46 Bikes with 49 People at the 2019 North West 200 Tour.  Our Bikes as far as the eye can see.
Highland Rider Motorbike Tours

“There are No Strangers on Tour,
Only Friends you have yet to Meet”

About Us

What We Will Do For You.

Shuggie Hoskins, Highland Rider Motorbike Tours Founder.

Highland Rider Motorbike Tours.  


We Plan, Organise & Execute Annual Motorbike Tours to The North West 200, Armoy & Ulster GP Road Racing events in Northern Ireland.  

Plus Scenic / Historical Scottish Sightseeing Highland Tours,  which are a combination of 

2, 3, 5 & 7 Day Adventures.  

You will find all of these exciting, fun, cost effective and guided.  If you want to join in on one or more of these epic adventures then please get in touch.   

“There are No Strangers on Tour,  

Only Friends you have yet to Meet” 




Email - shuggie@highlandrider.co.uk 

"Driving is a Journey,  

Riding is an Adventure".


Where We Ride

Billy Redmayne.

The routes we take will show you the Sights & Sounds of the beautiful Scottish Highlands & Islands, with Breathtaking Scenery & Stunning Roads winding their way through the Mountains & Glens of this Magnificent Country.  

Road Racing Tours take place in Northern Ireland, where you will experience Epic Motorbike Racing at it‘s Best. The roads in Northern Ireland are spectacular and Riding the Coastal Route on a daily basis is absolutely stunning.  

You will receive the best hospitality you could ever imagine and to watch Road Warriors doing battle On 2 Wheels at speeds in excess of 200mph, through towns and villages will absolutely blow your mind away. 

2019 Highland Rider North West 200 Tour Notes.


“49 Tourers on 46 Bikes”


This was a Record Breaking Tour which will never be beaten, these numbers were a one off.  Back to only 44 People Places Next Year.


12th May 19.


The Tourers all met at the various ferry ports on time and got to Belfast without any problems, once in Belfast some tourers were concerned about being tired and weren't sure about riding the Coastal Route.  After some reassurance they headed up the coastal route and were glad they did as it was a steady ride up with little traffic on the road and glorious sunshine ensured the Roads were Dry.  Once in Ballycastle they were fed, watered, briefed and got into their apartments which they all found were comfortable & to a good standard.  


13th May 19.


Breakfast call at 0800 ensured all tourers were up and ready for the 1st day, there was a welcome brief and an outline was given on today's events.  We set out at 10am in our small groups to do the track orientation after showing them where the Rope Bridge & Dunluce castle & Bushmills Distillery were located.  We met up as a complete tour for lunch then departed to complete the Circuit and head to The Giants Causeway where we met up again as a Complete Tour and spent a couple of hours sightseeing and everyone got to know one another from the other groups.  We left there at 1630 and rode as a complete tour (Impressive Sight) to the Paddocks.  We then met Alastair Seeley at the Podium for the Motorbike Raffle Draw & Michelle McDaid to Present the Air Ambulance Donation.  we then attended our VIP Hospitality Meal and headed home in smaller groups, this was a long day but gave everyone an insight as to what this tour was all about.  


14th May 19.


Headed out in Groups to The Inn on the Coast for The Practice Session, this place provides all the facilities you require (Food, Hot / Cold Drinks, Toilets, Free parking, Grandstand and Shelter.  it's also close to the Paddocks so many took a walk up to see what was going on behind the scenes.  Once the roads opened at 3pm the Tourers were free to explore places they had been shown or just to go and ride their bikes getting to know the surrounding area.  Some issues with Bikes were also getting sorted during this free time by Wilfie Connor who is a very reliable local mechanic.


15h May 19.


Breakfast this morning then out in our 3 separate groups to Cookstown Race Circuit, this was followed by Lunch at Rosgarron with Eric Wylie, Barbara Wylie & Sharlene Wylie who had very kindly offered us this meal.  This allowed the tourers to see their B&B should they decide to visit later this year knowing where they could stay for only £20 per night (Bargain).  After our visit we left in mass and headed for Ballymoney for the Visit to The Dunlop Memorials & Joey's Bar, after which the tourers could chill out and take as much time there as they required.  Rik & I headed back on our own and visited the Dark Hedges as after 5 years i had still not been.  Once we all got back to Ballycastle we had our Evening Social BBQ with Drinks again this allowed everyone to continue getting to know one another.


16th May 19.


Final Practice, Qualifying & Night Racing was the order of the day today, we had tourers all over the circuit today.  Some were race marshals and others had went back to the Inn on the Coast plus plenty had decided to get themselves out into the sticks to see the High-Speed Action.  This was a day that was all about bikes and racing, the weather was superb, and the Night Racing was Phenomenal, it had everything and after seeing the Wee Wizard Alastair Seeley being High Sided at the final part of the race got a large groan from the crowd.  Local Hero Michael Dunlop raised the spirits by getting a podium place, so all was good after watching the Road Warriors giving it there all in the "Quest for Success"


17th May 19.


Breakfast this Morning followed by a Ride Out to The Silent Valley, the guides saw a depletion in Numbers today, only 18 people wanted to do the 190 mile ride out.  So, we decided to have 2 groups of 9 that day and set off on the adventure.  This ride out was put on due to the uncertainty of the border issue with Brexit.  Friday is usually a ride out to Donegal in Southern Ireland.  Other tourers decided to chill (the week was taking in tole) others decided to head out and explore some more.  The main Groups returned at around 1730hrs and we then had dinner under our own arrangements and got ready for Race day.


18th May 19.


After a week of nonstop sunshine, we woke up to it pouring down, we knew racing was going to be affected in some way.  But like the thousands of others in the area we had to get into the circuit before the roads closed.  We headed out at 0800hrs and arrived at the Metropole, tourers had made their plans for today and headed off to their selected viewing spots.  Racing didn't get started to near on 2 o'clock after red flags had been shown during sighting laps and race starts.  Eventually the rain eased the roads dried out slightly and the racing started with the Road Warriors still achieving speeds up to 198.4 mph in the Wet (Insane).  At around 1920hrs the rain started again, and the last race was cancelled, we headed home in wet miserable conditions and the Tourers got their first taste of the Irish Mist on the Coastal Route.  We all got back safely without any problems to begin getting ourselves sorted out for Departure day which was fast approaching.


19th May 19.


Departure Day had arrived so quickly, we all were packed up and were given free breakfast rolls and coffee prior to our farewell ride to the Ferry Ports.  Birkenhead Ferry departed first followed by the Cairnryan Ferry 30 minutes later.  The Tour was ending, and you could feel the mood changing.  Gone were the Miles of Smiles as the reality of going back to work was taking over which turned the smile upside down.  It was a successful week which had everything and there was plenty to do for everyone.  Feedback documents have highlighted areas that i will be looking at in detail and new routes and places to visit is first on the hit list for returning tourers.  I am also looking at the Holyhead to Dublin Crossing which is a quicker crossing and will give everyone an alternative route.  

2019 Highland Riders thank you for joining me and playing your part in making the Tour a Success !!!!!!!!!    

Many new Friendships have been made and I’m confident these will continue for many years to come.  You all have one more thing in common, you will always be a Highland Rider.


"Wear your T Shirts with Pride, you've earned Them"


Massive Thanks to Rik Hughes & David Holmes for taking your places on this Tour as Group Guides.

Also, to all the staff at the Causeway Coast Holiday Park and the Hospitality Marquee.

Big thanks also to Emma-Jayne Anderson & Shanice Wilson for dealing with the Ferries & Cabin Bookings.  

Liz Hunt & Marta Kolanko - Corporate Wear Embroidery Knights Tailoring for making our T Shirts & Hoodies. 

Plus, a Big Shout Out to Cathal Cunning who is one of the many great links in the chain.

And Not forgetting Joyce & Billy for Race day Hospitality which was absolutely immense.

But most of all !!!!!!!! All the Tourers for joining me on this Adventure, without you it wouldn’t happen at all.





Tour Packages

2020 North West 200 Road Racing Tour.


Why not grab a place on this Epic Adventure, there are limited places available.  

2020 Highland Rider North West 200 Road Racing Tour. 

Be a part off the Biggest Motorbike Touring Group that attends The North West 200 Road Racing Event. 

Tour Date - 10th - 17th May 2020. 

To give you an idea of what is on offer with every package, and how it all works; please read the information below. All Packages can be paid up in Manageable Monthly Instalments (MMI’s). 

Tour Capacity - 4People Places 

Places Remaining - Full

Groups Sizes - There will be only 11 People in each Group, plus 1 Guide allocated for the duration of your Tour. 

Rider + Bike Prices - 

Rider – Option 1 (Cairnryan - Belfast) Return Crossing – Deposit of £100 in August with 6 monthly instalments of £55. 

Rider – Option 2 (Cairnryan - Belfast) Outbound – (Belfast - Birkenhead) Return – Deposit of £100 in August with 6 monthly instalments of £60. 

Rider – Option 3 (Birkenhead - Belfast) Return Crossing – Deposit of £100 in August with 6 monthly instalments of £65.  

Rider – Option 4 (Holyhead - Dublin) Return Crossing – Deposit of £100 in August with 6 monthly instalments of £60.  

Pillion – Option 5 (Cairnryan - Belfast) Return Crossing – Deposit of £100 in August with 6 monthly instalments of £40. 

Pillion – Option 6 (Cairnryan - Belfast) Outbound – (Belfast - Birkenhead) Return - Deposit of £100 in August with 6 monthly instalments of £45. 

Pillion – Option 7 (Birkenhead - Belfast) Return Crossing – Deposit of £100 in August with 6 monthly instalments of £50.  

Pillion – Option 8 (Holyhead - Dublin) Return Crossing – Deposit of £100 in August with 6 monthly instalments of £45.  

You can also mix and match the packages - IE: Cairnryan Outbound, Birkenhead Return. 

Holyhead Outbound, Birkenhead Return. 

Birkenhead Outbound, Holyhead Return.  

Anything you need to happen, can happen.  

Each Package includes the following - 

1. 7 x Nights Self Catering Stay at The Causeway Coast Holiday Park Apartments, in the picturesque Town of Ballycastle. This is based on 4 x People sharing each Apartment.  

Couples will get their own Double Room within each Apartment, and another 2 people will have the Twin or Triple Room.  

If it's 4 x Single Solo Riders then it's 3 people in a Triple Room and 1 person in a Double Room.  

Towels and Bedding are supplied, plus there are Self-Catering Facilities which include Wall Mounted Digital TV, Cooker, Microwave, Toaster, Fridge, Crockery, Pots, Pans, Knives & Forks. 

2. Ferry Crossings from

Options 1 & 5 - Cairnryan to Belfast Return.

Options 2 & 6 - Cairnryan to Belfast Outbound - Belfast to Birkenhead Return.

Options 3 & 7 - Birkenhead to Belfast Return. 

Options 4 & 8 - Holyhead to Dublin Return. 

3. Guided Individual Group Familiarisation Ride Out and Orientation of the North West 200 Race Circuit and Surrounding Area, followed by a Visit to the Giants Causeway.  

4. Evening Meal on Monday Evening as a Complete Tour Group at a Local Venue, after a Free Paddock Visit. This will Include a Complete Tour Group Photo on the North West 200 Winners Podium.  

5. A Guided Local Sightseeing Day Trip to The Dark Hedges (Game of Thrones), Armoy Race Circuit, Joey & Robert Dunlop's Memorial Gardens and the Famous Joey's Bar. Followed by a Graveside Visit to Joey, Robert & William Dunlop.  

6. Evening Barbecue & Social Gathering with 2 x Alcoholic or Soft Drinks per person. 

7. A Free Fully Personalised Embroidered Highland Rider Motorbike Tours 2020 North West 200 Road Racing Tour T Shirt. 

8. Riders or Pillions can also volunteer to act as Race Track Marshal’s for The North West 200 Practice, Qualifying or Race Days.  

9. Guided Day Trip on Friday to Culdaff (Donegal) or you might fancy a Sightseeing Tour to other Proposed Places of Interest.  

10. 1 x Free Entry Number for The Highland Rider Motorbike Tours Christmas Raffle, where one Tourer will win £350 off their chosen tour package as a Rider or a Pillion.  

The Christmas Raffle takes place on the 24th December at 8pm, this will be a Live Video Post on the Highland Rider Motorbike Tours Facebook Group Page. To pick a Winning Tourer. 

11. Rider Down Medical Tutorial Course will also take place Free of Charge for all Tour Members, this will be part off the Daily Activities and will take place on Wednesday late afternoon.  

12. Most importantly you can watch and be entertained by The Road Warriors doing battle through the local Towns of Portrush, Portstewart, Colraine and the adjoining Countryside at speeds in-excess of 200mph.  

Additional Extras that are available -  

Arrival Evening Meal on the Sunday Evening, plus Cooked Breakfasts on Monday, Wednesday & Friday Mornings - £30  

Birkenhead to Belfast Sleeping Cabins with Showers & TV - £30 each way.  

Fully Embroidered Highland Rider Motorbike Tours North West 200 Hoodie = £30 each. 


You won’t get better value for money, I strive for perfection to ensure Bikers get what I myself would expect to receive on a Tour of this magnitude.  

Finally - If you are not Confident or you feel unsure about Riding in a Group of up to 11 Bikes; and at some point whilst on this Tour in a Group of possibly up to 44 Bikes; travelling at the National Speed Limit. Then please give it a serious thought before you Sign Up to this Group Riding Tour.  

I do endeavour to have all 4 Groups filled with Riders of Equal Ability where practically possible. Mentoring can be provided by the Group Guides, if asked for by the less Experienced Riders. This is a Group Tour so all Riders should have the Ability & Confidence to Ride in a Group Safely and Progressively at all Times. 

“I am a Biker, for Bikers” 




Tel - 07976006442 

Email - shuggie@highlandrider.co.uk 

Website - highlandrider.co.uk/ 

Facebook - Highland Rider Motorbike Tours. 


Armoy Road Racing Tour.


Armoy Road Races

The Race of Legends

Friday 26th & Saturday 27th July 2019. 

Ulster GP Road Racing Tour.

Ulster GP

This year’s Ulster GP Road Racing will be held on the 8th & 10th August. 

Four Ulster GP races are again scheduled for Thursday 8th August, including the first of the meeting’s three Superbike races, plus Supersport, Ultralightweight/Lightweight and Supertwins classes.

Seven races will run on Saturday 10th August including; Superstock, Supersport, Ultralightweight/Lightweight, Superbike, Supersport, Supertwins and Superbike.

Bike Week starts on 5th August, with practice sessions for all classes two days later on Wednesday 7th August and on the morning of Thursday 8th August, before the race programme begins.

Welcoming the announcement, star of the 2018 MCE Insurance UGP and Man of the Meeting, Peter Hickman, who romped to easy victories in both the 600 and superbike races said: “I’m already looking forward to racing back at the Ulster GP, it’s one of the best circuits on earth!”

The number of newcomers at the meeting will again be restricted this year and Superbike, Superstock, and Supersport races will only be open to international licence holders with national licence holders eligible to compete in the other classes.

Clerk of the Course Noel Johnston said: “My key message for everyone, but specifically newcomers, is that Dundrod is an extremely fast and technical circuit which must be treated with respect, and that means doing a serious amount of groundwork before taking your place on the grid.

“Unfortunately, in 2018 we had less than perfect weather conditions and had to delay and abandon some of the races on the Saturday. We were gutted for the fans and all the teams and riders that had travelled over for the event, it was very unfortunate after all the hard work that had been put into the event.

“With that said, we are looking forward to welcoming the tens of thousands of motorcycling fans from across the globe, that will descend on Dundrod for the 2019 UGP Bike Week.

“It’s always close racing and the track is a firm favourite among fans and riders alike, but there is so much more to enjoy during Bike Week, as it is five days packed with full of entertainment and activities for all road Racing fans. 

“I will be posting a package to this website in the next few weeks – the perfect gift, for a racing fan or just someone who would love to sample the legendary Dundrod atmosphere. It’s not to be missed.”

North West 200 Tour Administration Instruction.


Highland Rider Motorbike Tours

North West 200 Road Racing Tour Administration Instruction.  


Dates - 10th May – 17th May 2020.  


Highland Riders you will all be departing for a week’s Motorbike Road Racing Tour in the beautiful North West Coast of Northern Ireland.   We will visit many different and interesting places during the tour and be accommodated in the picturesque town of Ballycastle; on the Northwest Coast, approximately 18 miles from the Triangle Race Circuit.  I will ensure that everyone experiences some of the many different local traditions & also get to see plenty of the breath-taking scenery that the country has to offer.  You will also undoubtedly experience heart stopping, breath-taking, up close and personal Road Racing, & ride some fantastic routes on the many different & spectacular country roads which we will be navigating.  Most importantly, I want you all to enjoy this Epic Adventure, have fun, make new friends and ride safe throughout the week.  




All riders & pillions must take with them their full, current (in-date) Photo Card Driving Licence or another type of photo ID. (e.g. – Passport) for the Ferry.  There will be a document check to conform with the security regulations prior to our entrance at the outbound ferry ports.  

Those from the Midlands & Further South will be meeting and starting the tour from Keele Services M6 Northbound between Junction 15 & 16, on Sunday the 12th May 2019.  

Riders are requested to be there no later than 0700hrs, with a full tank of fuel.  This can be done prior to heading to the start point or at the services on arrival.  

Those heading to Stranraer for Option 1 or 2 the day before and staying at The Arkhouse Inn will meet Shuggie on the way there, or on arrival at the overnight accommodation in the town centre of Stranraer.  this will be after travelling under your own pre-arranged group ride-outs.  


The Birkenhead Group will be leaving from Keele Services under the guidance of Rik Hughes, or indeed you can make your own way to the Stena Ferry Port Entrance and await the arrival of the Main Birkenhead Group.  


The Scotland Group will be met by Shuggie on route to Stranraer at the pre-arranged meeting points.  

This Group will consist of the following people; 

This group will also meet any riders who make their way to Stranraer on the Sunday at Morrisons at around 1300hrs, 




The cost of The Northwest 200 Road Racing Tour is self-funding for the duration of the 7 days.  Please ensure you have adequate spending money, and you know what the fuel tank range is on your motorbike.  We will be stopping regularly for fuel & rest breaks especially on the first & final leg to and from Northern Ireland.  

There will be a meal laid on for everyone who has requested one on arrival at Ballycastle, plus 3 Morning Breakfasts on Monday, Wednesday & Friday.   On Monday evening the whole Tour will dine at the VIP Hospitality Marquee plus we will have a Barbecue on the Wednesday evening after The Guided Day Trip with your Group Guides.  


The remainder of the Tour will be self-catering within your designated apartments.  Those of you who fancy going to Donegal or Southern Ireland under your own arrangements throughout the week should take a minimum of 20 Euros to purchase some refreshments or emergency fuel whilst you are over there.  


Ferry Details 


Stena Line 

12/05/19 Birkenhead to Belfast @ 1030hrs 

19/05/19 Belfast to Birkenhead @ 1030hrs 


Check-In opens 2 hours before departure and will close 1 hour before Departure.  


12/05/19 Cairnryan to Belfast @ 1530hrs 

13/05/19 Cairnryan to Belfast @ 0730hrs (Paul Malcolm, Keirin Kellas, Tony Dean) 

19/05/19 Belfast to Cairnryan @ 1130hrs 


Check-In at Cairnryan 60 minutes before departure with Stena Line, not P&O Ferries.  The reference numbers will be with the Guides at the ports and used once everyone has arrived there safely.  


Accommodation Details 


Causeway Coast Holiday Park 

21 Clare Road 


BT54 6DB. 


Arrive – 12th May 2019 

Depart – 19th May 2019 

7 x nights – 11 x 4 bed apartments & 1 x 1 Bed apartment. 

Booking Reference Number – Held by Shuggie. 


Pre-Tour Overnight Accommodation 


B&B for the 11th May 2019, includes Evening Meal & Breakfast, £35 Per Person. 

The Arkhouse Inn 

19 Church Street 


DG9 7JG 

Tel - 01776 703161 


Clothing and Equipment 


I would like to think we are all experienced Bikers and I am confident that we will all wear sensible protective clothing when on our bikes.  Waterproofs should be carried if not being worn. You should all be in possession of an emergency fluorescent jacket for the tour duration, which should be worn if there is poor visibility during any early morning departures or if you experience a breakdown.  Please ensure one is carried in your Luggage. 

Also, ensure you have adequate civilian clothing to change into at night which will include a Highland Rider Motorbike Tours 2019 North West 200 Tour T Shirt; these must be worn at the VIP Hospitality Meal, The Barbecue & at The Podium Photo.  You will be reminded by the guides before these events take place.  

Jeans and Trainers / Shoes should be taken if you wish to visit any Bars; there is a bar within the Holiday Park that is very good but closes at 2230hrs for the comfort of the other holiday makers on site.  This also ensures Riders are fit in the Morning to go on the various activities that are organised for you, and you are not under the influence of alcohol which would result in you being left behind for that day.  

Tracksuit Bottoms, Soft Shoes / Slippers, Spare T-shirts, Underwear, Socks, Showering Kit and a Towel should also be taken.  If you think of anything else which will benefit you then take it.  Just remember you WILL NOT require loads of clothing, as you will be in Biking Gear all day, every day.  


Pre-Tour Checks 


All riders please ensure that you take all reasonable precautions to ensure that your bike is 100% roadworthy.  Tyres, wheel bearings, chains & sprockets, fork seals, brakes and cables, lights, all bulbs, nuts and bolts, should be in good order.  Please ensure you carry a spare bulb with you for your headlight, sidelight and tail-light.  

All bikes must be MOT’d, taxed & insured.  If you get pulled by the police for not having any of these then we will have no choice but to leave you behind, which I really don’t want to happen.  The garages are expensive where we are going due to the nature of the event and will charge a lot of money for a small item.  It is going to be around 1200 miles, and probably a bit more by the time we veer off our original routes to explore the Counties during the Tour.  All riders should carry a small tool kit and some Motorbike Chain Lube. 


Breakdown Procedure 


All riders are to ensure they have RAC, AA or Equivalent breakdown cover in place.  If this is included in your insurance policy or bank accounts, then please phone and check that you are fully covered in Northern Ireland prior to the tour departure date.  It has been very expensive in the past for riders who did not check this and will be a very expensive tour should you not have the appropriate recovery in place, should you require to use it. 




All riders need to be extremely vigilant whilst group riding, it is paramount that we all keep within our limitations, ensuring we do not put any other riders in direct danger.  Please refrain from lifting your front wheel off the ground at any time whilst on this tour or riding to close to other bikes when we are out as a group; if any of these 2 golden rules are broken it will result in you being excluded from group riding.  You need to remain very vigilant and be aware of the other bikers around you, we will be employing the 2nd man drop off system throughout the duration of the tour.  This will be explained in detail by your group guides and must be adhered to when on group ride outs.  Accidents can happen very quickly and the last thing we need is dangerous manoeuvres by individuals that costs someone their life.  If anything sticks with you then please make it this paragraph.




We will have riders who are medically trained on the tour.  However, try carrying a small medical pack with you throughout the duration.  I will have your Next of Kin contact name & telephone number which hopefully we won’t require to use.  This will be destroyed once the tour is finished.




This is an opportunity that doesn’t come along very often for the price you have paid, so I would like you all to grab every opportunity that is offered to you.  Please make the most of every mile whilst on this Epic Adventure.  Take your cameras, mobile phones and make some fantastic memories to share with your families once you return home safely.  You are also asked to share them on The Highland Rider Motorbike Tours Facebook Group Page and show everyone what they are missing.  I am confident this will be a great adventure, providing you all with many happy, fun filled memories. 

Finally, I thank you all for the choosing to join The Highland Rider Motorbike Tours 2019 North West 200 Road Racing Tour. 


“There are No Strangers on Tour,

Only Friends you have yet to Meet” 


“Driving is a Journey; 

Riding is an Adventure” 

The Scottish Highlands Tour

Highland Rider Scotland Motorbike Tour 

22nd – 29th June 2013. 

One Vision, 11 Bikers, 1585 Miles 

The Original Highland Riders Were

Shuggie Hoskins, Paul Woodcock, Jim Wood, 

Jack Gooding, Chris Flynn, Steve Ball, 

Graham Shakespeare, Davie McCartney, 

Andrew Purves, IanDinnel, Kevin Mackie. 

Late November; I had a vision -

“To Tour Scotland on My Motorbike”. 

On Saturday the 22nd June 

7 Bikers met at Stafford“Highland Rider” was finally happening.  We headed north to junction 44 & met another 4 Riders. 11 Bikers had made it to what was going to be a memorable adventure. 

Once handshakes and introductions were done we headed off towards Edinburgh on the A7, stopping at Selkirk where met Simon Shiel, who runs the Heatherlie Hotel had very kindly put on refreshments. It was a welcome stop By the way, Simon also offers any Biker a 50% discount to stay at the Heatherlie Hotel - Tel: 0175021200.  

We then headed to Dreghorn in Edinburgh, which is home of 1 Scots, obtained our bed spaces and headed to the Mess for some more refreshments and a meeting with an old friend of mine Brigadier (Retd) Allan Alstead CBE DL, who has taken an avid interest in the tour since the organising phase began. 

All riders wore their Highland Rider Polo Shirts which we had specially made for the trip.   “They look very smart indeed” - the Brigadier’s words not mine. 

It was a relaxed & enjoyable atmosphere. The Brigadier stayed for an hour and after a group photo he departed giving the riders his best wishes for a safe and successful trip in the days ahead. 

Sunday 23rd June 

After an early rise, we noticed that Andrew had a flat rear tyre; we got a new valve put in, and headed over the Forth Road Bridge towards Perth taking the A93 up to Glenshee Ski Slope. 

All riders doing very well in the tricky weather conditions, where we stopped and had lunch. The weather brightened up, we set off for Balmoral Castle. Kind permission was granted by Garry Marsden (Royal Estate Manager) to allow us access to the castle grounds with our bikes “which is unheard off”! We had a cracking photo in front of Her Majesty’s Scottish holiday home.    

One could say that “The Highland Riders were buzzing louder than their engines”

Then it was on towards Fort George and is the home of 3 Scots. 

We travelled over the Cairngorms and not surprisingly it rained. Fort George didn’t arrive quickly enough, and we were shown to the accommodation and drying rooms. We then settled down for the night. 

Monday 24th June 

At 0700hrs before breakfast we all went for a morning stroll around the Fort George battlements and watched the Dolphins playing in the Moray Firth. We then headed off to Culloden Battlefield, where we stopped for a visit. 

Then headed on the A9 towards Wick stopping occasionally to take in the lovely views and have a chat about what we had seen and done so far. 

We arrived in Wick TA Hall home of 7 Scots where we were met, given the grand tour of our accommodation and obtained a detailed brief of the surrounding area.  After all this we called it a day and went for some food and a beer. 

Tuesday 25th June 

Bikes packed up we headed off at 0900hrs and visited John O’Groats, which isn’t actually the most northerly point of mainland UK. Dunnet Head is; so we went there as well. 

The weather was superb and the sights were breathtaking! Back on the bikes we headed off towards Tongue on the north road. The views were truly spectacular; we had many stops to take in the sights and sounds, there isn’t a lot of traffic or dwellings in this area. 

After a fuel stop we went on through the Grampian Mountains down towards Ullapool. The weather stayed dry, visibility was great and 8 hours after leaving Wick we arrived at the Youth Hostel to settle in for the night. The common room was taken over by the Highland Riders, with fish & chips and a few tins being bought. 

The banter & laughter started and didn’t stop till around 2300hrs, it was getting late and we had a long day ahead tomorrow, so we called it a night. 

Wednesday 26th June 

Leaving early, we set off towards Garloch on our way to Fort William. These roads were perfect for biking, very open with little traffic, again there was fantastic scenery the bikes sounded awesome and the miles were flying past. 

Before we knew it we pulled up at Garloch and had some long awaited breakfast. Then all too quickly we headed off to the Isle of Skye. 

On our way we pulled up at some road works. The camber of the road was left to right, so left foot down and lean the bike into it. 

Chris decided to use his right foot and his bike tipped over, the next thing he was rolling down the hill as if he had just been shot. 

There was no damage to him or the bike so we laughed and Chris became the focal point of our jokes for the rest of the day. You can’t beat good biker banter. 

We continued to the Isle of Skye, then onwards to Fort William and a visit to the Ben Nevis Whiskey Distillery courtesy of the Distillery Manager Colin Ross. After the lads enjoyed an education and a very small dram we left heading to our accommodation, The Farr Cottage, Tel: 01397 777315. We were met by Cliff and Kirsty who gave us the run down on the place. 

It was the same routine, sort out our admin, get some food and then have a night at the onsite bar which became another night of laughter and jokes poked at Chris for dropping his bike. 

We had a lovely night at this accommodation very clean, cheap with plenty of facilities. It is well worth a visit if you’re ever in the area. 

Thursday 27th June 

Later start due to bad weather, we got breakfast and headed off to Glencoe. Not much scenery to take in due to the low cloud base. We continued to Callendar and Doune and visited Sir David Stirling’s Memorial (The founder of the SAS). 

This is a very quiet and sombre place in a remote area, which like the SAS, is mysterious and silent. 

After this we headed to the Sir William Wallace Monument just outside Stirling, and were given free passes.  At the top with bikers out of breath, we then had to climb up the inside of the monument to see the outstanding 360 degree panoramic view of Stirling and Bannockburn. 

With this done we headed to Stirling Castle and then onto Edinburgh via the Kincardine Bridge into Fife and back over the Forth Road Bridge. 

Our destination was Glencorse Penicuik, the home of 2 Scots. We were shown to our accommodation, got showered, changed and headed for some long awaited dinner and a beer. 

Friday 28th June 

Early breakfast brought our departure time forward and we headed down the A70 towards Ayr. It was clear to see the difference in the countryside. Gone were the mountains and spectacular scenery, it was rolling countryside and roads which had a lot more traffic. We travelled, to The Robert Burns’ Museum gaining free entry and the lads enjoyed an in-depth education about “The Bard”. We visited his cottage which is still kitted out with old fashioned artefacts’. 

As we headed back to the main museum we were greeted by the sound of bagpipes. It was a wedding party arriving at the Brig O’ Doon Church, we all stopped to listen and watch the piper doing his bit which entertained us all for ten minutes. 

Then it was a thank you to the staff for the visit, before weheaded for Dumfries down the A76. After an hour and a bit we arrived at Dumfries TA Hall, home of 6 Scots and got sorted out into our room for the night. 

After a shower, it was on with our Highland Rider Polo Shirts and off down town for a dinner and a beer or two in the 'Hole in The Wa' pub which is said was well frequented by Robert Burns himself. 

“Whas’ Like Us?” Naebody at Awe!  

Saturday 29th June 

Morale didn’t quite seem the same this morning, all riders seemed very quiet and a bit nostalgic - oh yes, we were heading home! 

The tour was nearly over, albeit we were starting our journey southwards. We had about 220 miles of motorway riding to cover; we left Dumfries and headed along the A75 onto the M74, then the M6 southbound stopping at Junction 40 Penrith for breakfast and fuel. We caught up with Chris Flynn’s son, Shayle and A friend of mine Chris Hallam, who had both arranged to meet us to hear about our adventure. 

After breakfast and a long string of stories with farewells said, we got on our way and started the long road home. Our adventure was over; the Riders all had a fantastic tour and in true military style bonded with each other and worked as a team throughout our memorable adventure. 

It might be over, but the memories will live with us all forever, as will the new bonds of friendship that have been made by us all. 

We will always be the “Highland Riders”.   A very special word of thanks to all the units which I have mentioned, for their support, hospitality and friendship. 

Shuggie Hoskins 

Highland Rider Motorbike Tours. 

Balmoral Castle, Royal Deeside.
Balmoral Castle, Royal Deeside.

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Highland Rider Motorbike Tours

St. Andrews, Fife, Scotland, United Kingdom


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