Buttertubs Pass is England’s only truly spectacular road

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

Buttertubs Pass

Where is Buttertubs Pass?

The pass is located in the historic county of North Yorkshire, within the Yorkshire Dales National Park, in the northern part of England.

Why is it called Buttertubs Pass?

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.

Is the Buttertubs Pass paved?

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.

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?

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. The climb has been featured in the Tour de France race.

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 road has been featured in Clarkson's Car Years, the BBC's Top Gear series, and Wheeler Dealers of Discovery Channel.