- Portsmouth is a great city to visit these days. We went up the Spinnaker tower, which was a fantastic experience, and gazed over the Solent to the Isle of Wight. The Gunwharf Quays is a really nice shopping centre, with an outlet Fred Perry shop, and lunch overlooking the harbour is hard to beat. Portsmouth Historic Dockyard is a great day out, and reasonably priced considering what’s on offer. Be prepared to spend a whole day looking round the museums, the ships and the amazing HMS Victory (not so much the Mary Rose). Our tip is to get chatting with the serving officers who act as guides on board The Victory, they are an invaluable source of information and anecdotes.
- Abingdon is a interesting market town, with a large, attractive square, we met up with the Oxford Roadrunners here for a rideout.
- The New Forest is a very pretty drive, and the ponies wandering around make for good photo opportunities. They were completely unperturbed by the appearance of a large, smelly, noisy, yellow Vespa.
- Beaulieu National Motor Museum in the heart of the New Forest, is another great day out. They have a few scooter exhibits in the museum, but the range and quality of vehicles on display is truly breathtaking. As entry to Beaulieu is quite expensive, we made the most of it by visiting the house, the Top Gear exhibit and the Secret Army museum, of all which were well worth seeing. The grounds themselves are beautiful, and conveniently viewed from the monorail.
- As West Sussex is the writer’s home county, I would like to say a few words about roads. The A27 is more like a motorway than an ‘A’ road, and is best avoided on two small wheels unless a visit to Arundel is planned. Arundel is a very picturesque town to explore, with a modern castle, a cathedral, lots of antique shops and an RSPB centre. West Sussex does, however, boast the A272, which is a beautiful winding country road, full of lovely villages and interesting things to see en-route.
- East Sussex holds Brighton, the spiritual home of all things Mod. Still a great place to ride around, finding landmarks from Quadrophenia, there’s plenty of parking along the seafront and fish ‘n’ chips on the pier is a must. Shopping (for very small items that can squeeze in your bag) is excellent in Brighton – The Lanes are picturesque cobbled streets lined with quirky shops and street entertainers, and The North Laine is full of vintage shops, and the famous mod outfitters, Jump The Gun. The views from Devil’s Dyke in Hove are fantastic, however there are some challenging hills involved.