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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Cheers everyone,

having travelled through Eastern Europe last year, we have on rather short notice kicked the idea to ride to Turkey because it will be too hot for the kids riding pillion (we had 40 degrees in Romania last year already). So it´s Britannia this year, three weeks from around 15 July onwards.
I´ve been repeatedly travelling to the UK, hiking in Scotland in 1983, having studied a term at Guildford University in 1989 and now having business partners in London, Newcastle and Southampton. I´m comfy with driving on the "wrong" side, and Missus (with her Transalp) has decided to be tough as nails and try it, too. The boys are 14 and 15.

The ultimate destination are the Scottish Highlands, however, we do not intend to enter the iron butt association anytime soon and want to enjoy the travel, relax in between, hopefully spend some time at the coast and do not more than about 250km / day. We think about entering land somewhere in the southeast, e.g. by Eurotunnel or ferry, travel up rather on the western coast (never been there),
However, I do not want to spend much time crossing bigger cities with much traffic or travelling on the Motorway, but rather take the countryside roads looking for Miss Marple and Lord Peter, so if anyone of you could give us some hints on where to go (nice landscapes, scenic coastal tours, moors....) what not to miss (museums, exhibitions, architecture, bike meetings, whatever) and where to stay (campsites, wild camping, B&B, national park campgrounds) we´ll be utterly grateful, thank you very much.

BTW, would - in the mind of a local - the term "Britannia" include England, Scotland and Wales? Thank you!
Best regards
Chris
 

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Sounds great. The UK's west coast is rather a zig-zag, so you'd have to travel a long way to follow it. I'd suggest heading for Oxford, then taking minor roads around the Cotswolds; try Burford, Bourton-on-the-Water, Stow-on-the-Wold, maybe Stratford-upon-Avon.

If you can possibly afford time to detour into Wales, I'd suggest Abergavenny (large biker meeting place at the bus station), the A40 to Brecon, the <EDIT>B4520</EDIT> to Builth Wells, then the A483 to Newtown. (Although the A483 is a main road, there are a lovely variety of bends from fast sweeping curves to some surprisingly tight "hairpin" bends.) From there, perhaps the A489 to visit the Acton Scott Historic Farm near Church Stretton? Frankly, almost any road in mid-Wales is a joy to ride.

Not sure what to recommend about visiting the coast. The best coastline in Wales is rather a long way off your route. You might leave that until you get to Blackpool, or better still, the west coast of Scotland.

Has anyone warned you about the midges in Scotland?
 
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Historically Brittania was a Roman name. I believe the Romans never made it far into present-day Scotland, but most people seem to treat Brittania as a synonym for the (geographical) island of Great Britain. If so, it would indeed cover England, Wales and Scotland, but alas not Northern Ireland since that is geographically on another island.

Apparently the proper name for our nation is the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. But few of us use the whole thing.
 
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Apparently the proper name for our nation is the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. But few of us use the whole thing.
yep that's the UN official name for it!


Going back to the travel plans, I am the worst person to give advice but if you look at this thread, you may find some good roads.
we did it last weekend and some of the roads were really ood:
http://www.xrv.org.uk/forums/ride-reports-pictures/86284-south-downs-way.html#post685818

i
f you plan to come into London itself give us a shout and we can meet for a coffee in the city center and pop up to the Ace cafe if you fancy that..(http://www.ace-cafe-london.com/)..enjoy and stay safe whichever road you take. :thumbup:

PS Scotland is biking paradise imho and if u get the chance visit Sky........just be prepared for the midges, they are as bad as hell!:)
 
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Oh Cookie, a mate just pointed out that I user wrong road number in my post above, so I've corrected. Just thought I should point it out in case you were looking for it on the map. (Thanks, XR Mad :thumbright:)
 
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A max of 250km/day is not a big distance even over 3 weeks if as it seems you want to get off the bikes and chill and enjoy the area you are in.... And damn right too. :)

The Scottish Highlands are great and I supose you do have 3-4 days to get there from Dover or therabouts, but you do have to come back too ;) Maybe think of travelling via two ferry routes, say outwards, come to Dover, but go back to Holland from NE England? Either locations are easy for you back to Frankfurt?

DDW has laid out some cracking ideas for a general starting route, maybe stretch a little further east towards Wiltshire and all the sites such as Stonehenge, Silbury Hill and Avebury, and then cut up across the Cotswolds? From the SW Midlands you could drift into Wales, Forest of Dean area and then across into Mid Wales as DDW says, then maybe into Derbyshire/Dales and on into the Scottish Borders. The Lake District for me is too busy at that time of year....

Border towns like Moffat, Peebles and Carlisle are all pretty nice with good roads all around. Good Roman site near Carlisle too, but you probably have better near you at home... The Highlands and stunning roads and scenery are then but a day's ride away away :D Though as others have pointed out, the Midges are out by then... Foul, horrible creatures needing industrial strength repellants....

What are your boys really interested in???????? 14/15 yo boys will need something good..... Loads of good Museums like the Science Museum, Imperial war museum, National History museum etc in London. Dozens more around the Uk :)

In the Welsh Borders/Midlands on your way North, Ironbridge in Telford, if Industrial history is of interest, great day out also in Dudley in the Black Country Museum. Both are "working" museum townships based on around 1880. as DDW say, Acton Scott in Shropshire is good, based in a farming period of around 1880. If you are going to tackle this area, let me know..... I can't guarantee I am free, as life as a farmer is weather dependent but you never know :thumbup:

If getting a ferry back from the East coast, it may be worth looking at returning from Scotland down the east coast side and see Northumberland and then on down below the industrial areas of the NE towards a ferry home. Durham is supposed to be pretty gobsmacking.
 
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South to North on A Roads is going to eat into your 3 weeks quickly.

I'd suggest using the Motorways and coming off on the better, faster, country routes.

I'm a northerner, I would highly recommend the A6 from Garstang North all the way through Carlisle and up through Dumfries into Scotland. You'll pass through Shap, one of the most beautiful routes in Lancashire.

If you have time turn off into the Lake District at Kendal and you can follow the coast west towards Barrow before heading north through Sellafield, Whitehaven and St Bees before turning east through Cockermouth and back to the A6 at Penrith, a loop around Cumbria.

Time spent along the west coast of Scotland on the A75 and it's many joining B roads can be very enjoyable, recommend Southerness Point, Creetown and Newton Stewart.
 

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If you have time the Derbyshire Peak District is well worth a visit.....maybe on your way to the Lake district, there are some fantastic biking roads beautiful scenery and camp sites are plentiful Four Tigers go Wild in The Peaks - YouTube
just an example of some of what to expect, One of our members runs the Yonderman cafe in Wardlow Mires I'm sure "Jelly" would make you very welcome and point your in the direction of suitable accommodation :thumbup:
 

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Some good suggestions but don't forget the East ;)

A tour of Suffolk/Norfolk & Eastish Lincolnshire will keep you away from big cities & major roads (once past London....). The land may be flatter than Wales but is still scenic - just in a different way!

Once over the Humber Bridge (great view!), head East to Spurn Point, a Nature reserve with great view of the Humber Estuary.

The Yorkshire Wolds have some good less trafficked roads, nice views, stately homes & seaside resorts.

Nice coastal walks at Flamborough Head, Boulby, Staithes & my home town of Saltburn a lovely victorian seaside resort (walk over Huntcliff) & lots of Ironstone mining history....




Stately homes; Castle Howard (near Pickering - lovely campsite) & Sledmere spring to mind.

There is Helmsley castle, Richmond castle, Scarborough castle, Riivaux Abbey, Whitby Abbey, Byland Abbey to name a few.

Bike meets at Squires (sherburn in Elmet), Seaways cafe, Fimber, Oasis at Scarborough & not forgetting Helmsley (nice place too on the edge of N Yorks Moors) :thumbup:

From there, scoot over to Richmond (nice market town with castle) visit tan hill - Englands highest pub (has camping) & Northern Yorks Dales, up through Weardale (kilhope lead mine, Beamish) & North Pennines which will lead you to the Scottish Borders/Dumfries & Galloway & Northumberland where you'll be hard pressed to find a bad road ;)

Or take a detour to the Lake District (& spend your time stuck behind caravans.....) :rolleyes:

Personally, I'd miss Derbyshire & Southern Yorks Dales - equally nice roads with less traffic can be had elsewhere ;)

Phil
 

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Some really good suggestions here but remember to bring a sturdy lock for your bikes and dont leave anything on your bike you want to keep as there are some light fingered people on the prowl that may be interested in your bike or stuff.
North Wales around Snowdon national park is nice but in the summer its full of people driving slowly towing metal boxes to live in.
Snowdonia will give to a little taste of whats to come in the highlands of Scotland where men are men and sheep are nervous.:happy2:
 

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Nice sound track to the Vid, DC!

Like a bit of Van myself on those few times I listen to music on the bike Chill out noises indeed....:thumbup:
 

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We have a campsite located between the Yorkshire dales, the Lakes and north Peninnes. We are a biker friendly site and host various rallies including the XRV national this year!
You are more than welcome to base yourselves here and discover some of the best roads and scenery that this country has to offer. I might even be able to join you if I ask management nicely. :hitler:

Home - TAKODA CAMPING

Give us a ring on 017683 72587

Best regards,
Paul & Maria
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
Well then, I´m flabbergasted. Haven´t had a chance to look into this thread since I posted the question, and I just fell off the couch finding all these fantastic answers, links, videos and offers, THANK YOU VERY MUCH!!!

We´ll put the big map on the table over the next weekend and will mark all the suggestions, then start figuring out a route. All of you have provided so much detail we will have a great time planning this tour and we do look forward to it.

It´s a good idea to possibly use another ferry back to the continent. I hate ferries as I have been in the Navy for two years and just had my share of offerings to Neptune, I must say. Missus does hate ferries more than I do and has clarified that if she has to endure an overnight ferry trip she´ll be not in the mood to drive for all of the arrival day, so this does limit the options on the way back; the Newcastle and Hull ferries are all overnighters only if I´m not mistaken.

At this time I don´t expect to enter London by bike; I don´t fancy wandering through one of the nicest cities I have ever seen and entering the British Museum or the Tate in biking clothes :)

Thanks as well for the ideas of the industrial sites and museums; this will be great to integrate into the tour. We´ll look out for the recommended campsites and waterholes and may be in touch if our path crosses your area.

Actually I´ve been a bit irritated about the security warning. I have been to England many times and to Scotland twice and have never felt that my property would be particularly in danger (well, Southern London might be an exception). Having lived in Detroit, MI for two years and having travelled countries such as Romania, which are in people´s minds (but rather wrongly) notorious for stealing everything which is not welded to a lamppost, I did not expect to particularly worry about things in the UK.

Whilst we typically do not leave tank bags on the bike, the aluminum panniers and an Ortlieb softbag with tent and sleeping bags will usually stay on the bikes if we go for sightseeing. The softbags can be "secured" with pacsafe steel mesh without much hassle, but we rarely have done so. And quite frankly, these pacsafes will keep away the nosy passerby, but not the experienced thief.

Taking heavy chains for the bikes is possible but usually a pain in terms of storage. In uncomfortable parking situations we usually park the bikes (an Africa Twin and a Transalp) side by side on the side stands, the inner bike next to a wall or another obstacle and the outer bike being fitted with a brake disk with an unnerving alarm sound, but that has proven to be enough over the years. So how "bad" is it really?

Thanks again for all your thoughts and offers, all very much appreciated!
Cheers
Chris

Need to fix your Africa Twin and would like to have detailed pictures of a frame strip?

Google+ album: http://tinyurl.com/6u93yv2
Dropbox with zip-File: http://tinyurl.com/czj8qgw
 

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Don,t forget Bath and Bristol then up through the Cotswolds. Exmoor is lovely on the back roads but the wrong way for Scotland!
 

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Well then, I´m flabbergasted. Haven´t had a chance to look into this thread since I posted the question, and I just fell off the couch finding all these fantastic answers, links, videos and offers, THANK YOU VERY MUCH!!!

We´ll put the big map on the table over the next weekend and will mark all the suggestions, then start figuring out a route. All of you have provided so much detail we will have a great time planning this tour and we do look forward to it.

It´s a good idea to possibly use another ferry back to the continent. I hate ferries as I have been in the Navy for two years and just had my share of offerings to Neptune, I must say. Missus does hate ferries more than I do and has clarified that if she has to endure an overnight ferry trip she´ll be not in the mood to drive for all of the arrival day, so this does limit the options on the way back; the Newcastle and Hull ferries are all overnighters only if I´m not mistaken.

At this time I don´t expect to enter London by bike; I don´t fancy wandering through one of the nicest cities I have ever seen and entering the British Museum or the Tate in biking clothes :)

Thanks as well for the ideas of the industrial sites and museums; this will be great to integrate into the tour. We´ll look out for the recommended campsites and waterholes and may be in touch if our path crosses your area.

Actually I´ve been a bit irritated about the security warning. I have been to England many times and to Scotland twice and have never felt that my property would be particularly in danger (well, Southern London might be an exception). Having lived in Detroit, MI for two years and having travelled countries such as Romania, which are in people´s minds (but rather wrongly) notorious for stealing everything which is not welded to a lamppost, I did not expect to particularly worry about things in the UK.

Whilst we typically do not leave tank bags on the bike, the aluminum panniers and an Ortlieb softbag with tent and sleeping bags will usually stay on the bikes if we go for sightseeing. The softbags can be "secured" with pacsafe steel mesh without much hassle, but we rarely have done so. And quite frankly, these pacsafes will keep away the nosy passerby, but not the experienced thief.

Taking heavy chains for the bikes is possible but usually a pain in terms of storage. In uncomfortable parking situations we usually park the bikes (an Africa Twin and a Transalp) side by side on the side stands, the inner bike next to a wall or another obstacle and the outer bike being fitted with a brake disk with an unnerving alarm sound, but that has proven to be enough over the years. So how "bad" is it really?

Thanks again for all your thoughts and offers, all very much appreciated!
Cheers
Chris
It isn't, I leave my bike in public places on say and weekend trips all th time.

Just be sensible
 

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In my opinion the UK is no better and no worse than anywhere else in the world for risk of theft of bike or stuff attached to it.

I am just coming to the end of my long tour of Europe and several times a day everyday we left the bikes, sometimes for hours, with soft luggage and other stuff strapped to it, even in Romania! Most bikers in all the European countries we have been to this trip also seem to routinely leave their helmets unsecured hanging on their handlebars or perched on the seat.
But, never say never so sensible precautions always advised.

Enjoy your trip and keep posting updates coz if you are passing my way tea/coffee/tools/advice always available.


Sent from my iPhone with a smile :)
 

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Hi Cookie,

Sounds like you've got plenty of options for your trip already.

Do include the Lake District. As Phil says, there's lots of slow tourist traffic (the reason being it is a very beautiful area of the country!) and a tour of the western passes - Wrynose, Harknott and Honister plus a visit to Wasdale - puts you in some spectacular countryside and you don't really get caravans on those passes.

Carlisle is true border city (Hadrians Wall basically defined the city) with a historical castle (associations with Mary Queen of Scots, the Jacobite Rebellion, Border Reivers, etc.) and an excellent provicial Museum (Tullie House) with lots of links to Roman and Reiver heritage. Vindolanda is worth a visit, and there's plenty of Hadrians Wall still left to ride beside from Banks eastward.

Dumfries & Galloway (D&G) and The Borders regions of Scotland are both very picturesque. If you go through D&G don't miss the Mull of Galloway, Scotland's most southerly point, the Electric Brae near Maybole and, if nothing else, Nardini's in Largs. The ferry from Gourock to Hunter's Quay, gets you into Argyll without having to go through Glasgow or over the Erskine Bridge. But if you need to load up with some culture before heading into the Highlands, a visit to Glasgow is well worthwhile - The Lighthouse Gallery - The Riverside Museum

Have a great trip!
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 · (Edited)
Jim, barftone et al.,
thanks for the further comments and excellent hints and links. I´ll probably have to take an extra week to sort out the trip before we go... :p
We do so much look forward to take off in about six weeks; and we let you know as things progress.

BTW, are high viz vests mandatory in the UK when riding a motorcycle? When in England on business I see a large number of folks wearing them. Whilst my wife and I do wear them more often then not, we never had the kids (pillions) wear those and would have to get them before leaving, if it is mandatory.
Thanks so much, best regards
Chris
 

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BTW, are high viz vests mandatory in the UK when riding a motorcycle? When in England on business I see a large number of folks wearing them. Whilst my wife and I do wear them more often then not, we never had the kids (pillions) wear those and would have to get them before leaving, if it is mandatory.
Thanks so much, best regards
Chris
Hi Chris,

No, Hi-Viz isn't mandatory in the UK.
 
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