The Grand Depart of the Tour de France 2014 will set off from Leeds tomorrow. Here’s our guide to getting your track-side spot.
As the backdrop to Emily Bronte’s enduring novel on love, jealousy and vengefulness, Wuthering Heights, the sweeping moors of West Yorkshire provided at times romantic, but always dramatic scenery, which conjured up themes of isolation in this wild and barren landscape.
Not to be outdone, her sister Charlotte was equally inspired by her upbringing in the ancient village of Haworth and the surrounding Pennines, which stretch all the way through the Yorkshire Dales National Park, and which will form the backdrop of the first leg of this year’s Tour de France, which sets off from Leeds tomorrow.
The race will weave through some of the region’s biggest attractions, from Harewood House, a magnificent 18th century stately home that is the family residence of the Earl and Countess of Harewood, to the village of Addingham, which appeared in the Domesday Book as Ediham.
The historic spa town of Ilkley, part of the first day’s route, is where you’ll find some of Yorkshire’s finest tea rooms, while West Tanfield was famously sketched by Turner during his grand tour of Yorkshire in 1816.
On the second day of the race the spotlight will deservedly be on the Peak District National Park, a magical land of meadows, leafy frosts and pretty moorland. Langsett, known in medieval times as Penisale, is a pretty village in the heart of South yorkshire, and the perfect place to take in the splendid views.
View our map of the first two legs below or read our full feature on Yorkshire in our May/June 2014 issue of BRITAIN.
The third leg of the race (Monday) will see riders cycle from Camridge to London via Essex. The route will take them past the Tower of London, Victoria Embankment, the Houses of Parliament, around St James’s Park before finishing on The Mall with Buckingham Palace as a backdrop, between 3.30pm and 4pm.
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