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United Kingdom

Your Linesman

James Higgs

The joy of motorcycling has been the most consistent of life’s pleasures for me, with my love of maps and adventure helping enable the lifestyle I enjoy today. I don’t anticipate wishing that I had spent less time riding motorcycles during my final moments so try to plan, ride and explore as often as I can – though do occasionally need to break a sweat in order to finance my hobby!

I enjoy helping others learn how to identify the locations of green roads and connect them together to create routes of their own, which extends to *publishing a video repository* of my routes and rides on YouTube. I put this knowledge to good use in both revising the initial draft of the TET and supporting the excellent work of my predecessor (Brian Eland) with TET issues in Southern England & Wales.

I try to spend at least one week abroad each year riding with my friends, which has also enabled me to make many new ones whilst on the trails. The economic value of adventure motorcycling is very obviously understood in France, Italy and Spain which motivates me to help rural business in England & Wales to recognise motorcycling and the TET as important sources of income.

In spring 2019 I added a new recreational route through England’s south-west peninsula – The Great Western Trail. The 1,300km route is a trinity of sustainable green roads, places worth visiting and things to do. It’s my gift to the motorcycling community.

In my spare time I assist *The Motor Cycling Club*, *Trail Riders Fellowship* and *Bike Tours for the Wounded* with access, publicity & event work. If I need a break from motorcycling then I’ll swim in our network of lakes and rivers, which is another story entirely!

https://www.youtube.com/wiltshirebyways

https://www.themotorcyclingclub.org.uk/

https://www.trf.org.uk//

https://biketoursforthewounded.co.uk/

DOWNLOAD THE GPX TRACK

ROUTE INFO

The British weather is infamous – if you don’t like it, wait an hour!
The TET can be ridden at any time of year although snow may be present on higher roads when air temperature is below freezing. In more remote areas, tourist infrastructure can closed during winter months.
Dover, Newhaven, Portsmouth, Poole, Plymouth.
English.
Pounds sterling (£).
It is illegal to camp without a landowner's permission in England & Wales - even on remote moorland or in forest. However, if people are discrete, decamp early, and leave no rubbish or traces of human presence then they will not usually cause a problem in remote areas.

There are lots of campsites, hostels, hotels, bunkhouses, bed and breakfasts, inns and pubs near to the route.
You may only ride on public byways or carriageway roads - whether tarred or unsurfaced.

You must not ride on footpaths, bridleways, restricted byways, cycle tracks or private/open land.

The legal status of a road can change, so look out for official signs and notices indicating a road closure. It is a rider’s responsibility to obey these – if in doubt, leave it out.

Normal laws of the road apply to the whole route. Motorcycles must be road legal, insured and ridden lawfully by an appropriately licenced person.

The UK is home to an established anti-access industry which frequently misrepresents motorcycling in order to further its aims. Do not engage in behaviour – lawful or not – which could put our hobby at risk of curtailment.

Countryside users are particularly friendly, so slowing/stopping (particular for horse riders), waving/smiling and saying ‘hi’ will usually be reciprocated.

Please refrain from damaging tails, travelling in groups of more than six or at speeds in excess of 25mph (40kph) when on unsurfaced roads unless it is safe to do so.

Gates should be left in the same position they were found.
Isle of Man TT: May/June
Wessex Wanderer: May
Welsh Two Day Enduro: June
Scott Trial: October
Weston Beach Race: October

ROUTE OVERVIEW

Unmetalled public roads and byways in England & Wales (commonly known as green lanes/roads) follow historic pilgrimage, military, drovers, funeral and trade routes between settlements – often criss-crossing the UK’s most scenic rural landscapes, and in some cases dating back to prehistory.

The network of green roads available for public use by motor vehicle has diminished considerably over the years, principally due to the efforts of a small anti-access industry which has successfully misrepresented public access in order to profit from landowner apprehension. The UK TET incorporates scenic routes through areas of ancient and outstanding natural beauty in the rural communities worst blighted by a lack of access.

The UK benefits from the Trail Riders Fellowship which (along with other user organisations) exists to conserve public entitlements, champion sustainable use and facilitate co-existence with farmers, equestrians, cyclists and walkers.

The TET enters the UK through the ferry port of Newhaven and winds its way across the south of England through sunken ‘holloway’ lanes, quaint villages and the prehistoric monument of Stonehenge, where it emerges onto the rolling expanse of Salisbury Plain. Trails here typically have a hard dirt/stone surface though some make use of compacted chalk, which is very slippery when wet.

There is then a choice of heading down the West Country Peninsula to visit Land's End and then back to the Plain or to head directly for Wales.

FromWiltshire, the route heads north through Gloucestershire’s Forest of Dean before crossing the River Wye into Wales near the ruined Tintern Abbey, where the route becomes steeper and rockier.The remoteness and stunning beauty of Wales yield to industrial heritage where the route re-enters England near the Midland town of Whitchurch, before crossing stunning valleys flanked by dry stone walls in both the Peak District and Yorkshire Dales National Parks.

The mountains and clear waters of William Wordsworth’s Lake District precede the final moorland crossing of England’s watershed which leads to the North Sea port of Newcastle, where overnight vehicle ferries operate to Amsterdam.

WHAT NOT TO MISS

Traditional British pubs with live music and open fireplaces.
Draught beer & scrumpy cider.
Full English breakfasts, Sunday roast dinners, fish & chips & cream teas.