WHETHER you're an armchair enthusiast, a keen amateur cyclist or neither, the spectacle of Le Tour passing through our region is one that's not to be missed. To help you make the most of this unique occasion, we've put together all the info you need about where to go for the best views, when to be there and what you can do before and after the peloton have passed by...
SKIPTON: Two official spectator hubs in the town; town hall car park: Live courage of the Tour de France in the town hall car park, plus music and other performances on stage from 8am. Cycling commentator Carl Lawrenson will be compering throughout the day.
BMX stunts and an interactive bicycle smoothie maker. Wheelchair access and disabled toilet facilities. Canal basin: Big screen with live coverage from 8am. Bike simulators and craft marquee. Disney’s Frozen will be shown on the big screen at 5.30pm, followed by a Grease singalong at 8pm. Walkabout acts throughout the weekend and Craven Museum and Galleries will provide Tour de France family fun from 2pm-4pm, alongside its free exhibition Bikes, Legs, Action.
SWEEPING VIEWS: Kidstones Pass, near the village of Buckden, in the Yorkshire Dales, will feature on the Tour de France route
There will be a competition to spot bike parts around High Corn Mill with prizes for those who spot the most. Entry forms available in the Historical Innovation Zone. Wheelchair access and disabled toilet facilities.
The Broughton Hall Estate, near Skipton, will be hosting the Rapha Festival of Cycling, running from July 3 to July 6. It will involve live music, guided rides, films, talks from leading cycling authors, guided rides, bike-building workshops, children’s activities and food and drink.
For more details visit the website: www.raphatempest.cc
GRASSINGTON: Official spectator hub. The race will pass within one mile of the Dales market town. Large screen at Grassington National Park Centre showing the race and providing viewing areas and facilities for about 2,000 visitors. Disabled facilities included. Numerous places to eat and drink in the town.
AYSGARTH: Spectator hub at Aysgarth Falls National Park Centre; big screen and viewing area and food, toilets and limited parking available. Aysgarth is famous for its waterfalls.
BAINBRIDGE: There will be a large screen to view the race from start to finish on the village green in Bainbridge.
HAWES: Spectator hub at Hawes National Park Visitor Centre. Facilities include a large screen, viewing areas and toilets. The peloton will begin its ascent of the legendary Buttertubs Pass just out of Hawes.
The market town is home to the Wensleydale Creamery and the Dales Countryside Museum.
The museum has a special exhibition of how the bicycle changed life in the Dales from the early 1900s.
BUTTERTUBS PASS: The climb up the legendary Buttertubs Pass is set to be one of the route’s most challenging sections.
MUKER: Three-day music and arts festival, King of the Mountains, will run here from July 3 to July 6. Includes live music, comedy, Yorkshire food and ales, family activities, Tour de Cinema, camping, cycle and car parks. Views of Buttertubs Pass and large screen will show the race.
REETH: The peloton will stream down from Swaledale into the town after their true test on the King of the Mountains stage. There’s limited parking on the green, but with thousands of spectators expected, local farmers are opening up their fields to provide extra parking. Costs could apply, up to £10 per car for the day. As the Tour leaves town, the Dales Bike Centre, near the Cote de Grinton, as it’s now been renamed, is staging a four-day festival from Thursday to Sunday, with a 12sq ft screen to see the action. For information, go to www.dalesbikecentre.co.uk.
LEYBURN: One of the major spectator hubs along the stage one route, as the Grand Depart comes back into Wensleydale from Swaledale. Crowds of up to 18,000 are expected, hoping to see the cyclists streaming down through Whippendale Bank.
TOUR TROPHY: Gary Verity, who helped bring the Tour de France to Yorkshire checks out the trophy in Leyburn
There’s family entertainment organised throughout the town with a climbing wall, bouncy castle, music, food and a big screen to see the highlights as the drama unfolds. Parking will be available to the north of the town on the showground site and in fields to the east of the town.
MIDDLEHAM: A family weekend of events is planned with two big screens, a large one on the sportsfield and a not quite so large one in the Market Square. Parking for up to 4,000 cars will be available on the Low Moor racing gallops above the town. The Busks, a raised area of green common land, has been reserved exclusively for spectators to see the peloton race up the hill from historic Middleham Bridge; there’s also a hog roast and toilets.
RICHMOND: Nearly nine miles from the route, but a big free family event is being held in the park with bicycle art, music and storytelling. Fancy dress is optional with yellow-themed picnics encouraged.
BEDALE: Six miles from the route, a big screen in Bedale Hall park will show the Grand Depart, the Wimbledon Women’s Final and films. Family events are also planned throughout the weekend with a traditional summer fete, children’s activities and a best dressed bicycle competition.
EAST WITTON: Activities and family events organised on the village green with food available, but picnics an option.
MASHAM: The town is planning Le Grand Party with a big screen set up in the recreation field next to the River Ure, within 100 metres of the route. Up to 20,000 local people and visitors are expected to line the route and join in the party with the town’s two breweries, Black Sheep and Theakston’s, joining forces to operate three bars in the town.
Family activities are on offer throughout the weekend with other events in the market square and music at the town hall.
WEST TANFIELD: A high-flying three-day festival is planned with 20 hot air balloons, a big screen and parking for 8,000 cars on fields surrounding the village. There’s also camping for 500 tents, caravans and camper vans. Live entertainment is on offer with a funfair, market stalls, food festival and music. A special Tour de Ale has been brewed by the Pennine Brewing Company, which is sponsoring the event. Access is straight off the A1, with viewing along the route if space can be found and local farmers’ fields have been specially seeded to create parking space.
NORTH STAINLEY: There’s a large screen in the village hall showing live coverage of the race. Children’s entertainment, races and games, music, food and drink on sale, including Pimms bar. Art installations by villagers include a local pond which has been turned into “Monet’s Bridge”, depicting Monet’s Water Lilies.
RIPON: Has two spectator hubs at Ripon Market Place and Ripon Racecourse with big screens, catering and children’s activities at both locations. They’re situated a short walk from each other and close to the route of the race. The market place will have stalls, smoothie bikes, family films and live entertainment.
HARROGATE: A massive celebration of cycling is being held in Harrogate to mark the finish line of this first stage of the world’s biggest annual sporting event. Hot favourite Mark Cavendish is said to be desperate to be the first to cross the line in Harrogate, which is his mother’s home town.
It’s the place everyone will want to be and Velo Go Go, who are the official organisers of the fan parks which run alongside the Tour are staging a four-day festival on West Park Stray, backed by Harrogate Borough Council.
Running from July 3 to July 6, it’s the only event of it’s kind being held outside London; three are being held in the capital.
The fan zone is a free event and will have live action big screens, with cycling games, cinema nights, party nights, live music and cycling celebrities.
There will also be a foodie festival, pop up gastro food and street food vendors as well as bars. There are two spectator hubs in the town on West Park Stray and in Crescent Gardens, where there will also be special viewing screens and organised events.
Most roads in Harrogate town centre are closed from the bus and railway stations and the A61 Parliament Street, to large areas of the Stray. The town will be festooned with over 23,000 Tour De France jerseys which have been sent by knitters from all over the world to mark the spectacle.