Photos from Colne GP 2014

We were really proud to sponsor the 2014 Colne Grand Prix last week. A lively crowd and a warm evening made for some great racing conditions, with places on the podium for Graham Briggs, Dean Downing and Andrew Hawdon – not to mention our very own Nick Rudge and Caroline Collinge.

Photos by Nigel Flory. 

 

Le Tour Yorkshire

Photos from an incredible weekend! If you’ve caught the Yorkshire bug and can’t wait to visit ‘God’s Own County’ then take a look at our website for featured properties in Yorkshire with availability starting from this weekend, cycling friendly cottages and more.

Best spots for enjoying the Tour de Yorkshire

unnamedWith the start of the Tour de France now just days away, the excitement, anticipation and support of the people of Yorkshire is palpable.

From stringing up bunting to writing humorous notes in the local dialect along the route, locals have well and truly got into the spirit of the event and are set to make it one of the most memorable tours ever.

Taking in some of the most beautiful towns, villages and cities in the country, as well as the stunning Yorkshire Dales, both competitors and spectators will be treated to some spectacular views long the way.

So if you’re heading to God’s own county to watch Le Tour, here are the best spots from which to enjoy the sights and sounds of one of the greatest sporting events in the world.

Addingham

As the tour passes through this pretty Yorkshire village during both stage one and stage two, it’s the perfect place to head to if you want to make a weekend out of the event.

Located just outside Ilkley, the Addingham bypass will be closed and used as a public car park over the weekend, so best get there early to avoid travel delays.

Buttertubs Pass

Stretching for 4.4km and reaching gradients of up to 20%, Buttertubs Pass is one of the most revered climbs in northern England. With fantastic views over the local countryside, this steep spot is guaranteed to see some classic Tour de France action with riders powering to the top of the slope.

If watching all that hard work and exercise makes you tired, head to the nearby village of Reeth where you’ll find some nice pubs and cafés to relax in. As this is likely to be a popular spot, the atmosphere should be pulsating, though you’ll want to get your place early to avoid getting stuck in the crowd.

Harrogate

Like Addingham, Harrogate is lucky enough to see the Peloton come through twice. Firstly, as the riders are sprinting to the finish on day one, and then again the following morning as the Peloton makes its way from York to Sheffield.

The beautiful town of Harrogate will make a great backdrop for the event, and once you’ve watched all those elite athletes pedal by, there are plenty of shops, restaurants, cafés and attractions to keep you entertained.

Haworth

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Located in the heart of Bronte country, this picturesque village, with its steep cobbled high street and charming shops, is well worth a visit at any time of year. However, with the addition of excitement generated by the Tour de France Haworth is a must see on your tour de Yorkshire.

Settle into one of the cafés on the famous main street to watch the riders power their way up the hill, before enjoying some delicious local food and drink once the excitement is over.

Hebdon Bridge, Calder Holmes Park

In addition to roadside spots, this year also sees the addition of spectator hubs, designed to allow visitors to enjoy the great atmosphere and competition of the day.

Free to access, the spectator hub in quirky Hebdon Bridge is located in Calder Holmes Park and boasts big screens, spectator entertainment and locally produced food and drink.

Holme Moss, Holmfirth

One of the most iconic climbs in Britain, Holme Moss is guaranteed to be one of the most popular spots from which to watch the Peloton on race day. The 4.7km, relentlessly steep climb will be tough even for these elite athletes, causing the riders to slow down and allowing for great views of the race.

Though it may be crowded on the day, it’s easy to find your own vantage point by climbing up the steep sides of the hill, and your efforts should be well rewarded by the electric atmosphere and fantastic competition.

Jenkin Road, Sheffield

If you’re more interested in the stamina, tactics and determination of the riders than the spectacular views afforded by the Yorkshire countryside, then this brutal climb, 5km before the finish line on day two, could be the perfect spot to head for.

Reaching gradients of up to 33%, Jenkin Road is one of the steepest climbs the tour must overcome. Though it’s just 800m long, the stretch is so late in the day the riders will be looking to make last ditch attacks in order to win the stage.

Guaranteed to be a weekend like no other, the Tour de Yorkshire is set to be an event that the county will remember for years. If you want to be part of the action, now is the time to book your accommodation, grab that camera and get involved. Check out the Tour de France website for the exact times and locations of each part of the race to ensure that you don’t miss a thing.

Gearing up for the Cycling!

To say that people are getting a little bit excited about the cycling in ‘God’s Own County’ would be something of an understatement! We’ve added a few shots of preparations in this album, along with some properties that still have availability if you fancy going along and enjoying the spectacle!

Views from t’Saddle – the entries so far!

We’ve had some great photos entered into our scenic cycling photo competition. We’ve added a brief selection below. If you’d like to add yours – and possibly win a £100 Evans Cycles voucher and a cycling jersey signed Sir Bradley Wiggins – then email your ‘views from t’saddle’ or enter via Twitter, Facebook or Google+.

 

Top 5 Traffic Free Cycle Routes in the UK

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This year promises to be a momentous year for cycling, not only can we look forward to the Tour de France starting in Britain,  but also the Commonwealth Games promises to be a memorable celebration for many of our cycling superstars. Here at cottages4you we love cycling. A quiet bridleway, the sun beating on your back with the birds and the insects playing the soundtrack, you can’t beat it. There are many great routes across Britain that you can enjoy without having to weave in and out of the traffic; here is a selection of some of our favourites.

1.       The Camel Trail, Cornwall

Arguably the most famous cycle trails in the country, the Camel Trail meanders along the southern edge of the Camel Estuary from Padstow  towards Wadebridge, and for the more adventurous, then on towards Bodmin and Wenfordbridge. The trail follows the line of a disused railway surrounded by the delightful rolling greenery of the beautiful Cornish countryside.  The Camel Estuary itself is absorbing, a huge expanse of sand that disappears daily with the return of the tide. The changing landscape adds to the magic, as the view will in all likelihood have changed dramatically by the time you return. Bicycles are available for hire so if you don’t want to worry about taking your bicycles away on holiday, you can pick out your ideal ride in Padstow and then you can travel as far as you choose along one of the most popular cycle routes in Europe.

2.       The New Forest, Hampshire

Cycling and forests go hand in hand and the sights and sounds of one of Britain’s most famous forests provides the backdrop to some fantastic cycle trails for all of the family. Explore over a 100 miles of forest trails away from the Hampshire roads, starting as short as 3 miles and going up to 21 miles there is plenty of choice to match everyone’s ability. Children will be delighted by the local wildlife, look out for ponies, deer and the unforgettable bright flash of a kingfisher!  Following the gently sloping routes through woodland and surrounding moorland, you will find a landscape is full colour throughout the year. Whether your visit coincides with the bluebells in spring or the golden tones of autumn, cycling is the best way to get to know and fall in love with the New Forest.

3.       The Strawberry Line, Somerset

This traffic free route from Yatton through to the Somerset village of Cheddar, takes its name from the cargo that was carried along this former railway line, taking fruit from the heart of Somerset to the city of Bristol. Today you will still pass the fruit in the fields but at a much more leisurely pace, passing secluded wooded valleys through tunnels and into the Mendips!  This ten mile route is idea for families and you be rewarded at journeys end by the awe inspiring Cheddar Gorge.  One of the most spectacular natural wonders in England, this is the most popular tourist attraction in Somerset.  This limestone gorge is also home to a fascinating network of caves and underground rivers, complete with stalactites and stalagmites!  A visit to Cheddar Gorge is a day out in itself

4.       Dolgellau to Barmouth, North Wales

Otherwise known as the Mawddach Trail, the ten mile riverside route from the delightful  Dolgellau to Barmouth lies at the foothills of the western flank of Snowdonia. The route itself is not encumbered by any steep inclines, but enjoys one for the most spectacular settings for any cycle pathway in the country.  Like so many of our treasured traffic free routes, this trail follows the line of a former railway on its journey beside the river Mawddach towards the estuary beyond. The views are truly breath taking; with mountains on one side and on the other side sea, it is easy to understand why this route is so highly regarded by cyclists and walkers alike. With such close proximity to the estuary remember to take your binoculars to view the multiplicity of wading birds that make this beautiful spot their temporary home, and who could blame them!

5.       Tissington Trail, Derbyshire

Open for the past 43 years, the Tissington Trail is a 13 mile route that links Ashbourne  with Parsley Hay in the Peak District National Park. It has quickly established itself as one of the premier cycle paths in the country, enjoying special views across the haunting Derbyshire landscape. Like many on our ‘favourites list’ the Tissington Trail is ideal because by in large there are no steep hills to worry about. Renowned for its moorland, the Peak District makes a lasting impression and the Tissington Trail offers visitors great views of the rolling hills and dales that draw people back year after year. To enjoy the trail at its best, perhaps plan a visit during the summer months when the hillsides are at their greenest and the butterflies provide the company along a bridleway that is suitable for cyclists of all ages.

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Cycling in Yorkshire 2014

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Cycle through “God’s Own County”

Yorkshire is a proud county and has been at the forefront of recent British sporting success. Indeed, had Yorkshire been a competing country at the 2012 Olympic Games it would have finished eleventh in the medals table, above countries such as Spain, Holland and 2016 hosts Brazil. Amongst the Yorkshire success stories was cyclist Ed Clancy, winning gold as part of the team pursuit. This year marks a special moment in cycling and indeed for the country, as Yorkshire gears up to host this year’s Tour de France.

Following great success at the Olympics and back to back wins by Sir Bradley Wiggins and Chris Froome in the Tour itself, cycling in Britain is enjoying a golden age. The first three stages of the 2014 Tour will be hosted in Britain, with the first two held in Yorkshire.  The county is the ideal choice for the ‘Grand Départ’, stunning scenery and challenging hills provide the perfect backdrop to this the most prestigious of cycling road races. The countdown has already begun to what promises to be a cycling carnival and the excitement will doubtless become fever pitch by July when the race begins.

It is easy to see the appeal of cycling, passing by beautiful scenery whilst keeping active, a sport in which the whole family can take part, and what better place than ‘God’s own Country’ to enjoy your next cycling holiday.  Many budding Tour de France champions will want to sample the routes where their cycling heroes will be racing this summer, but Yorkshire offers a fantastic variety of bridleways and cycling routes (many traffic free) throughout this beautiful county.

The tranquil Yorkshire Dales provides a variety of challenges for cyclists, whether that be off road mountain biking or leisurely trails through exquisite valleys and moorland. Many of the leafy lanes in this part of Yorkshire are very quiet but rest assured you will never find yourself short of great eating options to ‘refuel’.  A popular and gentle route for families is a 23 mile journey starting and finishing in Grassington through Upper Wharfedale. With no significant climbs but nonetheless plenty of fantastic views, this trail will take you by the delightful Dales villages of Kettlewell, Arncliffe and Litton.

The Yorkshire Moors have long been treasured by cyclists, the varied landscapes encompassing woodland, undulating moorland and coastal paths provide hundreds of miles of routes within this timeless corner of Yorkshire.  One of the most challenging for cyclists is the ‘ Moor to Sea’ cycle route which is split into 12 stages covering over 150 miles and taking in many historic sites whilst passing by the Heritage Coast. Whether you choose to take on the full trail or just parts of this network, you are assured stunning views from cliff tops, across Gothic ruins or rolling countryside, this is Yorkshire at its very best!

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Win a cycling shirt signed by Sir Bradley Wiggins!

RWB-comp We’re offering a chance for you to win a unique piece of sporting memorabilia – a  cycling shirt signed by Sir Bradley Wiggins.

Sir Bradley signed the shirt at the recent ‘Ride with Brad’ event and we’re delighted to have the opportunity to give it away to one of our fans. To be in with a chance of winning click on the picture above to visit our Facebook page and follow the instructions.

If you’d like more cycling content check out our video interview with Caroline, unofficial captain of the cottages4you team, as she recounts her experience of the day.

You can also take a look at our favourite cycling routes and find cycling friendly properties on our website.

Cycle to work winners

Cycle winners lo-res

The cottages4you team took place in a cycle to work challenge this month – eventually winning with a combined distance of 842 miles over 5 days! This is the approximate road distance from Land’s End to John o’ Groats, so we’d like to say a big well done to everyone who took part and let them know that the cushions and ice cubes are on their way.

Find more cycling content – including some of the UK’s best routes and Grand Départ 2014 info – by visiting our website.