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Registered 2006 SLK350
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284 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
So I have an app on my phone called 'Ultimate Drives' and I have finally got round to using this as a basis for a road trip. After being stuck at home due to Covid like everyone for months, I finally had a Monday and Tuesday off to go ahead on my own and this is where I went.

Day 1 Part 1
Made my way from Home in West Yorkshire up to Kendal to hit the first route they suggest 'A blast across the dales'.
This is the A684. Coming out of Kendal the road is narrow and twisty as you go into the Yorkshire Dales National Park.
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You have to be aware of the occasional truck taking up the road on a corner, or the sheep in the road.
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When you drop down in to the valley the road opens and a few things to spot. The Viaduct, the old AA call box, and I even saw my first red squirrel running across the road through Garside.
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After having a nice breakfast at a pub in Aysgarth,
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I finished at Aysgarth falls.
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Very enjoyable road with some great views. I will be happy to drive again. Really got me warmed up for the rest of the day. The weather can change around here quite quickly. Sunny start, then overcast. Still dry enough for the roof down.

From here I headed back down the A684 to the Village of Hawes which I had driven through so I could take on part 2.
 

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Super Moderator CA 2012 SLK55 AMG w/P30
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14,211 Posts
Note: Ultimate Drives App is for Europe and US (not Canada BUT it can take you from your location in Canada on various US routes--crossing the border is problematic at this time due to covid) (y)

It looks like routes can be saved (not dependent on data while on road but some have reported issues) and it is an app that I really am glad you found for us 😁
 
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Registered 2006 SLK350
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284 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Part 2. The Buttertub Pass.
Now I had completed this road about 3 weeks previously with a few other SLKWorld members but the weather was shocking that Sunday as I really did not take much notice, let alone see anything except the driving rain. Today was thankfully different but I had to put the roof up because the weather can change very quickly and I did get a few showers on the way up.
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Not many places for me to stop for photos i'm afraid.
A little quote from the app for this road sums it up well

"When describing the Buttertubs Pass, none other than Mr Jeremy Clarkson of BBC’s Top Gear has been quoted as stating [it is] “…England’s only truly spectacular road”. A regular feature on best driving roads in the UK, rising to an altitude of 526 metres above sea level and with a leg of the Tour de France Grand Depart in its recent history (2014), this road is rightfully famed for its steep gradients, fast descents and ample number of technically challenging twisting sections. The road surface is well maintained and the road wide enough for two cars to pass throughout. However the undulating terrain requires much attention from the driver and this road should not be taken lightly.

It really is enjoyable, not a road to race up and some of the sheer sides make for excellent viewing. I carried on up to Britain's highest pub 'The Tan Hill Inn', I then turned left through Barras to Brough for the start of Part 3.
 

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Registered 2006 SLK350
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284 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Day 1 Part 3 'North South through the Pennines.
Leaving Brough I took the B6276 Up to Middleton in Teesdale. What a great change to the tight twisting Buttertub Pass.
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Getting a good rhythm over this undulating terrain. There was no need for max speed to have tremendous fun.
I then turned left onto the B6277. Traffic was heavier here because a bit of tourism around, but from experience, 'High Force waterfall' is well worth a visit if you are in the area. When I got past here the traffic died down and the road really opened up all the way to Alston
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Next was onto the A686 and then turn off at Whitfield to cross Fellhouse Fell to get to Hadrians Wall.
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You know when you know, the road is beckoning and its gonna be good, the sun comes out as well!
Was a surprisingly steep road down just seeing this view around 1pm gave me a reminder again about what I was hoping to discover from this drive. This road was not actually part of the route they suggested because I was making my way to Brampton and took a wrong turnout of Alston!
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Super Moderator CA 2012 SLK55 AMG w/P30
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Thanks for this travelog. Pics are great (y)
 
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Registered 2006 SLK350
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284 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Day 1 Part 4 'Scotland to England via Hadrians Wall.

Well when I arrived in Brampton I followed the B6318 along Hadrians Wall. If I was on a family holiday there are loads of Roman ruins along this road, which you can see from the road, which I would have stopped to explore, but this is quite a long straight and hilly road, so even though there was a bit of tourist traffic, the was space to open up the 350V6 to overtake 2 or 3 cars at a time.
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At Chollerford I then took the left onto B632 up to Bellingham. This was a nice rolling road through farmland which was a change to the moorland I had gone through for the last few hours. Unfortunately there was a few stretches of roadworks but they vanished when just outside Bellingham I took the unnumbered road to Kielder Water and through Border Forrest Park into Scotland.
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Kielder water is well worth a stop for the break and beauty
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View from the top of the Dam.
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The water was very low, just like every reservoir I had driven past today. There are a number of car parks scattered around the water and some country walks if you want. I did not have the time though as I was aiming to get to my Dad's near Morpeth for my overnight stay so onward.

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After Kielder I carried on till I hit the B6357 towards Jedburgh. This was a very rural and narrow road with passing places. Some of the stretches of road were in really poor condition and some newly relaid (soooo smooth!)

To finish on the outskirts of Jedburgh hit the main A68 south back into England (well got to get the obligatory photos from the parking spot on the border!)
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then the A696 which was also a very enjoyable road, and then I cut across the back roads to Morpeth.
Day 1 completed arriving at 4.30pm.
Drove for 9 hours and 370 miles averaging 26mpg
Day 2 awaits!
 

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Registered 2006 SLK350
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284 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Day 2 started straight down the A19 through the Tyne Tunnel, but unfortunately I hit the rush hour traffic, so no fun in the tunnel. £1.80 toll cost.off to the North Yorkshire Moors National Park.

Part 5 'The Wild Moorland'. This is actually the famous road from the A171 down to Hutton-Le-Hole. There is plenty on the internet about this road with Top Gar being there a few times. Well I got there for 10 am....and there was quite a bit of traffic. Some local but some enjoying the drive, especially the 2 VX220's that were blasting along the opposite way. The traffic was patchy though so I took to enjoying 5 mins of driving, catching up with a que, and then taking a few photos.
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Had to keep an eye out for walkers and sheep though!
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Absolutely terrific scenery with some lovely warm sunshine to boot! Arrived in the village of Hutton-Le-Hole. Very quaint. The little stretch from Hutton-Le-Hole to the A170 was great fun as well.


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Then off to Pickering
 

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Registered 2006 SLK350
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284 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Part 6. The A169 Pickering to Whitby.

Well going off the App you are sup post to start from The Black Swan pub. Well I stick the postcode for it into the nav and I get into the very centre of Pickering for the first time. It is not somewhere for cars, If you want to visit Pickering park anywhere but the centre, because there is nowhere to go except streets that narrow! I just bailed and got on the A169 as quickly as I could.
Don't know why I rushed......god this road is heavy with traffic, a major trunk road that even on a Tuesday at 11am, I did 40 mph most of the way along the entire route.

So this is not a Drivers road, to be honest, even if you did this at 6am and was empty, it is quite a straight piece of road so not stimulating to drive, but I will say the scenery was brilliant.
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This is a photo from the Goathland viewing point. You can see RAF Fylingdales radar station on the left. Also when you are coming down the hill into Whitby, again a fantastic view. Keep the caravans and motor-homes on this road, leave the quieter B roads for us to enjoy!

So that was the last of the routes off the app but not the end for me....time for some proper back roads.
 

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Registered 2006 SLK350
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284 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
As soon as I came down into the outskirts of Whitby I took a left and went across the moors, all the way to Stokesley, via the villages of Grosmont,Glaisdale, Danby, Castleton, Commondale, Kildale and Easby. This was a good choice.

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What a mix of roads and terrain (to a point)!

So it started out with tight roads with blind bends, very high hedgerows, then the roads developed into small stretches of single track with passing places, bit of open farmland for the sheep, bit of open moorland, some wide open road :) with some sweeping corners, just a fantastic constantly changing route.
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Had to deal with the occasional sheep ion the road,
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and the walkers around the The Moors National Park Visitors centre outside Danby.
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There is a terrific viewpoint outside Castleton, which is actually on that Hutton-le-Hole route, which I just totally missed before. Huge amount of parking if there are a lot of cars on a day out.

Danby looks like a lovely village for a nosey if you have the time or Castleton, which is slightly larger.
Overall, a fantastic technical route, you are never gonna get much speed up on 80% of this but, it was a lovely change. Glad I never encountered a caravan or motor home along here could have been interesting reversing to find a passing point on the tight section.

When I arrived in Stokesley, I found a pub called The Mill. Had a big cheeseburger and chips. very much needed:love:(y).
 

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Registered 2006 SLK350
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284 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
And the final stretch of my trip, Down to Castle Howard.

Well the Cheeseburger and chips nicely settled, I headded out of Stokesley and I hit the B1257 out through the village of Great Broughton. Clearly this is a road, I think, the bikers enjoy because there is a sigh saying how mant people killed in so many years, and speed camera signs. A little dread comes into my mids wondering what it is like now......

I need not worry....


Its a great route down. For the first half there was an annoying group of 3 cars, stuck behind a 4th doing 40mph. I pulled over for a photo, where this part of the road was very woody, with undulating and a twisty road
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then foot down, caught them up, take another photo
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and another when it opens up to more farmland
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and then into a flat valley where the road got quicker with sweeping turns, until I got to a stretch running down to Rievaulx Abbey, where I had the space to take them all. Then a short burst on the A170, and back onto the B1257 down through a load of little villages till I saw the turn for Castle Howard.

The Howardian Hills where Castle Howard is located, is recognised as an area of outstanding natural beauty in the UK, and after this small drive, is most certainly, somewhere I will come back to, and take my time enjoying the scenery.

The approach to Castle Howard is along a very long, purpose built straight road, designed to impress the gentry of the time. This road narrows every 200-300 meters for different gatehouse type builds, as you can see.
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Unfortunately I had received a call, so from here, went straight home alone the A64 (which really was quite boring after the rest of the trip) finished doing 230 miles on the day, and really glad I had done it.

Hope you enjoyed reading this, and inspires you to either try these routes, download that app (there are a lot of routes across the UK, Europe and USA) and give us details of your trip.
Cheers
Dave
 

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Premium Member 2008 SLK55 AMG "Mabel"
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Excellent thread. Thanks for sharing these routes and photos Dave. (y) :)
 
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Premium Member 2013 SLK55 AMG
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Some great photos there Dave of our old stomping ground, North Yorks and Co. Durham, thanks for the memories.
TonyS
 
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