFTEN START CLOCKING YOU AT THIS POINT BUT THEY ARE EASILY VISIBLE.SLIGHT STRAIGHT BEFORE RIGHT HANDER THEN 45 LEFT OVER BRIDGE THEN CHOCKS AWAY,NICE MILE AND A HALF OF THROTTLE OPENING THEN SLIGHT RIGHT HANDER.DUAL CARRIAGEWAY PLENTY OF CHIN DOWN ,COPPERS SOMETIMES HAVE UN MARKED BMW,RED,N REG 318i ON LEFT HIDDEN NEXT GATE ENTRANCE TO FIELD.PLANE SAILLING TO SKIPTON 20 MINUTES DOOR TO DOOR MAX.
Harrogate to: Harrogate
Leave Harrogate on A61 towards Ripon. At 2nd Ripley roundabout take left turn onto B6165 to Summerbridge and Pateley Bridge. Down Pateley high street over river bridge take next right signed to Ramsgill. 50+ corners on this road in 8 miles, from Ramsgill follow road into Lofthouse, turn right in Lofthouse signed to Leighton and Fearby. Follow this road accross the moors through Leighton and Fearby into Masham. Call at Boarder House tea room in market square for a cuppa and bacon sandwich. Take A6108 out of Masham back to Ripon and A61 back to Harrogate.
West Meon to: A31
Cant believe I have not seen this stretch of road on this site yet ! Fairly short stretch of road about 10 miles long but what a 10 miles. Loads of bikers meet here at the crossroads of the A32 and A272 by the Little Chef restaurant. First few miles of A272 from the A32 is the best. Really fast, really twisty open coutry roads with loads of Vis. Not many junctions off the road so you can hammer it with peace of mind (is there such a thing). Follow A272 all the way to A31 junction which is a roundabout. Get your knee down round the roundabout and then straight back onto the A272 again back to the Little Chef on the A32. About a 10 minute ride but unmissable if you are travelling down the A32
Glencoe to: Glencoe
Throughout its length from Glasgow to Inverness the A82 is a joy. An A-road metelled for bikers - it doesn't so much change direction as gracefully sweep with a confident camber and no road furniture. It's almost as if you'd laid the tarmac yourself.
The bonnie bonnie banks of loch Lomond set the tone for the whole route as the road clings to the magnificent landscape. On through the splendour of Glencoe and past loch Ness (an opportunity to spot some of the more elusive wildlife such as Nessiteras rhombopterix) on to Forts William & Augustus - no boring straight Roman road here. Here you can see so far ahead it's unreal. There's nothing, absolutely nothing coming. Just breeze by and smile. During the summer the A82 is littered with Germans and the Scot's old ally the French. They come here in droves - well, cars and bikes. Perhaps they are overawed by the Alps and come here for scenery that's a bit less severe. Even with holiday traffic there's that sense of freedom, a feeling that simply glides you along this ride to remember.
The highpoint of the A82 is the stretch Bridge of Orchy, over Rannoch Moor through Glencoe to Ballachulish. Reverse the trip to double your pleasure. From the Bridge of Orchy the snaking black ribbon climbs rapidly as the Moor opens out before you. 1000 metre peaks fence in the vast, intimidating bog. Don't hang about as it could be Scotland's own Area 51. Lean and flow quicksilver across the elevated expanse of peat and rock. The Three Sisters wait to swallow you into fast approaching valley. As the sides begin to loom now you ease off. The roadside crash barriers give away the vital sign. Find your religon and pray to the great god Michelin as the clear opening bends invite you and your bike to shine. You're bathed in stunning landscape with heather, bracken and conifers partially clothing the huge great lumps of towering rock. Fresh mountain air and that immense feeling that the bike is part of the road. That big grin creeps over your face and sets hard.
This is perfect for that long get-away-from-it-all weekend. A chance to clear the lungs and recharge the head. Whether you're a bumbag or tank bag or full panier kit biker there's no problem finding a place to kip & scoff as the area is dotted with B&Bs, guest houses, hotels and hostels and of course - campsites. Grab petrol at any one of a number of modern or quaint stations. This is where they make Scotch Mist so check with Bill Giles first. The Ballachulish Hotel and The Kingshouse Hotel afford more comfort than most around here - and the Youth Hostel in Glencoe is spot on. The Clachaig Inn serves good food and decent ales - but won't serve Campbells!
In Glencoe stands a stone cross to commemorate the MacDonald's massacre by the Campbells. Down the road in South Ballachulish is a monument to James Stewart who was wrongly hanged for his alleged part in the massacre. If the tales of blood, guts and betrayal in the Visitor Centre don't put you off your food then head for the Fish & Chip caravan or local Spar. The Thunderace's brakes are tested just once as a deer bounded into the road - at least the flat cap in the Volvo is half predictable. After all this is sheep and deer country. It's also skiing country - either the dry or the snowy variety - we could try anything once. Whisky distilleries are scattered here and there to tempt you once the bike is tucked up safely.
Once you head has cleared the A82 has tributaries that each in turn lead to something special. And for my next trip... Wonder up to Ben Nevis or nip over the Corran Ferry to Strontian & Ardnamuchan? Twist down the A828 to Oban and perhaps a ferry to Ireland? Whistle up the A87 over the sea to Skye or catch the A830 to Mallaig? The strange roundabout at Ballachulish could prompt a few circles whilst you decide which way to go. Sod it! Let's go back up the glen just one more time.
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