From Wales to the Lochs and Highlands of Scotland to the Yorkshire Dales!
From the very beginning this adventure is about great riding. The itinerary begins with a free day in Manchester, and that means a ride into the Peaks District National Park, a favorite area for riders in the center of England. Cafe-racing enthusiasts will be able to add a tick to the bucket list with a visit to the Cat & Fiddle, a pub that has long been a motorcycle gathering place. This is one of England’s best known motorcycle roads, but is only one of the many great roads in the area.
Once the tour departs the Greater Manchester area it is necessary to decide on each day’s focus�"history, nature, riding, or sightseeing! Riders will take a round-about way to Shrewsbury while history buffs follow a more direct route to arrive early in this unspoiled medieval town and take it all in.
To hear spoken Welsh is to hear music via conversation. And the Welsh countryside is as delightful as the language. The roads flow across the impressive mountains of Snowdonia National Park to the coast. Impressive castles dot the coastline. Quaint villages here are not always what they seem! Our destination, Portmeirion, was purpose built in the 20th century to pay homage to Italian fishing villages.
Heading north from Wales take a short detour to a long place. Cross the Menai Strait to the Isle of Anglesey over Thomas Telford's suspension bridge, and stop in Llanfair PG to take a photo of the proper city name�"the longest in the U.K.! Ah, how very Welsh!
The First Road Race:
In 1907 riders bored with the 20 mph speed limit set in mainland Britain gathered on the Isle of Man for a friendly, competitive get-together. And there it was�"the first race for the Tourist Trophy.
Evolving side-by-side with the motorcycle itself, the TT was the world’s premier motorcycle race for many decades. It is now one of a handful of events still run on public roads, and, as the oldest organized motorcycle race in the world, an event that sits high on most riders' “bucket list.” The TT Tarry is a great way to check that event off the list!
Arrival on the Isle of Man!
It is a short ride from our overnight in Lancaster to Heysham, where our riders (and a thousand or so others!) begin to gather at the docks. The excitement builds, as we are now all on our way to the Isle of Man. Being part of the horde of bikes loading onto the ferry is quite an experience!
Upon arrival in Douglas the thousand merge into the ten thousand already there. More will arrive on each ship, and the event�"the spectacle that is TT week�"will be underway!
Our race week begins with a Preview Dinner where we have the opportunity to meet riders competing in the 2018 event, as well as seasoned veterans of previous TTs.
Ramsey, on the north end of the Island, is our base for race week. This is the sunniest city on the Island, and with its population of over 7,000 people, the 2nd largest.
Outside of the racing, there is plenty to do in Ramsey and on the Island. Sandy beaches offer relaxing seaside respite from the drama of the mountain course. Country lanes invite one to take a leisurely ride around the island. And a variety of motorcycle shows and events are certain to keep us entertained.
Weather permitting, we will see a few evening practice sessions, the Superbike, Superstock, TT Zero, Sidecar, and Supersport races, and some qualifying sessions. And we will be there for Mad Sunday, when amateurs try their hand on the famous mountain course.
From the IOM to the Yorkshire Dales:
Our bittersweet departure from the Island means no more racing but plenty more adventure! Fans of the James Herriot series “All Creatures Great and Small” will recognize the terrain and some of our stops on the way to Harrogate. To those unfamiliar with the area, prepare for a treat! The rural towns, small roads, and generally open countryside of the Yorkshire Dales make for a memorable motorcycle ride.
To the land of Robert the Bruce:
On great routes with challenging roads we head into Scotland for a double overnight near Edinburgh. On the free day riders may head to the Lochs, history buffs to the city, hikers to the hills. No doubt many of us will be stopping at a newsstand to see what the latest TT results are!
The Scottish Highlands:
Legends of valor and hardship are ubiquitous with the Highlands. Over the next 5 riding days we explore this area in great detail. Riding down tiny roads across lightly populated countryside there is no buffer between us and the awesomeness of the Highlands. The raw landforms have helped to breed a tough, unique population. You will discover that Scotland really is mystical.
Heading south, back to England, the route takes us through the Lakes District, with a double overnight on Lake Windermere. This beautiful area has some of England’s steepest pass roads and quaintest villages. There is plenty to explore and discover here. The one regret will be that we couldn't spend even more time near the lakes.
But move we must. The ride back to Manchester, our last day on the road, is like all others on this great adventure. Meaning more great roads and scenery! Revisiting the Yorkshire Dales, we now take an in-depth trip through them to discover what rural England is about. The contrasts to the Highlands will be obvious, the similarities surprising.
From the first to the last day the TT Tarry is all about motorcycling�"from gentle touring to brutal, unbelievable road racing.