Day One (Wednesday, 29 June 2022)
We catch a Eurotunnel train from Folkestone to Calais on the Wednesday 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.
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, our route takes us north east. We ride 161 miles today and we start by taking some motorway to get through the rather flat and dull landscape of northern France. Soon, we cross the border into Belgium and we divert to smaller and more interesting roads. We will have lunch in a small restaurant in a marina at the end of an inlet about 3 miles from the sea.
Mid-afternoon we cross the border into Holland and immediately ride alongside our first canal. We will be doing this quite a lot before we get to Amsterdam. Our afternoon coffee break is just 30m from such a canal.
We are then right on the west coast of Holland and we cross two estuaries, one in a tunnel and one on a bridge. We arrive in the town of Zierikzee and we stay in an interesting and somewhat quirky hotel.
The cost of the dinner tonight is included in the tour price.
Day Two (Thursday, 30 June 2022)
Today we have 127 miles to ride to Amsterdam. We continue mainly in a north easterly direction to get there. Holland is a region on the western side of the Netherlands and many people (even the Dutch themselves) mistakenly refer to Holland as meaning the whole of the country, but this is wrong. As it happens, we will be in the region of Holland for the entire time we are in the Netherlands.
We start the day on faster roads, including a short section of motorway, to make some progress, before riding alongside the first of many canals. During today, the canals we see will range in size from just a few feet wide to massively shipping canals. We stop for coffee overlooking the first of these.
The people of Holland found themselves living in an unstable, watery environment and catastrophic storm floods literally washed away entire regions. Counts and large monasteries took the lead in building the huge emergency dikes to bolster critical points. The Dutch constructed an extensive dike system that covered the entire coastline, thus protecting the land from further incursions by the sea. But they did not stop there, as they began land reclamation projects upon which much of modern Holland is built.
The canals we will be riding alongside are part of this land reclamation, which allow water levels to be controlled and for guiding it to the sea.
Lunch today will be in the town of Vleuten.
In the afternoon, as we approach Amsterdam, the canals become narrower and the banks more built-up. We will ride through central Amsterdam and see some its wonderful buildings.
Our accommodation for two nights is an up-market holiday park to the west of the city. We will be staying in a number of two-bedroom chalets. Bedrooms with two single beds are not large. We can park our motorcycles right next to the chalets.
Tonight we could eat locally, or go into Amsterdam for a night out.
Day Three (Friday, 1 July 2022)
We take it easy today and go do some sightseeing. In the morning we will ride our bikes about 30 minutes to Vollerdam (near Edam), to see classic Dutch windmills, watch wooden clogs being made and to see a cheese factory.
In the afternoon, we will get a bus / taxis into Amsterdam and do a variety of this; go on a canal cruise, walk the streets of Joordan, one of Amsterdam’s most charming neighbourhoods, go see Anne Frank’s house, go see De Hallen which is a hotspot for arts, crafts, fashion and food in the hip Oud-West neighbourhood, plus take a wander around the infamous red-light district if you wish.
For the brave, you could maybe try to Dutch delicacy, a ‘broodje haring’ from one of the cities Herring Carts.
We will likely stay in Amsterdam for the evening and eat somewhere in the city.
Day Four (Saturday, 2 July 2022)
At the end of today, we will be catching a ferry from the Hook of Holland to take us to Harwich, in the UK. The ferry departs at 22:00 so we have a full day riding and sightseeing in Holland, before getting on the ferry.
In the morning, we will ride to see Zaanse Schans which is a neighbourhood in the town of Zaandam, near Amsterdam. Historic windmills and distinctive green wooden houses were relocated here to recreate the look of an 18th/19th-century village.
After returning to the holiday park to collect and load our luggage, we will start the journey to the Hook of Holland, which is about 85 miles on a scenic route. We will ride alongside more canals and also go the the beach near The Hague.
This will be a relaxing afternoon, taking it easy and stopping often for photos. We need to arrive at the Hook of Holland by about 20:00
The overnight ferry we will be catching has onboard restaurants, bars, cafes and entertainment, plus everyone will have a cabin.
Day Five (Sunday, 3 July 2022)
The ferry arrives in Harwich, in Essex at 06:30 which will give everyone the entire day to ride home.
Our group sizes normally range from 10 to 14 motorcycles.
Each day, we normally start riding at 8:30am 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.
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.