Buttertubs Pass

Buttertubs Pass is England’s only truly spectacular road

Buttertubs Pass is a mountain pass at an elevation of 528m (1,732ft) above the sea level, located in the Yorkshire Dales, in the historic county of North Yorkshire, England. The climb was rated by Jeremy Clarkson as “England’s only truly spectacular road".

Why is it called Buttertubs Pass?

Set high on the northern part of England, the challenging road to the summit is totally paved. It’s called Cliff Gate Road (B6270 road). There is a tiny car parking area at the summit of the pass. Be careful of the wind as it can be very strong at the summit. The pass is named after the 65-foot-deep fluted limestone potholes just off the road near the summit, formed by the rock face. It is said that farmers would store their butter in these natural holes on hot days on their way to and from the market.

Where does Buttertubs Pass start and finish?

The pass is 8.85km (5.5 miles) long running south-north from Hawes to Thwaite. Traffic is usually light.

How hard is Buttertubs Pass?

Located in the heart of the Yorkshire Dales National Park, the spectacular high mountain road is pretty defiant and drivers need to be wary of a sheer drop of over 400 feet on one side. Watch your speed – some of the winding sections are really challenging. The drive has several sharp bends. The road is very narrow with sheer drops on either side. The climb is pretty steep. The average gradient is 6.5%, with some parts up to 20%. It can become slippery in wet weather. 

Is Buttertubs Pass worth it?

The drive is simply stunning. It’s one of the most exciting drives in the UK. It has everything you need for an amazing driving experience; steep climbs, rapid descents, tight challenging corners and dramatic scenery. It’s tight and twisty, with steep climbs and cuts through some absolutely spectacular scenery. The climb has been featured in the Tour de France race. The road has been featured in Clarkson's Car Years, the BBC's Top Gear series and Wheeler Dealers of Discovery Channel. 


To use information contained on this site is to do so at your own risk. dangerousroads.org is not responsible for the information contained in these pages. The website is for information purposes only and we assume no liability for decisions made as a result of the information provided here. You are still completely responsible for your decisions, your actions, and your safety.