Tuesday, 5 June 2007

Road tips 5 - B1248 and B1257 through the East Riding and North Yorkshire

I've mentioned here before my favourite handy 'B' road route through Lincolnshire that provides a surprisingly quick - and very pleasant - alternative to other north-south routes such as the A1 for journeys between Yorkshire on the one hand and East Anglia and the Southeast on the other.

I've often wondered whether it is possible to find a similarly attractive north-south route the other side of the Humber Bridge through the East Riding and North Yorkshire for trips to the Northeast. A quick look at a decent road atlas suggests a number of possibilities, but last week when I was heading up to Newcastle for our Verdict test of the Kia cee'd, I decided to try the following route, which starts at Beverley, a little to the north of the Humber Bridge.

Beverley, which I believe was the county town (if that is the correct term to use in connection with the artificial post-1974 authorities) of Humberside is worth a stop if you have time. As well as Beverley Minster there are several other impressive older buildings. Traffic heading north has to squeeze through a narrow archway - not sure what it's called - after which open countryside beckons.

The B1248 heads north-west; initially the landscape is comparatively flat - the former RAF Leconfield is nearby - but becomes increasingly hilly as you head for Malham in order to pick up the B1257 to Helmsley. Helmsley is where the North Yorkshire Moors start and the B1257 provides a lot of driving pleasure and plenty of attractive countryside to look at as well, before delivering you into Stokesley, just south of Middlesbrough.

I used this route in conjunction with my favourite 'B' road run through Lincolnshire and got from Cambridgshire to Newcastle in about six hours; I ran into a bit of congestion in Boston and Horncastle (but apart from that encountered only light traffic) and took a couple of breaks as well. I don't think heading up the A14 and A1 would have been much quicker - it certainly wouldn't have been as nice. The next priority is to explore other 'B' roads through North Yorkshire.

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