Great Drives in the Yorkshire Dales: Thwaite to Hawes, via the Buttertubs Pass
Length: 6.8 miles
Time: 17 minutes
Start Point: Thwaite
End Point: Hawes
Thwaite to Hawes, via the Buttertubs Pass is one of the shorter but truly rewarding drives in North Yorkshire. Not only it was featured as one of the two ‘King of the Mountains’ climbs in Stage One of the Tour de France in 2014 but it was also named “England’s only truly spectacular road” by Jeremy Clarkson.
This drive gives you everything you need from a great driving experience: rapid descents, stunning views, steep climbs and scary sharp corners.
Thwaite to Hawes
Starting in Thwaite, just off the main road B6270, head south and take the right turn to Cliff Gate Road. You will start climbing sharply over the first mile or two.
Once you reach the peak of the cliff, great visibility and some really spectacular views will start to appear. You will want to stop to appreciate the breath-taking scenery. Don’t let the sudden drops on the side of the road scare you as these are well protected by barriers!
The name Buttertubs Pass is taken from the 20 metre deep limestone potholes which the road passes. 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.
When you decide to continue on with your drive, carry on the Gliff Gate Road through to beautiful village of Hawes. On the way you will pass High Shaw and Simonstone before reaching Hawes.
Hawes is a small market town set 850 feet above sea water, England’s highest! First recorded as a market place in 1307 it is currently one of most popular tourist attractions of the Yorkshire Dales National Park. It is also the home of Wensleydale Creamery, made famous by the Wallace and Grommit films, producing today’s world-famous Yorkshire Wensleydale Cheese.
Hawes is definitely worth visiting after the picturesque drive, the town has plenty of choice for shops, cafes, hotels and pubs.
Picture by Karol Gajewski