This tour is for ladies only and combines riding our Harley-Davidson motorcycles on a leisurely ride with some terrific activities along the way.
The emphasis of this tour is on having a relaxed time, in good company. We have chosen country roads that are pleasing to ride and combined this with a handful of interesting activities.
Our first ladies-only tour was a big success and everyone had a lot of fun on that tour. We have a second ladies only tour in 2019 and this 2020 tour is shaping up to also be a big success.
The tour will be lead by experienced Harley-Davidson tour operator Gary France and Elaine Shepherd, the HOG National LOH Officer is back-marker.
Day One (Friday, 22 May 2020)
We catch a Eurotunnel train from Folkestone to Calais on the Friday morning. If you have never taken the train to France this is an ideal opportunity to do that for the first time, within a group. We ride 186 miles today and we start by taking some motorway to get through the rather flat and dull landscape of northern France.
Each day when riding, we will stop about every one-and-a-half hours for a coffee break or lunch. We will also stop a few times each day for photos at scenic views or interesting places. Lunch stops are normally in cafes in town squares.
Today, we stop for lunch in the beautiful town square in Valenciennes and the motorcycles will make an impressive sight parked up in the middle of the square. After lunch, there are no more motorways and we start to enjoy smaller roads first in France and by mid-afternoon we enter Belgium. We soon stop for afternoon coffee in a small town just over the border.
As we near our destination town of Dinant, we will begin the appreciate the reason we have come to this part of Belgium – the roads become wonderful to ride. Often in forests, the roads twist and turn through the landscape, rising and falling with the hills. We briefly ride alongside the River Meuse as we approach our accommodation for the 3 nights we are there.
The cost of the dinner tonight in the chateau is included in the tour price.
Day Two (Saturday, 23 May 2020)
Today is about taking it easy in the local area and seeing a few sights. We will ride into the town of Dinant and take a river boat cruise for a couple of hours along the River Meuse. We will have lunch overlooking the river and for those that want to, we will visit the local underground caves on a guided tour.
We will also ride a short distance along the river and stop in some of its best places to take photos of this beautiful river.
In the evening we will be eating in a lovely restaurant perched high on a hill overlooking the river Meuse.!
We will have ridden only about 25 miles today, but we will have seen a lot!
Day Three (Sunday, 24 May 2020)
Today we ride 115 miles on some glorious roads!
We head south riding alongside the River Meuse and soon re-enter France and we ride into the Ardennes National Park, where we will for most of the morning. The roads are wonderful here and there are many terrific views of the river and the landscape it has helped to form over millions of years.
We stop for coffee overlooking the river, but soon the river divides and we take the small fork which is the River Semoy. and we now head east. We stop for photos at a couple of the best viewpoints. We re-enter Belgium late morning.
We have lunch in the town square in Bertrix before heading north back to Dinant. This evening, we will be having a BBQ in the grounds of the chateau.
Day Four (Monday, 25 May 2020 – bank holiday)
Day 4 is when we ride back 185 miles to Calais and about 80 miles of this is on motorway.
First today we ride on more great roads including within the Avesnois National Park before joining some motorway to make progress to get back to Calais. We will stop every hour or so for a break and ride on a wide variety of roads as we make our way back to the Eurotunnel train terminal.
The group will catch a Eurotunnel train back to Folkestone. We arrive back in the UK at about 4pm UK time.
Our group sizes normally range from 10 to 14 motorcycles.
Each day, we normally start riding at 9am sharp. We try to avoid motorways wherever possible and only use these when there is no real alternative. We take mid-morning and mid-afternoon breaks and of course find somewhere for lunch. Our plan is to normally arrive the accommodation by around 6pm.
For this tour the accommodation is a 3 star chateau!
We ride at a pace to suit all of the riders. We stick to all speed limits in towns, but in rural areas we ride at, let’s call them ‘more appropriate’ speeds. We generally ride in staggered convoy on straighter roads.
As we have pre-booked accommodation and a schedule to stick to, we ride in all weathers. During any exceptionally inclement weather, we will pull over for short periods. We could experience a range of different types of weather, so bring waterproofs, just in case.
We like these tours to be about having a real adventure, riding on great roads with like-minded people. For that reason, we do not use a support van, but we always have a back-marker.
Each of our rides has a difficulty rating and this tour is rated as ‘easy’. That means this tour can be ridden by any rider, but we expect that you have been riding large motorcycles for at least a year and that you have some experience of, and are comfortable with, riding in groups of at least eight motorcycles before. While it will be better if you have ridden in mainland Europe before, this is not essential. While there is not much motorway riding on the tour, as a guide, you will be expected to be able to ride at 70mph on motorways. We do not ride fast on this tour. There will be plenty of stops, and some days will be shorter, but the longest days will include around 9 hours of riding, with plenty of breaks.