Louth loop offers a lot p50
Although the scenery may not be all that dramatic, the East of England can provide more than a surprise or two when it comes to a great ride out. The relatively flat terrain, so favoured by RAF Bomber Command for airbases in the 1940s, lends itself to the open road and this route takes in a handful of those historic locations to create a circuit of the Lincolnshire Wolds that’s both entertaining and thought provoking.
Start off from the filling station on the A153 to the east of RAF Coningsby, the only operational airbase en route. Take the A155 from the roundabout and enjoy a meander across open farmland to East Kirkby, where you’ll find the restored aircraft and buildings of the Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Centre – well worth a visit if you’ve got the time.
At West Keal turn left to follow the A16 all the way to the Ulceby Cross roundabout, then take the second exit for Louth and the A1104. The twisties will unfold beyond Alford where the road wriggles around what was once RAF Strubby; be sure to turn left at Maltby Le Marsh for the A157 where the bends flow thick and fast.
You’ll rejoin the A16 just after Kenwick – head towards Boston, take the first exit at the Elkington roundabout and bear right for the A361. Keep a look out for the little black and white rural signpost for the road to Binbrook – turn right here and look for a similar sign for the next left turn; these unnamed roads are quite narrow and largely unmarked so be aware of oncoming vehicles. You’ll cross what’s left of the concrete runways of RAF Kelstern before a blast across the fields towards Binbrook, which was in use until the late 1980s.
The B1203 from Binbrook to Market Rasen features some of the few undulations you’ll encounter and they conspire with one or two tight turns for a surprisingly technical section – great fun, but take care. There’s fuel if required in Market Rasen, but for rider refreshments push on to the Willingham Woods kiosk on the A361 for a bacon roll and a brew.
At North Willingham turn left on Sixhills Road to Hainton, and then take the A157 to Wragby where you’ll need to pick up the B1202 Bardney Road. There are some great twisties along this section (RAF Bardney to your left), but the best are saved for last and the B1190 from Bardney to Bucknall features a unique series of bends that you’ll certainly want to ride again. The Dambusters memorial at Woodhall Spa makes for a poignant last stop before completing the loop back to Coningsby.
Formation riding… in tribute to the area’s Royal Air Force heritage