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Best motor route across Pennines?

Calgary
Level Contributor
46 posts
83 reviews
Best motor route across Pennines?

Our planned trip next spring involves a week in Northumbria and the next week in Wales. We already have good intineraries for those locations. We will use a full day to drive between the two (north to south) at a leisurely pace. Looking for recommendations on the most scenic route to cross the Pennines / North Yorkshire OR one which contains one or two interesting stopping points (villages, features, castles, churches, etc.).

Thank you.

Jerry in Calgary, AB

Yorkshire Dales...
Destination Expert
for North Yorkshire, Suffolk
Level Contributor
3,817 posts
92 reviews
1. Re: Best motor route across Pennines?

Where exactly are you leaving from?

Calgary
Level Contributor
46 posts
83 reviews
2. Re: Best motor route across Pennines?

Probably Alnwick to Conway though we don't have any bookings yet. Certainly those general regions. Forgot to mention that we will be staying 4 nights in the York region as well before heading up to Alnwick so we will be catching the attractions with short day trips and loops from there.

Jerry

Edited: 11:41 am, November 13, 2012
Durham, United...
Level Contributor
309 posts
102 reviews
3. Re: Best motor route across Pennines?

The quickest route would be to follow motorways most of the way, so the A1(M) and M62 but it isn't very scenic. A more leisurely scenic route is to follow the A69 westwards along the Tyne Valley then join the A686 through Alston and across Hartside Pass to link up with the southbound M6 near Penrith. The AA Route Planner is a useful tool http://www.theaa.com/route-planner/index.jsp

If you haven't seen it already during your time in Northumberland you could visit Hadrian's Wall on the way. Alston is the highest market town in England so there are some great views as you cross the pass. When you get to Penrith you are within easy reach of the Lake District which offers more wonderful scenery.

Tonbridge, United...
Level Contributor
834 posts
220 reviews
4. Re: Best motor route across Pennines?

I used to live in Harrogate and went to university in Lancaster.

Harrogate is lovely in its own right (convenient from York)

I love the drive and the views between the two going via Skipton and Settle which are also worth a visit.

Google maps of route: http://goo.gl/maps/DK9z3

You can join the M6 near Lancaster and then head on to Conwy which would take a further 2.5 hours.

London
Level Contributor
12,153 posts
68 reviews
5. Re: Best motor route across Pennines?

Given that you said “full day” and “leisurely pace”, can I take you a little further off the beaten track? This suggestion is absolutely not the most direct or fastest route - but takes in some really interesting places.

Start the adventure at Corbridge - a pretty market town with Roman history.

Head south onto the moors on the B6307 then B6306

Stop at Blanchland - a “model village”.

Continue south across the moors on B6278

Pass through Stanhope. Mining history.

South again on B6278

Stop at Barnard Castle - fine market town. Do see the Bowes Museum - you’ll suddenly think you’re in the heart of France.

Head south east to Richmond - another fine market town.

Then south west to Reeth and drive along Swaledale through Muker.

Then cut left onto the “interesting” minor road over Buttertubs Pass.

Through Hawes - pretty little village.

Southwest again on the B6255 - take in the flat topped hills around you (limestone pavement if you’re into geography)

Pass under Ribblehead viaduct (Settle and Carlisle rail line - one of the most scenic there is). A magnificent structure - that took the lives of many of the navvies who built it due to smallpox and accidents.

Follow the B road - passing between the peaks of Whernside and Ingleborough.

End the trans-pennine adventure at the village of Ingleton.

Then take the A687 / A683 to Lancaster. Stop here if you’ve got time, a fine old city.

From here, use the M6 motorway to cut through the densely populated mass of Lancashire and cut across to Wales after Warrington.

Calgary
Level Contributor
46 posts
83 reviews
6. Re: Best motor route across Pennines?

Thank you to all for your suggestions. We already had Skipton and Harrowgate as a day trip from York and Hadrians Wall as a day trip from Alnwick. Per one of the suggestions, I had zoomed in on Settle with Google and liked the idea of driving through there. I was figuring out how to drop down there from the north with possibility of exiting the M1 at Scotch Corner when the off beaten track suggestion came through. I really like it and it is the kind of travel we like to do on back roads where possible. We will probably encorporate most of that route as time allows unless others come through with better suggestions.

Thanks again. Jerry

London, United...
Level Contributor
33,490 posts
78 reviews
7. Re: Best motor route across Pennines?

Instead of Lancaster after Ingleton, head south through the lovely village of Clapham, then southwest over the moors to the Forest of Bowland, making for the Inn at Whitewell. You will not be disappointed.

Then continue the back roads to the A59, and join the M1 at junction 31.

Yorkshire Dales...
Destination Expert
for North Yorkshire, Suffolk
Level Contributor
3,817 posts
92 reviews
8. Re: Best motor route across Pennines?

Some good suggestions above. Hawes is a busy, bustling market town rather than little village. It has the famous Wensleydale creamery there where you can do a tour or just buy the cheese.

http://www.wensleydale.co.uk/

Are you sorted with your day trips from York? I see you have pencilled in Skipton and Harrogate (note spelling). Have to say I am not keen on Skipton but you might have specific reasons for wanting to go there. It all depends on your specifi interests of course, but favourite day trips from York often include -

1) Castle Howard

2) Fountains Abbey (World Heritage Site) and Studley Royal Water Gardens

3) The North Yorkshire coast especially Whitby and Robin Hood's Bay

4) A tour of the Yorkshire Dales (Skipton is NOT in the Dales), including Jervaulx, Bolton Castle etc

5) A tour of the North Yorkshire Moors - incorporating Rievaulx Abbey and Helmsley

6) North Yorks Moors Railway

UK
Destination Expert
for Chester
Level Contributor
4,075 posts
16 reviews
9. Re: Best motor route across Pennines?

Peterscot....Surely you mean join the M6 at J31? Heading for the M1 will take them back over the Pennines into Yorkshire.......

London, United...
Level Contributor
33,490 posts
78 reviews
10. Re: Best motor route across Pennines?

Doh! Sorry. Yes, M6. Thanks chesterbuff