Monday, 30 July 2007

Road tips 6 - A170 Sutton Bank

I'm not sure whether the tip should be to avoid Sutton Bank, a steep and winding section of the A170 near Thirsk, like the plague, or to make a point of seeking it out.

One thing's for sure; it's one of the most distinctive features on the UK primary road network, although I don't believe it is actually, as is sometimes claimed, the steepest UK 'A' road. It nevertheless has a fearsome reputation. HGVs regularly get stuck and caravans are banned completely.

I recently drove up Sutton Bank for the first time in a few years when traveling to North Yorkshire for the Verdict test of the Land Rover Freelander 2. I have to admit, this time around, it didn't seem anything like as hairy or dramatic as I remembered it - put that down to the torque of the Freelander's diesel, I suppose - but it's still an enjoyable drive, especially if you can get a clear run unobstructed by slow traffic. Great views from the top of Sutton Bank, as well.

1 comment:

James said...

25% is a whopper David – I’d hate to be stuck behind an old 300D trying to scale that beast. Oh, and the previous years high-score is a nice finishing touch.

On the Dorset side of the Wiltshire/Dorset border is a particularly twisty stretch of road called ‘Zig-Zag Hill’; which has become a Mecca for Caterham/Westield owners wanting to experience some serious Gs. It’s also seen many an accident from unsuspecting motorists attempting to descend without forewarning – open the link for a map of the area.,-2.15429|17|4&loc=GB:50.95976:-2.0805:14|tollard%20royal|Tollard%20Royal,%20SP5%205

How on earth do you traverse that in a Morris Minor!