A comprehensive guide to the best places to meet fellow motorheads, top-tier food spots, and beautiful rideouts around the UK.
Those of you who have been involved in the motorcycling world for a little while now will know that motorcycling can be a wonderful social and community-building hobby, as well as an effective way of getting from A to B. There’s a much stronger feeling of belonging and friendship in motorcycling than there is with other forms of transport. Maybe regular pogo stick users are as good as family to each other — we have no information on that — but, if they are, it’s news to us.
To aid you in finding new favourite places to take a break from the road, and hopefully make some new like-minded friends, we’ve put together a list of motorcycle meet-ups across the UK that you really need to visit if you’re passing through.
We’re beginning our journey of fine motorbike-friendly establishments in Scotland. Located in South Queensferry, Edinburgh, The Biker’s Cove enjoys a reputation as a friendly meeting place for bikers passing through the Scottish capital. There’s a little second-hand shop inside — useful for those quick repairs — and a great view of the Firth of Forth and Fife.
Next up, we’re heading down the East coast to County Durham, where, in the unassuming town of Spennymoor, you’ll find a biker/rock bar called The Penny Gill. Run by the wonderful June, often clad in jeans adorned with the stars & stripes, The Penny Gill regularly has rock bands playing in the evening. It’s commonplace to see bikers with matching leather jackets propping up the bar, taking in the sensory overload of memorabilia and character the pub has to offer. Go for the motorbike chat, stay for the karaoke, just make sure to stay away from the beer if you’re planning on riding home.
Several factors make the Penny Garth Café a standout for us. Firstly, if you plan your route there, you can ride through the stunning Buttertubs Pass into Hawes. Secondly, the on-site visor cleaning service. Thirdly, the 24-hour webcam that allows you to check the weather in real time before you set off. Fourthly, and perhaps most importantly, the homemade brownies. Heaven.
Another Yorkshire-based gem is Seaways Café in Fridaythorpe. Here, you’ll find a camping area with the option of more luxurious glamping for the less outdoors-inclined.
If your enthusiasm for everything with two wheels leans a little towards Americana, if you’re drawn to the dichotomy of a sense of vastness and small-town drama portrayed in the music of Bruce Springsteen, if you wish you could exist in a world of 1950s roadside diners and a rock ‘n’ roll revolution, then we have the place for you. Iron Horse Ranch House, tucked away in Market Deeping, has regular band nights, a bustling bar, and its very own motorbike club — The Iron Horse Riders — who run charity events and rideouts. The vibe is kind of Happy Days on Route 66, and we think you’ll like it.
Camp VC is a little bit special. A festival for anybody who is female-identifying, non-binary, or of a marginalised gender, Camp VC is a weekend filled with all of the good stuff — test rides, beginners’ riding schools, custom helmet painting workshops, moto games, moto troubleshooting workshops, moto mechanics workshops, tattoos, karaoke, nightly entertainment, skateboarding, rideouts, outdoor skills, wild swimming… the list goes on. If you’re looking for a safe space to really get into all of your favourite aspects of motorcycling, and you’re not a cis male, you absolutely have to get out to Camp VC at Llangolen, North Wales, July 26th-28th 2024.
Not far from the Black Mountain Pass of the Brecon Beacons lies Llanvihanel Gobion. You’ll find some of the country’s finest riding roads here, and sitting pretty in the middle of them is Steel Horse Café. It’s a superb location, it somehow catches the sun almost all day, and it serves up an all-day breakfast that could satiate the mightiest of hungers. Giddy up.
The Super Sausage Café in Potterspury knows what it’s good at. Chris, the owner, once gave an interview to MCN in which he said, “At the end of the day, it’s all about the sausage.” No further questions, your Honour.
Café Newt is a South Coast essential. Located within the wondrous Mirus 55 showroom, Café Newt is the Dorset meet-up for motorheads. Fantastic food and an endless supply of conversation starters in the form of rare and beautiful motorbikes. There is nothing not to love.
Harry’s Café at Fowler’s of Bristol is one of our favourite Southwest spots. Kit and bikes on the ground floor, food on the first floor, connected by a spiral staircase (the best kind of staircase).
If you manage to ride through Bodmin Moor without getting mauled by the legendary beast and old enemy of Sherlock Holmes, you may find yourself at the Chequered Flag just outside of Liskeard. The Chequered Flag Café has got everything: a motorbike-themed menu, helmet parks, places to hang your gear, rentable workbenches, tools on hand, motorcycle-based reading material.
If you find yourself in England’s South Downs, a trip to Loomies is mandatory. They stay open late on a Wednesday for a dedicated weekly bike night, and were once named, and we quote, ‘The Best Greasy Spoon Ever’ by MCN. With great titles like that, comes great responsibility, and Loomies won’t disappoint you.
London meet-ups are a little different. Less open country and wide open roads, more urban and cosy. The Bike Shed Motorcycle Club in Shoreditch is one of our all-time favourites that caters to all kinds of motorheads. You can purchase new kit from the apparel shop, get yourself a tattoo, have a fresh trim at the barber, or have a wander around the exhibition space. The food is a little more Londony than your average biker establishment, a little more on the gourmet side, but it’s still good, honest stuff. Bikers from all different subcultures and motorcycling preferences meet here for friendly conversation, rideouts, and a bite to eat. Highly recommended.
Café Racer London is a bit of us. We’re big café racer fans here at Maeving (The Maeving RM1 draws heavy influence from café racer culture), and we’re big fans of Café Racer in Wembley. You can have your motorcycle washed or serviced whilst you enjoy some of their famous pastries and peruse the array of bike accessories on offer. Wonderful.
Have we missed your favourite?
If you feel like we've missed a good location, or you'd like to share your favourite place meetup spot, get in touch. We're more than happy to add to the list and discover new places to socialise with the motorcycling community.
You can reach out to us by clicking here.