MM’s top five… motorbiking routes around North West

By Colin Rhodes

Some people ride a motorbike as a cheaper and more convenient way to get about than driving a car.

That’s all well and good – they are more environmentally friendly after all. But let’s face it, what most bikers are looking for is the thrill of the road.

Bikers want some sharp bends where they can open up the throttle and feel the bike pull them away!

MM takes a look at the five top motorbike rides within easy reach of Greater Manchester.

If you’re keen to get even further afield, ensure you check out Carole Nash’s interactive route planner here.

5. The Cat & Fiddle (A537 – Buxton to Macclesfield)

At once, one of the most loved and most notorious routes in the country. The pass is named after its very own pub, which is a favourite stopping point for bikers making the trek. Check it out here.

The road has a real reputation with bikers and offers thrill seekers excellent corners and scenery.

Beware though – there are plenty of other bikers doing the same thing and lots of police speed traps trying to stop them!

It is also officially Britain’s most dangerous road.  Of the 264 casualties on the road since 2001, approximately 70% of those killed or seriously injured were motorcyclists. It’s one to be careful on.

4. A49 Warrington to Shrewsbury

This is described as a great route to ride with lovely scenery and fast flowing bends.

The route is mostly national speed limit which gives bikers the chance to open up the throttle and is a good alternative to the M6 motorway.

One of the Meccas for petrol heads, Oulton Park, is located along this route. See here.

There are plenty of places to stop including the Midway Café just outside Whitchurch.

3. The Snake Pass (A57 Glossop to Sheffield)

Well-named for its undulating and twisting route over the tops to Sheffield, The Snake (as it’s known) is loved by bikers for its sharp twisting corners and long straight.

It has some of the most stunning scenery in the country, with lingering views over Ladybower Reservoir and across the Peak District.

There is a note of caution to be made here, however. As there’s no motorway between Manchester and Sheffield this can be a very busy stretch and is often used by large lorries, so take care.

The Snake Pass Inn makes a good place to stop and enjoy the beautiful views over the reservoir and the countryside.

2.Woodhead Road (A6024/B6105 Holme Firth to Glossop)

This route is popular due to the stunning scenery and tight corners which give thrill seeking bikers a chance to open up and enjoy the ride.

After the climb up Holme Moss, the road down has some sweeping bends and breathtaking views.

Compo’s Café in Holme Firth makes a particularly good pit stop to get ready for the ride back.

1. A5004 Buxton to Whaley Bridge

A popular route, which links in well with either the Snake or the Cat & Fiddle if what you’re looking for is an extended ride.

A good mixture of tight bends and long sweeping corners, which give a great ride for bikers. It isn’t as popular as the other two local rides, yet this may be its advantage… it should be quieter!

A lay-by mid-way along the road offers some truly spectacular views of the Goyt Valley and Fernlee and Errwood Reservoirs.

Picture courtesy of Stefan Jurgensen, with thanks.

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