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Camping at the Tour de France

Posted on 29 May 2014

Sioned Bannister


The Tour de France, one of the world’s biggest and most popular sporting events, is coming to Britain this year.

Every few years, the Tour holds its early stages in a different country, and 2014’s Grand Depart will be in the Yorkshire city of Leeds on 5 July. The Tour de France has always been one of the sporting world’s most iconic events but thanks to Sir Bradley Wiggins and co its popularity in Britain has rocketed, and not only among cycling enthusiasts. So, it’s huge draw for England, in particular for Yorkshire, Cambridgeshire and London, where the visiting stages will be held.

Up to one million people are expected to attend the stages in Yorkshire each day, so if you’re planning to visit then be prepared for it to be busy! But hopefully our handy guide will help you to plan your trip.

THE ROUTE

Yorkshire will host two stages of the Tour de France’s visit and the third stage is from Cambridge to London.

STAGE 1

Buttertubs Pass 5 July
Leeds to Harrogate
190km

Passing through Otley, Ilkley, Skipton, Kettlewell, Kidstones, Hawes, Muker, Reeth, West Tanfield, Masham, Ripon, Harewood, Burley-in-Wharfedale, Addingham, Grassington, Buckden, Aysgarth, Buttertubs Pass, Leyburn, Middleham, East Witton, North Stainley, Harrogate.

 

STAGE 2

6 July
York to Sheffield
200km

Passing through Addingham, Haworth, Cragg Vale,  Huddersfield, Holme Moss, Langsett, Sheffield, Knaresborough, Keighley, Hebden Bridge, Ripponden, Holmfirth, High Bradfield.


STAGE 3

7 July 
Cambridge to London
159km

Passing through King’s College Chapel, Little Shelford, Little Chesterford, Braintree, Great Waltham, Chipping Ongar, Epping Forest, Stratford, Central London

 

WHERE TO STAY

Camping is the best way to follow the Tour de France stages in the UK, but it’s best to book in advance. There are loads of different options for campsites with many “pop-up” (or temporary) sites operating, but there are reports of many being booked up already. Prices vary wildly, as do the quality of the facilities. You’ll find though that many sites put on extra entertainment and additions such as BBQs etc.

Here’s our list of some of the best places to stay near the stage routes.

STAGE 1

  • Pool Road Campsite, Otley, Leeds. Pitches from £125 for 3 nights www.tourcamping.co.uk
  • Ghyll House Camping, Ilkley. Pitches from £32 per night. www.ghyllhousecamping.co.uk
  • Velofest, Kilnsey. Pitches from £150 for 3 nights. www.velofest.co.uk
  • Le Campsite Harrogate, Harrogate. £50 per pitch per night (min 2 nights). www.lecampsiteharrogate.weebly.com
  • Ripon Racecourse, Ripon. Pitches from £150 for 3 nights. www.ripon-races.co.uk

STAGE 2

  • Grand Depart Camping, Holmfirth. Pitches from £99 for 2 nights. www.holmfirthgranddepartcamping.co.uk
  • Huddersfield YMCA Camping, Huddersfield. Pitches from £60 for 3 nights  www.huddersfieldymca.co.uk/camping
  • Penistone Camping, Penistone. Pitches from £120 for 4 nights. event.penistoneshow.com
  • Saling Grove Camping, Great Saling. Pitches from £10 per person per night. www.salinggrove.com
  • Cambridge Rugby Club, Cambridge. Pitches from £25 per night. www.crufc.co.uk

You can also check our dedicated campsite finder for a regularly updated list of campsites with vacancies.


TIPS

It’ll be busy, so here’s some practical advice on how to make your visit fun, stress-free and safe.

• Many of the roads will be closed (or at the very least traffic will be severely restricted) so if you’re camping and staying for the weekend it’s best to arrive on Friday 4 July at the latest.
• Decide what you want to see (the race start, one of the climbs etc) and have a look at the route map to find the best place to see it from, and stick to it, because once the race has started you won’t be able to move around very easily. Roads will be closed for approximately 8 hours on race day.
• While you can park your car or campervan along the route in many places, parking is restricted in some areas because of the narrowness of the roads. There will be designated parking areas available, and even some park and ride schemes. Check the website for details.
• Plan in advance how you’re going to get to your chosen spot. Roads and public transport will be busy so plan ahead and stick to it.
• Sounds obvious but allow lots and lots of time to get to your chosen spot. And if you get there early to watch the build up to the race (approx 2.5 hours prior) you’ll see a parade of bonkers cars and vehicles throwing freebies and goodies out to the crowd.
• There are spectator hubs and fan parks set up along the route where you’ll be able to see the race go by but there will also be big screens to watch the rest of it along with entertainment and food and drink facilities. Some of the hubs and parks also have facilities for people with disabilities.
• Pack wisely and take all you need. You might want to dress in your team’s colours and take a flag or bell to cheer them on with. And don’t forget plenty of food, water, sunscreen (you never know!) and wet weather gear (more likely!).
• Don’t forget to check the for more details, advice, latest news, updates and places to park, stay and eat at the official website www.letour.yorkshire.com






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