Buttertubs Pass – A Great British Drive

Buttertubs Pass – A Great British Drive

Time to rest the legs and take to the road. Sounds strange me saying that, about a part of the Yorkshire Dales, but Buttertubs Pass, a road from the bottom of Swaledale over the top and down to Wensleydale, demands attention of the wheeled kind. Only 5 and a half miles of road, but even described by Jeremy Clarkson himself as “England’s only truly spectacular road” and that the view at the top makes him slow down, not just because of the drop, but also because the “view is just epic”! I don’t disagree.

P3120069 Buttertubs Pass Buttertubs Pass   A Great British Drive

On a fine day if heading into the Yorkshire Dales from Cumbria I take the time to avoid going all around via motorway and A roads. I set off a few minutes earlier  and take the wonderful scenic route first over the Howgills from Kirkby Stephen down into Swaledale. From here you get the pleasure heading East through Swaledale itself on the B6270. Quite frankly a most scenic drive in itself. Then upon reaching the little village of Thwaite it is time to get ready to turn right, southwards and upwards and onto Buttertubs pass.

P3120009 Buttertubs Pass Buttertubs Pass   A Great British Drive

When I tweeted ‘live’ the picture above, where I stopped a while with a flask and sandwich, I got many replies of where?! Well here is the answer. Part way up Buttertubs Pass, looking back down into Swaledale.

P3120575 Buttertubs Pass Buttertubs Pass   A Great British Drive

The views up, or down the other side into Wensleydale are indeed on the epic side. Of course a fine line occurs between looking around at the gorgeous scenery and keeping an eye on the road as it twists, turns and with steep tight bends.

Then, if heading from north to south you reach the top, and over the brim you get the huge views looking down into Wensleydale, with the unmistakeable sight of Ingleborough standing tall in mid view…

P3120085 Buttertubs Pass Buttertubs Pass   A Great British Drive

The pass is also famed for wheeled journeys of another kind. Cycling! Having driven it a lot myself, I still could not imagine myself cycling up and down it. I tip my hat to them though that enjoy that kind of thing. In fact the Yorkshire Dales is to be Stage One of the 2014 Tour de France and Buttertubs Pass is to be one of the ‘king of the mountain’ climbs on the stage.

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There are a few places to stop and admire the views en route but please be careful to find a spot where you can clear the road. People are being careful of the drops passing by icon smile Buttertubs Pass   A Great British Drive

At the bottom too at the Hawes end you have a wealth of things to see, why even less than half a mile from the ending t junction, to the right, is Hardraw Force.

P3120573 Buttertubs Pass Buttertubs Pass   A Great British Drive

Now then, to answer the origin of the name Buttertubs… Will explain and show in the next post

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About Paul Steele

Founder of BaldHiker.com and avid hiker, climber and trekker. Never liking to sit still and always seeking new adventures around the world. Sharing personal views here and tweeting live via @paul_steele

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6 Responses to "Buttertubs Pass – A Great British Drive"

  1. Diane Dunwell-Hoffman/Jardinami  May 1, 2014 at 14:46

    Lovely photographs of a beautiful terrain! The area appears to resemble my area of Pennsylvania, USA! Thank you so much for sharing!

    Reply
  2. Hamish Healys  March 25, 2014 at 13:13

    Those are awesome shots! They all seem to invite you to get into any car and enjoy a beautiful country ride. Just might do it one of these days.

    Reply
    • Paul Steele  March 29, 2014 at 07:39

      thank you.. is a great drive I assure you :)

      Reply
  3. Kim Christopher  March 18, 2014 at 20:53

    Excellent article and fabulous photos!

    Reply

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