A6024, South Yorkshire, UK

This Great Road was initially published in issue 82 of Total 911.

Your stereotypical driving road might well get you from A to B, albeit in a suitably winding manner, but probably will stay rather flat in nature. For a change, this month we offer a road with an added facet – altitude.

Joining the cross Peak District Woodhead Pass, or A628, with the typical northern town of Holmfirth, our great road has to follow the contours of some pretty hostile moorland, not far from the lower edge of the Pennines.

So bleak and mountainous is the locale, a television mast no less is situated on the peak of the moor to serve the local areas – Holme Moss, at 525 metres above sea level.

Holmfirth found fame for a British comedy involving Yorkshire, three old men, an old woman with wrinkled stockings and a cafe; Last Of The Summer Wine.

Written down, that description sounds about as exciting as the series was for its 30-series run, but the location chosen to film many of the scenes was Holmfirth and a great tourist business grew from people visiting the area and location.

It is a quaint place and worth a visit, but can get busy in holiday periods.

The road is perhaps best approached from the south, as the incline offers a little more involvement to work the car against. We start from 242 metres and rise constantly to the summit, up an open-sided valley. We’re on two-lane black top, with scrubland close in to the roadsides.

Location: Holmfirth to Howden, Yorkshire

Latitude: 53:34:17N 1:47:12E

Length of drive: 7.5 miles (12km)

Points of interest:
Derwent Resevoir – the ‘Dambusters’ training ground
Kinder Scout
Sid’s Café

Food and accommodation:
Blue Door Bed and Breakfast

The Butcher’s Arms

As a nod to what the winters can bring, tall marker poles line a good part of the route. The snow must be bad, as there must be a reason for the poles to be over six feet tall.

Sight lines are good, but take note to inspect the road surface, for not only are we rising in altitude, but there are almost constant rises and camber changes to catch out the unwary. Fail to spot one, and you’ll definitely get a car airborne.

A short section of Armco guides us round the top of the valley to the Holme Moss mast, where we can stop and take in the view across the local moors.

On the descent from the summit we get a few nice sharp bends, mixed with sharp altitude changes to make for entertainment, as the last of the open moorland peters out and we come to the village of Holme and a 30mph limit.

It’s a gentle roll the last mile or three to Holmfirth centre, where you can stop and what was once a busy mill town now littered with heritage.

It’s a fun blast rising and falling with the hillside, although the ascents are perhaps more fun than the descents.

If you want to extend the drive, do it north to south and follow the A628 towards Glossop, then take the A52 Snake Pass – the tongue in cheek Oopnorthring we drove with a 997 GT3 RS in issue 70.

All are good roads, passing through some beautiful Peak District scenery.

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