This coming weekend Yorkshire hosts the first two stages of the 101st Tour de France before setting off again in Cambridge, moving through Essex with a finish on The Mall in central London. Hundreds of cyclists will be competing for the prestigious Yellow Jersey. The race includes sprints for the fastest riders and hills and climbs for the King of the Mountains. The hills and dales will prove challenging for the Yorkshire Grand Depart, but the cyclists will race through spectacular scenery and for the spectators it will be 'a grand day out'. Let's hope the weather stays dry - we've had some sunny days this week - as this would be a bonus in making this event special as the host towns and villages along the route have been busy planning ever since it was announced that the Tour de France would be held in the UK in 2014.
In recent weeks all kinds of displays have been set up along the route and now the bunting is being put up whether the cyclists pass by or not. We live close to the route that's being taken at the end of stage 2, but we shall have to walk there as all the roads will be closed on Sunday except for emergency vehicles. Yesterday we went to have a look at some of the preparations nearby and then on to High Bradfield and combined this with a walk around the village green in Low Bradfield
The cyclists will race up the hill from Low Bradfield to High Bradfield
|The former blacksmith's workplace|
It was a hot day, but there are shady places around the village and this is the winding hill going up to High Bradfield.
The view down the hill for those that manage to get a seat in the inn gardens on Sunday.
The next part of the route will be through the hills and lanes where we can get to on foot and have a good vantage point.
We met some people along the way either watering the plants on the displays, putting up flags and bunting or taking a quiet walk before the crowds assemble at the weekend. Some of the fields are being used as camp sites and there's going to be a beer festival with locally brewed beer. As I've said before the area will be closed to vehicles for miles around and in most main city streets so it will be necessary to walk to a chosen place well before the welcome team, the sponsors and then the cyclists go by. We wish all those taking part or spectating an enjoyable, safe and successful weekend in Yorkshire.
Another stretch of a lane nearer to where we live. The photo is deceiving as it's quite undulating, but with a gentler incline!
Here's a map of the Yorkshire route. The black X shows the location of High and Low Bradfield.
Lastly a few more related photos of images spotted in Sheffield.