The Buttertubs Pass in the Yorkshire Dales has been named one of the greatest roads to drive in England by MotorEasy, and while we agree, we would possibly go one step further and argue that it’s the greatest road to drive in England. The road itself has been featured in episodes of Top Gear for the show’s car reviews with Jeremy Clarkson behind the wheel, and it was also used in one of the many shows of Clarkson, Car Years.
Why Is The Road So Good?
The road winds its way through the moorlands and limestone potholes (called buttertubs) and doesn’t only boast twists and turns that a Formula 1 driver would drool over, but views so unlike anything else seen in the UK, you’ll forget you’re in England at all.
The change in elevation turns this road into a must-drive, but beware… one wrong move and you could throw your car through a railing and off the side of the many cliff faces that populate this area. Yorkshire Live describes the road as “steep, narrow, winding and unforgiving”. It’s not a road to drive when icy, that’s for sure.
On top of this, it’s worth looking out for animals that are usually dotted around the roads. Sheep are the highest risk and will sometimes be found in the middle of the road, however will usually watch from the side.
The road stretches six miles and can make for an invigorating and adrenaline-fuelled ten minutes. But as this is a public road, please do obey the speed limits and drive within the limits of you and your car, while thinking about other road users, too. Especially as many other drivers will stop to gaze at the beautiful landscape.
It’s also worth noting that this road is a hotspot for cyclists who also want to experience it on two wheels.
Yorkshire Dales National Park had the following to say about the road:
“There are many high roads and passes in the Yorkshire Dales with fantastic views of the surrounding valleys and fells, but perhaps the best known is Buttertubs Pass.
“This road crosses the high moorland between Wensleydale and Swaledale – from the small market town of Hawes over to the hamlet of Thwaite.
“There are places to pull in at the summit and you can visit the limestone potholes which give the pass its name.
“The story goes that as farmers rested at the top of the climb on a hot day – on route to the market in Hawes – they would lower the butter they had produced for sale into the potholes to keep it cool.”
Where Is Buttertubs Pass?
Check the map below to find directions to the amazing road.