B6255, Yorkshire Dales, UK

This Great Road was initially published in issue 77 of Total 911.

This month’s great road could easily be summarised in one sentence; you should drive the B6255 because it is a glorious ribbon of Tarmac, weaving through some classic Yorkshire landscape.

To dismiss it in that staccato manner does it an injustice, though. Sure, it is a suitable quarry for driving as a pleasure in itself, but don’t be one of the many who thrash it and head back home; drive a section, pull up and take time to look around. To do so, my fellow driving enthusiast, is to discover the joy of the wonderful B6255.

Linking the village of Ingleton in the southwest end and Hawes in the opposite direction, it’s 16 miles of blacktop chiselled through some of Yorkshire’s finest scenery. Ingleborough – Yorkshire’s second highest peak – and Gaping Gill – one of the best-known potholes in Britain – are alongside the route.

For the little boy in everyone, the Ribblehead Viaduct is visible from a long section of the route; a Mecca for railway enthusiasts.

But enough of the nature notes. The road is driveable perfectly easily from either end – neither is better – but we’ll start from Ingleton, where the view opens after the village ends. The flat peak of Ingleborough is on your right above the road, and on the left a neat curve in the valley allows space for the River Doe to hold your passenger’s attention between Twistleton Scars rising behind.

LOCATION: Ingleton to Hawes, Yorkshire Dales

LATITUDE: N54.15051 W2.47041

LENGTH OF DRIVE: 16.5 miles

POINTS OF INTEREST:
Ingleton hill
Ribblehead Viaduct
Aysgarth Falls
Nature reserves
Hawes village
Wensleydale Creamery, Hawes

FOOD AND ACCOMMODATION:
Stone House Hotel, Hawes
www.stonehousehotel.co.uk

Fair View House Bed and Breakfast
www.fairview-hawes.co.uk

The road surface is mainly good and certainly nothing to test a Porsche 911 of any age. Long sections with half-mile long views, punctured by alternating snaking bends broadly characterise the route, and means virtually all third-gear-plus in a 911, using the whole rev range from one apex to the next. The viaduct slowly presents itself after some nice long straights a few miles in. As a piece of engineering, it is definitely worthy of a pause to investigate.

After the Ribblehead Viaduct, the road gets a little twistier, allowing more in the way of apex practice. Sight lines are still superb, meaning the whole road could be utilised in places for that mythical perfect line we all crave to find for every road. Some changes in altitude make for fun blasts between bends alongside the characteristic stone walls.

Descending towards another Yorkshire Dale – Wensleydale (yes, that of the famous white cheese, made in Hawes itself) – we always enjoy the small bridge over the river at Snaizeholme; a lovely little right-and-left ricochet that is a delight in a 911, where the various brake/turn/power inputs each take their turn to show off the vehicle’s unique character. In a 2.2-litre 911S or a 997 GTS, the hit is the same.

Too quickly, though, the end point of Hawes appears. Stop, eat and take some time to look around a quaint Yorkshire village; so very different from modern city life. Last time we were there, the petrol station still had a pump attendant – quite the novelty and a bit of fun to experience.

So there we are, the B6255. A great road to drive but, unlike a racetrack, don’t just turn up and thrash it. Drive a bit, stop for a bit. Look around and go for a stroll. Appreciate the fact such a great road could be built in such great scenery, instead of next to a glorified industrial estate in Northampton.



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