Driving In The Yorkshire Dales
When you drive professionally for your career it's easy to forget that driving can be fun as well as providing a convenient method of transport. Fun doesn't mean reckless or unsafe, but it can mean driving on challenging roads with the company of like minded individuals developing your own skills in a safe planned environment. One of the advanced driving groups I am a member of runs regular driving days in different locations around the UK, and last weekend we spent a day in Yorkshire driving around the Dales.
Getting there from Bristol is a bit of a hike, so my wife and I spent a couple of evenings staying over at an old Inn (The CB Inn) which provides very comfortable rooms and great food.
The organiser of the day planned 2 routes for us to try. In the morning we chose a route called Cross Top. A map of the route is available here. Google Maps Link. I did the navigating for the first drive with a chap from Cambridge driving a Toyota Supra. He drove really well and with confidence. The route was around 42 miles and took around 90 minutes. The route was very challenging and encompassed narrow passes which appeared to get more traffic from sheep than cars. The idea was to make good progress but at all times safety was paramount. Once the route was complete we swapped over cars and then I drove the same route.
Sarah did two drives on this route as well, though one was cut short because of a puncture. Apparently I drove past without noticing her and her accompanying driver changing a wheel, but they were pulled well off the road so we just didn't see them otherwise we would have stopped to help.
Lunch was taken at the Bolton Arms in Downholme, a pub which is unusual in that it is still owned by the Ministry of Defence.
After lunch I tried the second route and was partnered by a chap who spends his working week as a Chauffeur. He drives an E-Class Mercedes, and as you would expect with his job it had covered a huge 165,000 miles but was in pristeen condition. A map of this route is available here. Google Maps Link. This route was a bit longer at 52 miles, but included some faster category roads taking us through the Buttertubs and Wensley Dale areas.
Sarah also did this route, and was partnered by the same person I was driving with in the morning. Luckily no punctures this time.
Both Sarah and I had a fantastic day out, and we both received feedback on our driving and were able to offer some tips to the others as well. The scenery in this area is terrific. It's not an area of England I have ever explored before, and at some point we will go back. Driving is fun, and this weekend proved it.
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