Cycling fever is returning to the Harrogate district this April as the world’s best riders battle it out to be crowned winner of the third Tour de Yorkshire. This year, Harrogate is honoured to have been chosen to host not only the stage two finish of the men’s race, but also the finish of the women’s race.
The 122.5km route will pass through some of the district’s most beautiful and dramatic countryside, taking in historic market towns and picturesque villages along the way.
Riders will be tested by the fearsome Côte de Lofthouse climb, while spectators will be on tenterhooks as the race reaches the finish line on Parliament Street in Harrogate, which in 2014 saw Mark Cavendish crash just yards from the Tour de France finish line and Marcel Kittel storm to victory.
With the Harrogate district taking centre stage on Saturday 29 April, there is no better place to be to experience the excitement, drama and action of the Tour de Yorkshire.
To find out what else is happening in Harrogate that weekend visit www.visitharrogate.co.uk
Set in the heart of Yorkshire, the Harrogate district is one of the United Kingdom’s most spectacular areas to visit and is home to attractive towns and villages, imposing historic houses, castles, abbeys, rolling countryside and a host of other natural and man-made attractions. With exquisite gardens, beautiful parks and handsome tree-lined boulevards, visitors can lose themselves in the vibrant charm and elegance of this North Yorkshire destination.
As well as the Victorian spa town of Harrogate, the district also contains the medieval city of Ripon, a designated Area of Natural Beauty and four charming, historic market towns - Knaresborough, Boroughbridge, Masham and Pateley Bridge.
With fantastic cycling terrain, the district is ideal to explore on two wheels, whilst the beautiful countryside is perfect to discover on foot.
Harrogate’s charm is irresistible with its fabulous shopping, vibrant café culture, fine cuisine, glorious gardens, reputation for style, graceful architecture, and a glamorous heritage as a classic European spa town.
Visitors can experience a bygone age with a trip to the award winning Turkish Baths. The town also offers a unique shopping experience with exclusive boutiques, independent fashion stores, stylish arcades and elegant mews – with so much on offer you will be spoilt for choice.
Harrogate is perfect to stroll around. A Britain in Bloom winning town, it has exquisite and stunning open spaces, such as the magnificent Valley Gardens and the 200 acre Stray, which surrounds the town and gives it a unique and spacious feel.
Those in search of culture will not be disappointed and a visit to one of the town’s museum’s or art galleries is a must.
Famous for local food and drink, the very best of Yorkshire’s independent retailers can be found in Harrogate and the pretty towns which surround it.
Perched high on the cliffs above the River Nidd, charming Knaresborough, with its ancient walkways, cobbled alleys and secret passages that weave their way up and down the hill is a joy to discover. Visitors can enjoy riverside walks, take a boat trip along the river, visit Mother Shipton’s Cave and petrifying well - one of England’s oldest tourist attractions, discover the town’s historic castle, or peruse the colourful market.
The unspoilt cathedral city of Ripon is a North Yorkshire gem. With its fascinating museums and a bustling market square, there is plenty to entertain the visitor. Whilst, a short drive away is the World Heritage Site of Fountains Abbey & Studley Royal - home to a majestic abbey, stunning landscaped water gardens and leafy woodlands.
Located in the breathtaking Lower Wensleydale, Masham is famous for its family-run breweries, steam engines and annual sheep fair. A thriving community of artists, authors and craftsmen highlights the town's creative side and established links to JW Turner and Lewis Carroll.
A short drive and you will be in the heart of Niddersdale, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The picturesque town of Pateley Bridge, which is steeped in industrial heritage, nestles in its heart.
Boroughbridge, once an important coaching post on the Great North Road from London to Edinburgh, is a treat to discover with its pretty cobbled Hall Square, walks along the banks of the River Ure and the Devil’s Arrow – three ancient standing stones on the outskirts of town.
With so much to see and do, the Harrogate district offers visitors an unforgettable experience and is the perfect location to watch the thrills and excitement of this year’s Tour de Yorkshire.