Take dad on our recommended ride route through Essex this Father's Day!
If you want to make it a truly memorable experience, why not hire one of our fantastic Harley® rentals?!
This scenic Essex ride route is the perfect way to explore spectacular views & quintessential English country villages – with so much on offer to see and do, you could easily make this a 2-day trip. Plus there’s plenty of places to stop off and see some sites, or to treat yourselves to a traditional pub lunch!
SCROLL DOWN TO VIEW RIDE ROUTE!
...and our Father's Day gift ideas,
Use ride route map (below) for turn-by-turn directions!
Starting from our Maidstone Harley-Davidson® store, simply take the A217 and A2 and follow signs for the Dartford Crossing - tolls are free for motorcycles! Keep an eye out for the A127 and then the A129 towards the Hanningfield Reservoir. This huge 870-acre reservoir is a must for nature enthusiasts, as it homes thousands of swifts, swallows, martins & wildfowl. Its 30-acre ancient woodland is also bursting with wildlife and wildflowers and makes a great stop for a tranquil tea break. (Don't forget to pick up your free trail guide from the Nature Discovery Centre!)
The budding gardeners amongst you might also like a visit to the nearby RHS Garden Hyde Hall, by simply following South Hanningfield Road. This tranquil garden is set amongst rolling hills and promises stunning panoramic views over the Essex countryside. Or if you prefer the hustle and bustle of the city, then you can take a simple detour to nearby Chelmsford. Visit the famous cathedral and beautifully restored Hylands House to soak up some local history, or pop along to the Essex Police Museum to see their ‘1960’s Noddy motorbike’ – admission is free!
Once you’re ready to jump back on the bike, take the B1418 & B1022 north towards Maldon and enjoy the sweeping scenic views of fields, farmland and countryside that these roads have to offer. Soon you’ll pass through Tiptree, a village famous for its iconic Jam – you can even take a tour of the factory & museum or enjoy a bite to eat at one of the many Tiptree tea rooms.
Continue north towards Colchester. Officially “Britain’s first city”, Colchester is full of visitor attractions and things to see, such as the famous zoo or the Norman castle. There’s no shortage of places to stop to eat and drink either, whether you fancy traditional pub-grub or a Mediterranean feast. If you prefer to stick to the scenic countryside and avoid the busier cities altogether, head straight to Dedham for some tranquillity.
Surrounded by the Dedham Vale - official an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty – this quintessentially English country village is a must for any scenic ride. Known as ‘Constable County’ after its famed depiction in many John Constable paintings, Dedham is a picturesque haven, from its pretty pastel shop fronts to its stunning rural views. In warmer weather, you can even hire a boat from the Dedham Boating Club and take a trip up the River Stour, or enjoy fine dining on the river terrace at Le Talbooth restaurant. With a host of nearby hotels, B&Bs and campsites, the Dedham area is a great place to make an overnight stop and recharge. The Sun Inn offers a traditional pub feel, a delicious seasonal menu and a choice of 7 comfy bedrooms – plus they can even arrange boat or bicycle hire for you, with an accompanying picnic to take along!
To explore more of the Dedham Vale, follow the B1068 and A134 north, enjoying the incredible views over miles of the Essex and Suffolk County border, before turning left towards and through Bures, (remember to use our ride route for a detailed turn-by-turn guide!). Follow our route towards Braintree as you continue to take in the gorgeous landscapes.
The historic town of Braintree is famous for its food markets and restaurants and is well worth a wander if you want to stretch your legs. There’s independent boutiques and an outlet village if you fancy a spot of shopping, or a host of museums and heritage centres if you have time to explore some local history.
Continue on the B1053 through the ‘postcard town’ of Finchingfield, with white-washed cottages, a village pond and a stunning real windmill. A quick detour to Thaxted - a village which predates the Doomsday book – is a great way to see some of the medieval houses, the stunning working windmill, and maybe even some Thaxted Morris dancing!
As you meander through the villages of Great Sampford and Radwinter, enjoy the tranquil surroundings and ancient farmland views. Finally, you’ll reach the historic market town of Saffron Walden. This town is an Essex landmark for historical heritage, from the Jacobean mansion at Audley End to Oliver Cromwell’s headquarters and the Old Sun Inn. The Saffron Walden Museum makes a great visit to explore everything from ancient Egyptian mummies to Saxon riches. Grab a tea and a sandwich from the Tiptree tea room and head to the Grade II Bridge End Garden - the perfect spot to enjoy some final peace and calm before heading back on the road home.
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