Tours and Routes in the UK
The Whisky Tour Summer 2018
Day 1 - Newcastle to Blairgowrie
After a fine crossing on the DFDS ferry we arrived in Newcastle. Took sometime to get off and through the border check but then we were on our way. Already way over 25 degrees and no clouds in sight we headed to the border for the usual photo shoot at the border crossing.
After the border onwards across the new Queensferry bridge arriving in Blairgowrie around 1630. Overnight stay was at the Heathpark Lodge B&B.
Day 2 - Blairgowrie to Abelour
Again, very hot from early in the morning we headed out east towards Glamis with a quick stop at the castle. Continuing west across the Cairn ó mount via Fettercairn with stunning views from the summit but very windy. After the summit we dropped down to Aberdeenshire and headed towards Dufftown. As we were still early we stopped at the first distillery for a tour. The Glenlivet. Arrived at the Dowans Hotel in Abelour around 1900 just in time for an excellent dinner. Hotel was very good, comfortable with great food. A worthy stop!
Day 4 - Abelour to Blairgowrie
Again a very warm with beautiful sunshine as we headed south towards the Cairngorm mountains. Crossing just before Tomintoul the wind had us holding on to avoid being blown off the road. Great ride down into Ballater and a quick visit to Balmoral before heading for a tea stop in Breamar.
We arrived back in Blairgowrie in time for dinner and a rest.
Day 5 - Blairgowrie to Romaldkirk
The longest day of the tour. We had 360 km to cover but luckily the first 150 were back down the motorway across the Queensferry bridge and south towards Galashiels. We lost one of our party along the way but after our lunch stop in Jedburgh we hooked up again just outside of Corbridge and headed down the Penines via Alston to Romaldkirk. That evening we stayed at the Rose and Crown. Great accommodation but the food was less that expected. Finally the first rain showers accompanied by thunderstorms luckily occurred during the night.
Crossing the Cairngorm mountains, Scotland
Day 6 - Romaldkirk to Hull
Unfortunately we awoke to slight drizzle only for it to get quite heavy as we were planning to leave. We waited until 1030 and then headed out. We were caught a bit short about 10 minutes into the ride and got quite a heavy downpour which luckily lasted only 5 minutes. A lunch stop at the Tearooms in Hovingham and then on to the ferry port. Dinner on board was excellent. All in all a really great tour with exceptional weather.
The Mid UK Tour 2017
2 intrepid riders decided that one UK trip for 2017 was not enough and booked a tour for September hoping for a break in the weather. Crossing from Holland via the Harwich ferry we arrived Thursday 7th in sunny South East England. We had decided to look in on Cannon BMW in Braintree to sample the new K1600 GTLE instead got a ride on the new Bagger and on a new model RT. After the fun of this it was off up through spectacular Finchingfield and west towards the Cotswold’s. Our overnight stay was the Lamb Inn at Gt Rissington. A lovely pub with very comfortable rooms and friendly service.
Next day leaving we headed north west along the Welsh border towards Chester. A couple of heavy showers but generally the roads remained dry. We arrived at the Pheasant Inn in Buwardesly, a superbly located pub with spectacular views of Liverpool at just over 30 miles away. Good food and an excellent location.
Day 3 took us East about toward Norfolk. Having left a little later and in the middle of a real rain storm we decided to find the most direct route
east and the motorways around the Midland cities. At around lunch time the weather had cleared so we resumed our original route and headed east towards Kings Lynn. Over night stay was at the Rose and Crown in Snettisham. Great place with good food and accommodation.
Day 4 took us north and then east along the Norfolk coats toward Cromer. We tried to get a sandwich at the Ingham Swan but regrettably being Sunday they were full. Later in the afternoon we decided to venture into Colchester for a curry and then headed back to the ferry at Harwich. Weather was relatively kind but as usual the riding and scenery as well as overnight stays was superb. Roll on 2018!
Click below to access pdf and GPX files of the tour
The National Parks Tour 2017
Trip to the 6 national parks in the UK. Crossing at Hook of Holland to Harwich then heading north into the Dales, Peaks, Lakes, Scottish Borders, and returning via the North York Moors national park. 5 days riding with 4 nights in superb English country pubs.
Day 1 Harwich to the Peaks
After a good breakfast at the Premier Inn outside the ferry port we headed
into Suffolk through beautiful pink housed villages. Traffic was a bit heavy due to rush hour but soon we were well on our way and heading up through the home counties. Lunch stop was at the Berkeley Arms in Wymondham just outside Melton Mowbray. Great pub with excellent sandwiches and they even had a cosy parlour where we were able to sit quietly and relax with all our gear. Really appreciative to the landlord for that! Final destination was the Manifold Inn at Hulme end. Great location with comfortable rooms in the outbuildings of the pub. Food and pub were fine although a bit busy due to there being a large campsite just opposite. All the same, a comfortable night and ready for day 2.
Day 2 - Hulme End to Winster
Regrettably Saturday was a bit on the wet side. Leaving Hulme End and heading north through the Peaks and Dales we were hampered by low cloud and rain. Passing over Snake Pass and the Dales did not offer the fantastic views we had hoped for. Only right at the end of our trip arriving in the Lakes did it dry up and the sun came out. Despite damp riding we arrived at our destination - The Brown Horse, in Winster early evening in time for a few beers. Accommodation was excellent. Great rooms and a very busy pub with very good food. Well worth a visit especially if your keen on getting away from the tourist hotspots and Ullswater Windemere which are just up the road. Great food & rest and ready for day 3.
Day 3 - Winster to Seahouses
Weather was perfect. Blue skies and a few picturesque clouds as we packed up and headed north into the Lakes. Up along Windemere and over to Ullswater past fantastic scenery heading further north towards the Scottish border. We crossed just west of Kielder Forrest and headed north towards Hawich. East along great sweeping roads (A7) towards Jedburgh,
Flodden Field and then dipping down towards the Northumberland Coast. Temperatures had risen substantially by the time we arrived in Seahouses of stop for the night. Overnight stop was the Olde Ship at Seahouses. Amazingly quaint pub with equally spectacular rooms, great food and superb views. Their website simply does not do it justice but judging by the crowds in the beer garden when we arrived advertisement is the least of their problems. After a great dinner, wander along the harbour wall we retired for the evening.
Day 4 - Seahouses to Levisham
Sad to leave Seahouses and the Old Ship but our tour had to continue to the next destination. Driving south West into the Pennines we headed towards an old familiar stop at the Rose and Crown Romaldkirk for lunch. Weather along the road was again spectacular, warm but also breezy as we headed over the Pennines. After lunch the road took us further south into the North York Moors national park to the Horseshoe Inn at Levisham. The pub is one of my favourites for many reasons, The food is excellent, the location very peaceful and the accommodation perfect. Seems the rest of the Group agreed and this came a close second on our tour only to Seahouses. After a great dinner and short walk through the village off to sleep and ready for the final leg of the tour.
Day 5 - Levisham to Hull Ferry
Weather for the last day again superb. bright sunshine, blue skies and breezy. Perfect riding conditions. We set up back into the National park heading north and then West in a big loop around the Park. Heading South East past Castle Howard, through Beverley and out towards the Coast. Heading down the Coats to Spurn Point for a last stop before heading back to the Ferry.