Ardennes, Belgium 3-5 days
If you want a great ride that’s within easy reach of the UK, you want to visit the Ardennes. If you put up with a bit of motorway, you can get to Spa within a few hours of rolling off the Eurotunnel. Even if you go cross-country, it’s not quite a full day’s ride from the Channel.
What you find when you get there is a region of wooded hills criss-crossed by the kind of perfectly-surfaced, quiet roads you normally have to go a lot further south to enjoy. True, the Ardennes has its share of bumpy, hideous back lanes as well… but the main biking roads are brilliant.
Better still, it’s a motorsport hot-spot with great events held at the historic Spa Francorchamps race track. There’s no Motogp or World Supers there, but the first weekend in July this year will see the Bikers’ Classic, with dozens of two-stroke GP bikes being caned round the circuit by their legendary original riders.