Tour de France Yorkshire | Le Tour Yorkshire
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Tour de France Yorkshire

Cottages still available for the Tour De France week…

In July of this year one of the biggest sporting events in the world is coming to Yorkshire, Le Tour de France.

Fighting off stiff competition from a host of rival bids, Yorkshire was chosen as the host for Le Tour’s Grand Départ in 2014 – a decision based on the drama, beauty and variety offered by the Yorkshire landscape.  For those of us already in love with Yorkshire it is a fantastic opportunity to show the rest of the world just how Gorgeous God’s own county really is!

The exciting and challenging route of Le Tour de France Yorkshire will take the cyclists through historic cities and towns like York, Leeds, Ripon, Harrogate and Sheffield as well as racing through the magnificent Yorkshire countryside.  In short, it’s going to be a fantastic visual spectacle on an epic scale, with some of the most stunning scenery in the world providing the backdrop.  Le Tour Yorkshire style!

Download our Gorgeous Guide to Le Tour Yorkshire by clicking on the image below, or read on for a condensed version below.

Excited?  Why not book a stay in one of our cottages perfect for cycling holidays to Yorkshire.

What?

Le Tour de France is an annual bicycle race held every summer in predominantly France.  It has been running every year from 1903, stopping only during the first and second world wars.  It is without doubt the biggest event in the cycling diary each year and is one of the most watched sporting events in the world.

Held over several ‘stages’ during a number of weeks, the Grand Départ is the official start of the race, now traditionally held outside of France.  In 2014 Yorkshire will be staging the Grand Départ for the first time in its history.  Some more amazing facts about the Le Tour de France

  1. The entire race covers approximately 3,500 kms
  2. A worldwide television audience of 3.5 billion people watch the Tour de France annually
  3. Over 188 countries around the world broadcast the Tour de France
  4. The Tour de France attracts 12 million spectators along the route in a typical year’s race

When?

The Grand Départ of Le Tour de France Yorkshire will be set over two days starting on Saturday 5th July 2014.  The second stage takes place on the following day, Sunday 6th July 2014.

Where?

Stage 1, Saturday 5th July 2014
Leeds to Harrogate [190 KM]

Leeds – Harewood – Otley – Ilkley – Skipton – Kettlewell – Aysgarth – Hawes – Reeth – Leyburn – Ripon – Harrogate

The party starts in cosmopolitan Leeds where tens of thousands of fans will be lining the streets for the Grand Départ of Le Tour Yorkshire.  Heading north out of Leeds, the route passes by historic Harewood House before striking westwards through the gentle southern dales.  At Skipton the cyclists turn north towards Wensleydale and Hawes, passing through typical Yorkshire Dales picture postcard scenery en route.  At Hawes, home to the world-famous Wensleydale cheese, the route strikes north again via the stunning Buttertubs Pass, a spectacular high road across the moors connecting Wensleydale to Swaledale above.

At the remote village of Thwaite Le Tour de France Yorkshire turns eastwards and continues along the breath-taking landscape of Swaledale before heading back south at Reeth.  Taking in the horse-racing epic-centre of Yorkshire, Middleham, and the handsome town of Masham (of Black Sheep fame) the route also passes through the cathedral town of Ripon before beginning the home stretch down to Harrogate.  This elegant and stylish Spa town provides a fitting backdrop to the Stage 1 finale; Mark Cavendish has his routes here and as a key supporter of Le Tour Yorkshire’s bid, it would be poetry in motion to see him cross the line first.

Stage 2, Sunday 6th July 2014
York to Sheffield [200 KM]

York – Knaresborough – Silsden – Keighley – Haworth – Hebden Bridge – Elland – Huddersfield – Holmfirth – Sheffield

Day two sees the race set off from York, a stunning medieval city where history seeps out of every cobbled street. Voted ‘Best UK City’ by the Telegraph’s travel section in 2008, it’s combination of higgledy-piggledy buildings and chic city life makes it a favourite amongst even the most seasoned of travellers.  What a fantastic backdrop to the start of Stage Two!

From here the route veers westwards towards Knaresborough skipping around Harrogate again before passing the atmospheric ruins of Bolton Abbey.  The cyclists then head south taking in Keighley and Haworth.  The atmospheric moorlands here provided much of the inspiration for the Bronte sister’s novels (including Wuthering Heights) when they lived at the Haworth Parsonage (now a museum).

Continuing south the route passed through the charming village of Hebden Bridge, renowned for its artistic community and alternative shops.  Skirting around Halifax and passing through Huddersfield the route also takes in Holmfirth – recognisable as the set for Last of the Summer Wine – before finishing in the heart Sheffield city centre.   This vibrant hub of music and sport in Yorkshire is a fitting choice to welcome the cyclists at the end of Le Tour Yorkshire.

Why?

So why should you be excited about Le Tour Yorkshire?  If you are a keen fan of road racing or cycling in general then you will know this is the biggest thing to happen to British cycling since Bradley Wiggins won Le Tour de France in 2012.  For those of us who don’t know a huge amount about the sport it is still a phenomenal visual spectacle, and with lots of British interest in the race again it will be a fantastic testimony to the sporting talent of Britain.  Added to the fact that this is the first time Le Grand Départ has been held in the North of England, that the route will be taking in some of the most beautiful scenery on the planet, and that there will be a 100 day cultural festival in the run-up to the start, it will really be something worth coming to see.

Stay

Why not make a holiday of it and see more of the Gorgeous Yorkshire landscape in person.  We have lots of stunning luxury cottages and self-catering accommodation available across Yorkshire with many on or close to the official route.  To find the perfect cottage for you just give us a call on 0844 736 6276 or email info@gorgeouscottages.com

If you’re inspired to get on your bike whilst you’re here take a look at the Muddy Bums website for a range of downloadable routes across the Yorkshire Dales and North York Moors: http://routes.muddybums.org.uk/