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Visit the Dales


Buttertubs Pass

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.

More recently Buttertubs Pass featured as the second King of the Mountains climb of the 2014 Grand Depart of the Tour de France. The German rider, Jens Voigt, was first over the top and went on to secure the opening polka dot jersey of the Tour. It continues to be a really popular climb for cyclists to come and test themselves on - you can find suggested cycle rides and many other great climbs on our cyclethedales website.

Cycle The Dales

This website has great routes to enjoy the quiet roads of the Dales, from flat valley meanders to Tour de France climbs.

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