Motorbike holidays: camping on a motorcycle
Not least because of the fact that you can pretend you're a character in Easy Rider, motorbike camping is the way to go. No, you can't strap your surfboard to the back and you have to be economical with the packing, but riding a motorbike has to be one of the least stressful ways to travel. There's just something about it, particularly having room in traffic jams to roar off into the distance while pretending you're a character in Easy Rider.
But since at least the Easy Rider days, it's fair to say that some campsite owners aren't too welcoming to bikers. Whether they hear the words 'motorbike group' and expect a group of Hells Angels to come roaring into the campsite, plunder it and merrily roar off again (when in reality it's just innocent, considerate you and a couple of friends on a weekend riding break), some people can become the pearl-clutching Victorian type when confronted with travellers on two wheels. We've had several complaints from bikers that they've felt or been made unwelcome at some campsites and caravan parks, so we thought it was high time for a motorbike holiday blog with some biker camping tips and trips.
First up, if you're going on a motorbike holiday and need to find a campsite, you can search Pitchup.com directly for sites that are motorcycle friendly. As always, you can filter your search further – motorcycle friendly sites where rallies are welcome, wild camping motorcycle spots if you're bringing your own tent and sleeping bag, some with tents for hire if you're not (or lodges, caravans and tipis, yurts or wigwams).
Next up, take a look at your biking and camping gear. If you're relatively new to camping on a motorcycle, it can be a bit overwhelming to think about how you're going to fit tent, sleeping bag, clothes and cooking gear all onto one bike. But there are loads of different options for all types of bikes – have a look at these tips for a quick overview.
Finally, all you have to do is plan your route. If you know roughly where you want to go, pick a motorcycle friendly campsite or caravan park, filter it how you like, and take off. But if you don't have anywhere in mind, and just want to take to the road for a holiday on your bike, you can plan your motorbike holiday around the best motorbike routes in the country. Here are a few to start you off:
A158 from Lincoln to Skegness: A 38 mile ride from Lincoln, via Horncastle, Baumber and Partney, this covers some good rural roads and wolds scenery. And there are chips at the end once you get to Skegness.
Stay: So far we have over 15 sites in Lincolnshire sites listed as motorcycle friendly: the Rose and Crown in Spalding is a friendly pub campaite with top nosh, an open fire in the bar, pool tables and a garden bar.
A5 circular trip from Shrewsbury: A two hour round trip going from Shrewsbury north on the A5 to Llangollen, then to Bala, Betsy-coed, Doglellau and Welshpool and back.
Stay: Baron of Beef is a pub campsite in an Area of Oustanding Natural Beauty at Bucknell, with level grass pitches and optional electric hook-up. For groups, the camping cabins around the woodland pond at Woodland Park Camping Huts each come with their own picnic bench and sleep up to nine. Both sites are open all year.
A82 and A85, Crianlarich to Glencoe: A trip of around 120 miles through some of Scotland's best scenery. Start off at Crainlarich and take the A85 to Tyndrum, then go over Rannoch Moor and on to Glencoe, then back along the shores of Loch Etive and Loch Awe.
Stay: Book a tipi, yurt or wooden wigwam at Aberfeldy's Loch Tay Highland Lodges, open all year round and with an on-site bar/restaurant and wifi. Its sister site Braidhaugh Holiday Park has camping pods, including ensuite, as well as a two-bedrom lodge.
There are literally thousands more motorcycle routes around the country, so you'll always find somewhere to ride and somewhere to stay even if you don't want to take your tent. We're always up for hearing about more good routes, so if you have a favourite let us know below!
First published April 2012, updated February 2013.