A Kind of Lockdown Summer – Riding the 4 UK Nations

It was always going to be a bit tricky, 12 months down the line and Covid-19 is still lurking. The 7th Cavalry have come over the ridge, firing vaccination shots in all directions. So as Tony Blair sang in 1997,  “Things can only get better” but for riding together it may be a slow burn. The BMW Club trip to Germany has been delayed to September and also next June. Ludlow moved back to July and thankfully Paignton is looking good for October. BUT the good news is that the open (hopefully) roads across the UK will be welcoming our £s, even if we are unable to spend our Euros.

So, here are some suggestions for UK trips you might enjoy this summer. Each description is accompanied with a short video to give you the flavour of the destination – and in some cases accompanied by delightful music! My Route-app is highly recommended for satnav planning.

Enjoy the riding, when it arrives!


Wales – Snowdonia 360

The Snowdonia360 guides you along a spectacular 360-mile route through the best parts of Snowdonia, Anglesey, Llŷn Peninsula, and the North Wales Coast

 The route

You can pick up the route at Machynlleth, ancient capital of Wales and head west to Cardigan Bay at Aberdovey.

Look to break the journey at Bangor or Llandudno, a pretty Victorian seaside town. Day 2 takes you into the beautiful Snowdonia National Park and the honeypot town of Betws-y-Coed before returning to the start at Machynlleth. More information here: https://www.snowdonia360.com/

Get a feel for the route with this 4 minute video recorded by Nick Sanders.



Scotland – South West Coastal 300

Many people will have heard or even ridden the Scottish 500 coastal route. Less well known is the South West Coastal 300 located in Dumfries and Galloway. Less remote, more accessible and probably fewer midges (not guaranteed!).

The route

307 miles 9 hours

Starting out from Moffat you will find yourself immediately in the bends with a great little diversion onto the Greenhill Stairs road. The B7076 is a two-lane fast but quiet road. Just a few more miles on, go through Abbington and head towards the B740 known as the Crawick Pass. Not particularly challenging or extreme but some brilliant bends, twisties, highs and lows. Throw in some amazing scenery and you have got The Crawick Pass. You will head west to the sea, take a left and literally hug the coastline through the whole Dumfriesshire region.

The route takes you to Port Patrick, a lively picturesque coastal village.You might want to break your journey here and stay the night. Next day, if it is not too windy follow the recommended route down to the Mull of Galloway.

Once off the Mull you will visit and go through places such as Port William, Whithorn (the seat of Christianity in Scotland), Wigtown (known as the book town), Kirkcudbright (known as the Artist Town), and New Abbey (the Home of Sweetheart Abbey).

The last stretch through Dumfries, Lochmaben, Lockerbie and finishing off on the B723 to Moffat is just a gentle reminder of some pleasant farm roads and pleasant riding to finish off the day.

Watch this 1 minute video to get a flavour of the landscape . . . . . please don’t say “aaah” when the baby calves appear  . .       https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XZ6JLqqX3L8


 Northern Ireland – Causeway Coastal Road

One of the best biking roads in Ireland, the Causeway Coastal Road is in Northern Ireland. Sights along the way are Carrickfergus Castle, Carrick-a-reed rope bridge, Giants Causeway, Bushmills Distillery, Dunluce Castle and Mussenden Temple among others.

The route

Leaving Belfast following the coast around to Derry Londonderry which takes about 3.5 hours and is 120 miles  long. . . . . . but this is only the entrée to Irish roads . . . . . . . . .  read on for the legend that is the Wild Atlantic Way! https://www.discoverireland.ie/wild-atlantic-way



Enjoy this 5 minute video (where is the traffic?)  with a sweet, banging lullaby from “The Killers” !



England – South West 500

The final offering is our very own BMW Club Oxford route with chunks of the Atlantic Highway along Cornwall’s north coast. This is being offered as a 3-day tour from Wednesday 29th September to Friday 1st October 2021.

We are hoping for a slice of late summer as we gather at Burford. Departing westward to Land’s End and then turning east to Paignton with overnight stops at Minehead and Hayle, close to St. Ives. This is our first extended Oxford Meetup ride and links with BMW Club Oxford’s Autumn Weekend hotel break at The Palace Hotel, Paignton. At the time of writing there are still 6 places available and details can be found here:



The Route

Day 1 – Burford to Minehead

Day 2 – Minehead to Hayle

Day 3 – Hayle to Paignton

A fuller description of each day’s ride and the accommodation available can be found here:



Enjoy this 8 minute video riding Devon and Cornwall from Andrew Calley with a banging track from Florence + The Machine:





Author: James O'Shea

Leave a Reply