Radical Rally: Coronavirus response & what’s coming in 2021

There’s no getting away from it, we have to mention the dreaded C word. COVID, the pandemic – however you refer to the damn thing – has had a serious impact on the rollout of many anticipated events for Radical Rally. Coronavirus led to a total halt to the two events we had planned, the 2020 Welsh Weekender and the 2020 Grand Tour.

But we’re not ones to look backwards. So, with the successful vaccine rollout, the possibility of immunity passports (in whatever form this takes) and the news that we’re on the brink of herd immunity, while it’s important to consider what’s occurred over the past year, even more importantly it’s time to look forward to what we might be able to achieve in the latter half of 2021.

Why we Cancelled our Events

We’re pretty sure that everyone’s up to speed with why the virus caused the cancellation of most group events over the last 12 months. However, at Radical Rally, Coronavirus gave us additional aspects to consider, over and above those of tourism and hospitality industries that run from a fixed location. 

A lot of complex planning goes into every event we offer. And, of course, our primary concern is the safety and well-being of all who get behind the wheel and head out on a Radical Rally adventure.

Some of the issues we had included:

  • The ever-changing travel risks and restrictions
  • Last minute hotel closures
  • Becoming stranded overseas 
  • Trying to secure hotel bookings was, to put it bluntly, a nightmare
  • Restrictions meant that our minimum tour numbers risked breaking lockdown rules
  • Carrying enough PPE in a supercar was going to be challenging (it’s hard enough to cram in your smalls, let alone boxes of masks, hand sanitizer, gloves etc…)

We thought long and hard about the impact of running our events during the pandemic. We certainly didn’t want to deliver a sub-par event (that’s not what we’re about). So in April 2020 we reluctantly took the decision to cancel all events for the rest of the year.

As the long days of lockdown rolled by, we briefly considered whether or not to plan something for the summer after restrictions were lifted for a while. But international rules weren’t the same as ours and, with hindsight, we’re so glad we made that choice as the R rate was definitely on the rise throughout the UK and Europe during that period.

When it came to the Radical Rally—Coronavirus battle of 2020, we, along with pretty much every other niche tourism/travel provider, had no choice but to throw our towel in the ring…

What’s in Store for 2021?

OK, so enough about the past. What about what we can do going forward?

The Sandbanks to Monaco Grand Tour is still waiting to be confirmed. For those that have signed up or those who’re waiting to do so, we do have the flexibility to move bookings back a little. However, this will be dependent on the lifting of restrictions in the UK and what happens in Europe.

Keep up to date with the very latest on this exciting trip at Sandbanks to Monaco Grand Tour 2021

We’re anticipating that the Welsh Weekender in July will, fingers crossed, go ahead. Thanks to being a wholly UK trip we’re not dependent on overseas virus rates and all the associated issues, such as the anticipated traffic light system regarding countries we can and can’t visit. The mountains of Wales are just waiting for us to explore and we, for one, can’t wait to get out on the road again.

Make sure you’re the first to know when booking is available by signing up for updates at Welsh Weekender 2021

And… Stop Press! We’re also working on a late summer foray to Scotland. Again, as this is within the UK borders we have high hopes that this will be a goer. If you’ve never driven a supercar around the highlands, lochs and mountains of this super country then wow – are there some treats in store for you!

Head to the Radical Rally home page and join our mailing list to be kept in the loop.

The Radical Rally Coronavirus Guarantee

Of course, while we’re all keen to get bookings in the diary and head out on the open road, we want you to know that we’ve got your back should things go, ahem – a bit awry. After the past year we all know that the best laid plans can turn around and bite you in the ass… 

That’s why we’ve put a robust Radical Rally coronavirus guarantee in place. All our 2021 events are fully covered, meaning you can sign up safe in the knowledge that should restrictions come into force you can either get a full refund, transfer your event or postpone your rally for up to 2 years.

Read the full Ts & Cs at Radical Rally COVID guarantee

Image by icsilviu from Pixabay

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When You Can’t Leave The Island: UK lockdown driving destinations

OK, so no-one can say that lockdown is fun. But we all appreciate its necessity and our personal obligations. But as we move into phase 2 of the pandemic planning it’s only natural that we’re starting to think about jumping behind the wheel and hitting the road – just for the hell of it…

Even though there’s been a little relaxing of the rules, we’re certainly not advocating throwing caution to the wind – but there’s nothing wrong with getting prepared. Being as it looks likely that overseas travel is on hold for the foreseeable future, we thought it timely (and morale boosting) to set our sights somewhat closer to home.

So, without further ado, feast your eyes on our ultimate guide to some of the best British drives just waiting to be discovered…

Lockdown Liberation: Corners & bends

There’s something about powering through a corner that brings out the ‘grunt’ in all of us. Information, position, speed, gear, accelerate… it’s all about your ability to process the data as the road unfolds before you and then – pow! Makes us shiver just thinking about it.

We’ve scoured the four nations of the UK to bring you some of the most awesome offerings out there. It’s time to find out just how twisted we really are…

Best British Drives: Can you handle these epic winding thoroughfares? 

  • The Lake District: Hardknott Pass: Not one for the faint hearted (or those without a head for heights) – this is hills and hairpins at their very best. It runs between Eskdale and the Duddon Valley and is at the very heart of this iconic national park. One of the steepest roads in England, this is definitely one for any petrol head’s bucket list. Find out more at Visit Cumbria – Hardknott Pass
  • Wales – Wild Snowdonia: Starting in Portmeirion, follow 70 miles of twisting glory to Porthmadog, Tremadog and onto Rhyd (A498 and B4410). Then had to Ffestiniog via the A487 and A496, before leaving the main road and embracing the isolated curves of the B4391/B4407 to Betws-y-Coed. There’s a brief foray with the A5 before taking the A4086 towards the might of Snowdon and beyond, to finish at the granite delight that is Caernarvon Castle. More info available at Visit Wales.
  • Wales – The Black Mountain Pass: At 23 miles it’s not the longest drive, but oh-boy, does it pack a punch. The tight bends come thick and fast – and the scenery isn’t too shabby either! You can’t get lost – just start in Gwaun-Cae-Gurwen and follow the A4069 to Llandovery. But watch your speed, there’s many a-sneaky cameras along the entire route, plus the indigenous wildlife (AKA sheep!) have a tendency to wander into the road… Visit Wales has more information.
  • Bonny Scotland: Bealach na Bà: The ‘Pass of the Cattle’ is a historical drive, the third highest in Scotland and has the greatest ascent of any road in the UK. Tight hairpins, near 20% inclines… This is truly an awesome route – one that rivals many an alpine road trip in the Alps or further afield. Whet your appetite at Visit Wester-Ross.

Best British Drives: The scenic route

We’re privileged to live in a country that offers some of the most stunning vistas on the planet, and a car is perhaps the ultimate tool by which to explore our little island. And the great thing is that even if you’re more Driving Miss Daisy than Lewis Hamilton, the wonderful UK scenery is just as beautiful, no matter how turbo-charged your journey might be to get there…

Breath-Taking Scenery in our Green and Pleasant Land

  •  Devon – Topsham to Paignton: 120 miles of pure pleasure as you experience remote moorland, plunging cliffs, wild coast and beautiful unspoilt beaches. Much of the route follows the A379, and we highly recommend stopping along the way for a picnic or (when lockdown rules allow) finding a B&B or hotel for a luxury overnight stop. Head to Visit Devon to find out more about the region. 
  • Scotland – The Highland Perthshire Loop: 100 miles of pure bliss stretches ahead as you travel from Highland Council to Aberfeldy, crossing the wilds of the Cairngorms National Park. Complete the drive in half a day or make it your own with a variety of side trip options (Loch Tummel and Pitlochry are must-see locations in which to while away a few hours or days). Check out the route here.
  •  N. Ireland – the Causeway Coastal Route: This stunning drive begins in Londonderry and finishes in Belfast, with 130 miles of incredible landscape along the way. Taking you through no less than three areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, even if you’re only in it for the driving you must, must, must stop and take a walk onto the magnificent Giant’s Causeway. We promise you won’t regret it…  Get inspired at the dedicated Causeway Costal Route website.
  • Yorkshire – Wharfedale Circuit: Yes, we know the ultimate drive in The Dales has to be Buttertubs Pass, but we wanted to highlight another – equally delightful but for different reasons – great British drive. The Wharfedale Circuit takes in castles, abbeys, quintessentially English towns and, it has to be said, some pretty damn fine driving… At just over 26 miles it’ll take around an hour if you do it in a single hit. But we challenge you not to make multiple stops along the way, if only to snap that perfect Insta frame with which to wow your followers…. Check out the route here.

Sometimes there’s almost as much enjoyment in the planning stage. And being as we’re all suffering from cabin fever right now, we’ll grab our pleasures any which way we can… All that remains now is for Boris to give us the go ahead. As soon as that happens? Well, we’ve got one thing to say to you. 

Eat my dust…

Image by Tanja Schulte from Pixabay

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