The world's largest annual sporting event arrives in Yorkshire in just a month's time (4-7 July).
The Grand Départ 2014 will feature two stages of the Tour de France, taking riders from Leeds to Harrogate, then York to Sheffield, before the Tour moves south for a third stage from Cambridge to London.
If you plan on following the cyclists then have a look at the best places to stay along the route that will guarantee a piece of the action.
Glamp on the starting line
Harewood House is hosting a festival and transforming its grounds into a site for both campers and glampers throughout the Grand Départ weekend (4 – 6 July). Dare 2b Yorkshire Festival of Cycling will take over the country house near Leeds and offers visitors the chance to pitch up in a prime spot to watch the race first hand as it rides up the drive, stopping right outside the front of the house for the Ceremonial Start.
Among a host of entertainment over the weekend there will be a cycling powered cinema, live music, literary and adventure talks, family activities and big screens to view the rest of the Grand Départ. A series of rides will also head out into the Yorkshire Dales so that fans can view the later stages of the race on both days, with selected routes led by Olympic silver medallist and local rider Lizzie Armitstead. Standard camping starts at £14 per person, pre-pitched and luxury camping costs £33 and £60 per person respectively.
Welcome to Yorkshire
Group cycling in the heart of the action
The Rendezvous hotel in Skipton is located on the edge of the Dales, closer to the route than any other hotel. On day one of the Tour it's just one mile from the route and on day two it's three miles from all the action. The hotel is offering a three night inclusive package for cycling groups, which includes bed and breakfast, dinner each evening followed by a discussion on the following days' cycling, plus a packed lunch for each day of the race. Cyclists will be fully escorted and supported by Cycol Tours throughout. The package costs £320pp with a 10% discount for bookings made in June.
Take your bike to Stage 2
The Double Tree by Hilton Sheffield Park Hotel is offering a two-night package which includes a three course dinner on both nights, breakfast, secure indoor bike storage, packed lunch and an energy drink on both days. The hotel is located five miles from Sheffield city centre and seven miles from the Stage 2 finish line. Prices start from £159 per night for two.
Hilton DoubleTree Matthew Shaw Photography
Camp within a grass verge of the Cote d'Oughtibridge climb
Pitch up at Greenhead Fields & Jawbone Hill Camping, which is situated on the Sheffield stage of the route, literally next door to the Cote d'Oughtibridge climb of Stage 2. Local bands will perform on site and there'll be a food and beer tent to enjoy too. Three nights' camping for two people starts from £150 per pitch.
Bed, breakfast and a seat on the grandstand
The newly refurbished Best Western Plus: The Gonville Hotel in Cambridge is offering seats on its very own pop-up grandstand in its grounds, giving guests a clear view of the race. Stage 3 of the race starts right outside the four star hotel, which is undergoing extensive refurbishment, set for completion in June. Two night packages start from £540 per room, including breakfast and two grand standseats.
Camping in the Lee Valley
Lee Valley Regional Park's three campsites are the perfect place to stay to watch the Tour and are a great value alternative for those wanting to stay near the action. Lee Valley Campsite - Sewardstone near Chingford – is a family-friendly campsite under four miles from the route as it travels through Epping Forest. The site offers touring and camping pitches, as well as two and four berth woodland cabins. Lee Valley Caravan Park - Dobbs Weir - is ideally located just nine miles from Epping where the sprint will be taking place. This campsite offers touring and camping pitches as well as deluxe and classic pre-pitched tents. Finally, at Lee Valley Camping and Caravan Park – Edmonton – visitors can watch the cyclists pass through en route to Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. The site is just five miles from the route through Woodford, it has touring and camping pitches as well as two and four berth cosy cabins for families.
Cycle and sleep
No. Ten Manchester Street Hotel in Marylebone is offering guests a special cycling package to celebrate the Tour de France coming to town. The package costs £305 for two guests and includes a stay in its deluxe rooms, breakfast, a day's bike hire for two and a packed lunch prepared by its restaurant, Dieci.
Packed lunch in the capital
Lancaster London is all geared up for the Tour de France as it offers guests a fully prepared lunch to take along to watch the race ride by on 7 July. For £176 per room, guests can stay in a superior room with breakfast and a picnic for two. The picnic, which comes in a handy bag, has an assortment of sandwiches, cakes, crudités and strawberries and cream. Guests can add a half bottle of champagne to the picnic for an additional £20.
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