The UK’s 8 Spookiest Halloween Destinations

Glamis Castle in Scotland

Glamis: Scotland’s most haunted castle

There is one day of the year when rattling windows, icy cold bedrooms and things that go bump in the night are acceptable… Halloween. If you want to embrace the scariest night of the year this year, what better than heading to one of the UK’s most haunted destinations for a ghostly getaway.

Below is our list of seven creepy UK destinations that are sure to thrill you this Halloween holiday…

Berry Pomeroy, Devon

berry pomeroy

This small village just outside of Totnes in Devon is eerily isolated. The main focal point for ghost hunters is Berry Pomeroy Castle, which was built during the late 12th century. The King of England had gifted the land housing the castle to Ralph de Pomeroy. However, for years to come, it seemed that the house had a bad omen over it; being ravaged during the civil war and badly damaged by a fire in the early 18th century. The castle is said to host a number of ghosts, including the White Lady who haunts the dungeons and rises to the castle ramparts. Some have identified her as the ghost of Lady Margaret Pomeroy, who had been imprisoned in the dungeons by her sister, Lady Eleanor.

Pluckley, Kent

Pluckley in Kent is often described as the most haunted village in Britain. It has been said that at least a dozen ghosts are residents, including a screaming man, who is believed to have fallen to his death at the village brick works, and a highwayman, who haunts an area named Fright Corner, where it is alleged he was pinned to a tree with a sword. Arguably the favourite ghost is that of an old woman who sits on a bench drinking gin and smoking a pipe. However if you’re planning to visit Pluckley, be aware that you may be met with some frostiness by locals as well as the ghosts, as residents can get annoyed by the ghost hunters that descend upon it each Halloween.

Prestbury, Gloucestershire

Another village argued to be the most haunted in Britain is Prestbury, in Gloucestershire. A quaint, unique village with a distinctive look, Prestbury is coloured with beautiful honey toned buildings built from timber frames. It’s a stunning place to visit, with Cleve Hill offering fantastic views of Cheltenham. The most famous ghost to reside here is the Black Abbot Ghost. Folklore suggests that he visits the area three times a year, on Christmas, Easter and Halloween. You can find him with his head bowed in the churchyard at Saint Mary’s, so make sure to pass through here on your travels.

Edinburgh Castle

Edinburgh Castle
Edinburgh Castle is believed to be one of the most haunted destinations in Scotland. In fact, Edinburgh itself is said to be the most haunted city in Europe. At this majestic 900-year-old castle, which sits in a glorious location sandwiched between hills and the sea, is said to be a variety of ghosts. The most famous ones have to be the phantom piper, headless drummer and a ghostly dog. A 2001 survey including 240 volunteers who visited the castle, found that nearly half of them experienced ghost sightings and spooky phenomena, including tugging at their clothes.

Dorchester, Dorset

Dorchester, in Dorset, houses one of the most haunted residences in England: Athelhampton. If you’re staying at Athelhampton, you’re likely to hear stories about Cooper, the ghost, who lives in the wine cellar and enjoys tapping on the adjoining wall of the Great Hall. There is also a monk who roams the corridors, who is believed to be the Catholic priest of the Martyn family. However, arguably the most famous and unusual spectre is the ape, formerly a pet who was accidentally entombed in a secret passage behind the Great Chamber. No one has ever seen this ghostly ape, but his scratching is said to be heard often as he tries to escape.

Angus, Scotland

Angus is home to one of the most haunted castles in Britain: Glamis Castle. The stories of ghosts and ghouls here are particularly rich and embedded in Scottish folklore. The Queen Mother was born at this castle and gave birth to the Queen’s sister, Princess Margaret here too. The family chapel is said to be haunted by an old woman who was accused of witchcraft and burned on a stake on Castle Hill in 1537. Nicknamed the Grey Lady, this ghost is very active and has been spotted many times in recent years: normally above the clock tower.

Blickling Hall, Norfolk

Blickling Hall is a tremendous Jacobean building that covers more than 4,000 acres in the rolling Norfolk countryside. The National Trust building is absolutely glorious, but is not without its ghostly tales. One of the most popular stories at Blickling Hall is that of Headless Anne: a ghost that is said to visit the building each year on 19th May, arriving in a ghostly carriage. If you’re planning to visit this Halloween and will miss Anne, worry not. The ghosts of former residents Henry Hobert and Sir John Fastolfe are said to roam the corridors as well.

Pendle Hill, Lancashire

Storm over Pendle Hill

The Pendle Witch trials of 1612 saw twelve people from the local area accused of witchcraft. Ten were hanged at Gallows Hill near Lancaster Castle – a figure that represents 2% of the total throughout English history. It’s no wonder the trials are so well-remembered. It’s also not surprising that visits to Pendle Hill peak around Halloween! But there are plenty more reasons to recommend Pendle Hill than its ghoulish legacy. Nearby market town Skipton is highly recommended for its historic architecture, boutique shops, pubs and eateries,  and if you fancy getting away from it all the Trough of Bowland is one of the UK’s best kept secrets for stunning scenery and unbridled tranquility.

The UK’s Scariest Halloween Attractions

Blackgang Area 5 at night Stegosaurus

Ghosts and dinosaurs team up to make the Isle of Wight terrifying this Halloween!

With the October half term coming fast around the corner and Halloween shortly afterwards, now’s a better time than ever to find the best scary sights up and down the country to celebrate. Halloween is a festival with something for everyone – whether you enjoy witches and wizards, ghost walking, or jump frights at every corner, attractions tend to offer several events all at once to accommodate families and horror fans alike this time of year. We’ve taken a look through some of the more interesting sights and sounds of this spooky time of year and compiled them in the list below. Whilst you’re deciding what you want to do for Halloween, take a look at travel and hotel deals in the area to see if making your day trip a week’s break is worth it.

Isle of Fright – Isle of Wight
October 25th – November 2nd 2014

The Isle of Wight has a reputation for being haunted, and has been named as one of the Top 10 Scariest Islands in the world by paranormal experts. It’s therefore the perfect place to host the annual Isle of Fright festival, celebrating all things Halloween – there’s plenty to do to suit all ages and in fact many local hotels are offering good half term deals, meaning you can turn a day out into a supernatural break. In fact, South West Trains are running an October half term discount, allowing buyers to save 50% on adult and child off-peak day returns.

Some of the highlights of the event include Spooky Castle at Carisbrooke Castle; reputed to be full of ghosts and phantoms, children and adults alike will have fun with creepy crafts and going ghost hunting – there’s even a prize for the best costume! With Dark Nights celebrating the end of British Summer Time on October 25th, the cliffs at Shanklin will play host to a beautiful illumination show. Finally, the Halloween Walk at Ventnor Botanic Gardens on October 31st is sure to have to perfect blend of daytime beauty and night time horrors – the same walk on November 1st finishes with a spectacular bonfire to finish.

House of Halloween – Dickens’ World, Kent
October 31st – November 2nd 2014

What better place to spend Halloween than in the world of the king of ghost stories? Charles Dickens’ works feature some of the most famous phantoms to grace literature, and the House of Halloween attraction this year promises to be as frightening as any novel. The attraction combines two separate events – The House That Jack Built, and The Ministry, which are mazes where participants can walk through and observe the action, whilst being terrified by live actors in the various roles.

Full details of the events are under wraps so as not to spoil the surprise, but previous years’ events have been raved about in both local and national press. However, the organisers have released some details about both events to whet the appetite of those eager to go. The House That Jack Built tells the tale of an old house inhabited by cutthroat convicts by the order of a wealthy benefactor, known only as ‘The Man In Black’. Meanwhile, if you choose to explore The Ministry you’ll encounter the mysterious brotherhood of the Crimson Wax, who are preparing for their annual Ceremony of the Crimson Cull in the heart of the Ministry. But be wary; those who witness this ceremony tend to disappear without a trace…

Halloween at York Maze
October 17th – November 1st

We don’t know about you but the thought of getting lost in a maze fills us with fear at the best of times, so to try and attempt to navigate the UK’s biggest maze in the dark surrounded by 5 unique ‘haunted attractions’ makes us a little reluctant to book tickets for ‘Hallowscream’. If you’re braver than us then the nights between 17th October and 1st November are probably just the ticket to get your pulses racing.

Halloween days at York Maze are a little more family friendly with pumpkin carving, treasure hunts, a haunted house, face painting, crazy golf, a special maze attraction and much more to entertain younger visitors. Halloween by Day runs from 25th October until 1st November.

Blackpool Tower Dungeon & Pasaje del Terror – Blackpool
Year Round

Blackpool Tower Dungeon is probably one of the most famous attractions on this list, and for good reason – it’s had rave reviews from critics and visitors alike, and can give your Halloween holidays a hint of horrible history. The attraction is a live show that covers over one thousand years of history in the Lancashire region and delving into some of the legends about the area – there’s even an exciting drop rid in the attraction where you might not expect it. It’s a great attraction for those with children as it’s an educational and funny exhibit for the family.

As for the Pasaje del Terror, this Spanish attraction is famous across the world with branches in Barcelona, Madrid, Tokyo and Rome – however, the Blackpool attraction in the deepest basement of the Casino is one you certainly don’t want to miss. Like other exhibits on this list, you’ll enter a walkthrough maze with live actors, but it’s filled with the most famous horror characters from fiction, rather than history – it might be the best chance of catching all your old favourites in the flesh, but be wary of jump scares!

All of these events are easy to arrange and visit, as they request payment on the door and can be visited to suit you. They can also be planned into a much longer trip should you wish, meaning that they can be the perfect half term break if you have children. However, if you’re already planning for Halloween 2015 without youngsters (or perhaps with teenagers) then might we suggest one final attraction to whet your appetite…

Zombie Experiences – Across the UK
Year Round

If you’re looking for something unique and thrilling for the holidays, it might be worth looking up Zombie Experiences to take the next step into the world of horror. These experiences are different from the usual live mazes and walk through shows listed above, as it requires audience participation – you’ll be right in the thick of action, fighting zombies and trying to become the last survivors in your group experience. It’s a great activity for either couples or larger groups who want to connect and become closer, but the organisers are just as welcoming to single runners as well.

The experience can vary depending on where in the country you’re based and what sort of activities you prefer. For example, the Zombie Experience in Reading is based in an abandoned shopping mall, after a mysterious attack cut communications from the rest of the world and you must investigate what has happened to the survivors. However, for those who prefer camping in the open air, a trip to The Desolate Lakes in Cumbria could be a future adventure to consider. Believed to be starting up next year, this one is a full camping weekend with additional zombie hunting on the side – perfect for those who love the great outdoors and the sound of axes in the morning.

The places on these experiences fill up very quickly – although there are a few places left for this Halloween and you might get lucky, it may be best to consider preparing for this experience next Halloween – at least you’ll have plenty of time to prepare!

Check out our website if you fancy booking a holiday cottage this Halloween.  We offer castles, cabins and an assortment of historic hideaways to make for a very memorable stay!

Your suggestions…

The Best Autumn Food and Drink Festivals

iStock_000023362468SmallfoodfestivalThe chilly mornings and darker evenings of autumn often find us turning to comforting, warm food and drinks to get through the day. If you are lacking in inspiration, don’t worry as autumn is the perfect time to visit one of the many and varied food festivals taking place across the UK.

Love Food Festival, Dyrham Park, South Gloucestershire

Making the most of the autumn harvest will be the theme of the Love Food Festival in Dyrham Park, South Gloucestershire on Sunday 28th September. Visitors will have the chance to try local seasonal produce and as well as lots of opportunities to try and buy food and drink, there will be fun activities for the children, a chance to try out survival skills and even a Homemade Competition to show off your own homegrown or homemade seasonal produce. Find out more on the event website.

Melton Mowbray Food Festival

A name synonymous with food, Melton Mowbray hosts one of the largest food festivals in the country. The weekend of 4th and 5th October will see the 11th annual Melton Mowbray Food Festival with over 150 exhibitors showcasing new and traditional food and drink from the local region and from around the UK. Alongside the traditional Melton Mowbray Pork Pies and Stilton, you will find alcoholic ice creams, chocolate kebabs, artisan cheeses to name just a few, which can all be washed down with locally brewed ales. Find out more on the event website.

The Chocolate Show, London

iStock_000018666210Small

The Chocolate Show is a food festival with a difference. Completely dedicated to all things chocolate, the best UK and international chocolate companies will be ready to tempt you with wonderful chocolate treats. Taking place at Olympia West in London from 17th to 19th October, there is even the chance to see the highly acclaimed chocolate fashion show, which sees chocolatiers and fashion designers join forces to create amazing chocolate inspired couture outfits. Find out more on the event website.

Hamper Llangollen, North Wales

In North Wales Hamper Llangollen is described and the ‘heavyweight’ of the Welsh food festivals. Held in Llangollen on 18th and 19th October, this is a food and drink festival where over 100 exhibitors offer a wide range of food and drink for visitors to sample and buy. Here you will find that it certainly isn’t just about the food and there is a dedicated beer tent featuring locally brewed ales. Find out more on the event website.  

Lincolnshire Sausage Festival, Lincoln Castle

Dedicated to the Lincolnshire Sausage, this festival will take place on 25th October and there will be sausages to sample, eat or take home. With chefs on hand doing cookery demonstrations, there should be plenty of inspiration and recipes to transform the Lincolnshire sausage into a family favourite. Find out more on the event website.

Bramley Apple Festival, Southwell, Nottinghamshire

iStock_000003809786Medium

The market town of Southwell in Nottinghamshire was where the Bramley apple was first propagated over 200 years ago and it now hosts an annual festival of food and drink to celebrate the heritage of this much loved apple. With fun and craft activities, cookery demonstrations and much more, each sticking to the apple theme this is a food festival with a difference. Find out more on the event website.

Dartmouth Food Festival

Dartmouth Food Festival is the perfect food festival for the whole family to enjoy. From 24th to 26th October there is plenty to see and do with cookery demonstrations, food and drink seminars, tasting and the chance to see top food writers and celebrity chefs. There is even a festival for children with lots of fun activities to keep the little ones entertained. Find out more on the event website.

The Good Food Show, Birmingham

The ultimate food and drink experience can be found at the NEC, Birmingham from 27th to 30th November with celebrity chefs, demonstrations, endless shopping opportunities and lots of inspiration. Find out more on the event website.

Botany Bay Christmas Food and Gift Festival, Chorley, Lancashire

With Christmas on the horizon, the Botany Bay Christmas Food and Gift Festival in Chorley, Lancashire on Sunday 30th November is the place to visit. The five floors of the Botany Bay mill have been transformed into a Christmas food and drink shopping bonanza with street entertainment, carol singing, fairground attractions and cookery demonstrations all to get you in the mood for the festive period. Find out more on the event website.

There is nothing better than a food and drink festival to tempt your taste buds or offer inspiration and new ideas for seasonal produce and there are lots to choose from. Whichever you choose, you can guarantee a fun day out for all the family and you might get to try something new and delicious for the coming season.

Find accommodation nearby on the cottages4you website.

cottages4you’s Summer Entertainment Guide

Whether you’re on a proper holiday, or perhaps planning a few days away before the kids go back to school, there is so much to enjoy right across the country this summer. But summer activities don’t have to mean long queues in the scorching sun (or pouring rain!) there are a host of fun activities for the family that are off the beaten track, or not as well known as some. Take a look at out guide below for inspiration.

Life’s a beach!

The only crowds on the Farne Islands

The only crowds on the Farne Islands

The busiest beaches are thriving with noise but perhaps lacking a bit in space to enjoy yourself. However, there are many terrific and quieter places to enjoy sand and sea. How about Northumberland? Starting with the sweep of Bamburgh and its stunning castle, through Seahouses where you can take a boat trip out to the Farne Islands, right down to the busier end of Whitley Bay and Tynemouth, there are beaches to be enjoyed and space to do your own thing.

At the other side of the country, you’ll discover Britain’s first area of outstanding natural beauty on the Gower Peninsula. Starting just outside Swansea, you can immerse yourself in so many activities, from kite flying to pony trekking, kayaking to wind surfing. Add a wealth of caves and castles, stunning beaches and clambery walks, and you’ll return each night to your handy self-catering accommodation in a state of pleasant exhaustion!

Fun with a theme

The top theme parks, such as Alton Towers, Legoland, Chessington World of Adventures and Blackpool Pleasure Beach, are so well known. There are many others to enjoy as well. At Malton in North Yorkshire you’ll enter the amazing world of Flamingo Land. Established as both a zoo and theme park more than forty years ago, it offers a wealth of fun experiences such as Being a Zookeeper or Animal Trainer, intimate encounters with everything from sea lions to giraffes (not forgetting meerkats) as well as adventure rides from Cable Car to Cliff Hanger.

Another great choice would be Drayton Manor in Staffordshire (near Tamworth). There you’ll find almost three hundred acres of fun packed activities with extremely damp and thoroughly scary rides, including a highly unusual stand-up roller coaster. There’s a brand new 4D cinema (it’s 3D with added water and wind!) and the chance for the littler ones to enjoy Thomas Land – named after a tank engine you may just have heard of.

A celebration of festivals

Fun at the festival in Edinburgh

Fun at the festival in Edinburgh

If there’s one thing we do know how to do here in the UK it’s how to enjoy a good festival. The music circuit is well-established by now, with annual events such as the Cambridge Folk or Reading and Leeds Festivals. Of course, each August Edinburgh offers thousands of cultural treats and many more not-so-highbrow events.

Away from music, there are also so many other festivals to enjoy across the rest of the summer. Food-wise for example, on August Bank Holiday the largest fish festival in the UK is held at Newlyn in Cornwall. Apart from great fresh tastes, you can enjoy the unique sight of teams in the Lugger Rowing Championships – a serious row while competing for the legendary Gold Pilchard Award. At the end of that week Jamie Oliver and Alex James get together again to present The Big Feastival held on Alex’s own farm deep in The Cotswolds. Add music, demonstrations and a vintage funfair and you have a feast of fun!

The call of nature

Kids and nature seem to have an affinity. Whether they are splashing around in rock pools, getting cuddly with tame specimens in petting zoos, or looking out for unusual wildlife in woodlands, their interest is always infectious. Our country offers some great opportunities to commune with nature. Imagine watching the soaring glory of sea eagles on the Isle of Mull, swooping red kites in Grizedale Forest in Cumbria, or looking for a close encounter with rare red squirrels in parts of Northern England.

In Scotland, you can look for a friendly bottlenose dolphin encounter during a boat trip on the Moray Firth, before spending a fun day at nearby Aviemore or in the stunning Cairngorms National Park.

Trusted entertainment

If we’re proud of our history, we can also make sure we have some fun with it too. The National Trust run a terrific series of events throughout the summer at many of their properties. Think how the kids would enjoy watching bats emerge at dusk on the Penrose estate, a Nature Night Walk at Godolphin House, or the chance to build a family den at Trengwainton – all in Cornwall.

At Woolsthorpe Manor in Lincolnshire – home of Sir Isaac Newton – you could be part of a glorious bug hunt in his orchard (he probably won’t turn up in person though). Fab Friday (8th August) is Archery Day at Rockingham Forest at Lyveden in Northamptonshire.

There’s so much more!

Cromer. seaside town in Norfolk, England

Lovely Cromer

Of course all of these terrific ideas do no more than scratch the surface of the huge number of events and locations spread across the United Kingdom in the next few weeks. We offer so many family-friendly self-catering choices from Cornwall in the south west to Wick in the far north of Scotland; Snowdonia and the Brecon Beacons in Wales to Cromer in Norfolk. This means that, no matter how you want to spend your precious family time, you can site yourself close and convenient for wherever you wish to be. If history is your thing it might be Warwick or Leeds Castle, or stately homes from Chatsworth to Cragside (first home of hydro-electric power in the UK).

You might fancy lunch in a genuine treehouse during a visit to Alnwick Castle (part of a certain wizard’s adventures were filmed there). How about a glorious day watching the penguins strut their stuff at Edinburgh Zoo? Or perhaps a family cycle on the Olympic road race route over Box Hill would be an unforgettable piece of family bonding with views (and inclines!) that may leave you breathless.

Whatever excites your family, wherever you’d like to be throughout the rest of our British summer, don’t forget to register for our Big Kid Bingo competition. Not only can you enjoy a host of fun family activities but if you complete your card you’ll be entered into a prize draw to win £1,000 cottages4you voucher. Start playing now on our Facebook page.

The UK’s Best Ice Cream Parlours

Three ice cream cones

Maybe you’d prefer Cotton Candy and Bubblegum flavours…

We’d eat ice cream every day of the year if we could, but July gives us the best excuse to – it’s National Ice Cream Month! The tradition was started in 1984 in the United States by the President at the time, Ronald Reagan. With temperatures soaring across the UK, what better time to take advantage of some of the incredible ice cream on offer? The UK is home to some of the world’s best ice cream, and here are five places to sample the best…

The Pudding House, Lancashire.

Wallings Farm is located in Cockerham, just outside Lancaster. The ice cream parlour is extremely popular with the locals, so be prepared to queue – especially if it’s a nice day. It’s positioned in beautiful countryside, with alpacas grazing in the adjoining fields. The perfect location for enjoying your ice cream! The parlour is situated at the front of the Pudding House café, and stocks a huge range of around 40 flavours. Traditional flavours are available, but what really sets Pudding House apart as one of the best is their incredible range of unique, innovative ice creams. The Lemon Meringue Pie flavour is a popular choice, with real meringue pieces nestled between delicious lemon ice cream and ripples of lemon curd. Alternatively, if you’re feeling festive, why not try their Christmas pudding flavour? With delicious ice cream, generous serving sizes and an idyllic setting, you won’t be left disappointed after a visit to Lancashire’s most loved ice cream parlour and farm.

Billy Bob’s Parlour, North Yorkshire.

Finding an ice cream parlour in the Yorkshire Dales can be a difficult task, as there are so many to choose from. Billy Bob’s parlour, situated just outside the beautiful town of Skipton, is a popular choice with locals and tourists alike. The parlour boasts a fantastic 30 flavours, with something on offer for everybody. Traditional flavours, such as Vanilla and Strawberry, compete against some more extravagant choices, like the Cotton Candy and Bubblegum flavours. As well as the tasty ice cream, Billy Bob also serves a full range of delicious fast food, from burgers and hot dogs, to pancakes and waffles. An excellent choice if you’re travelling with children, the parlour also boasts an outdoor play area as well as an indoor play barn. No matter what the weather, Billy Bob’s ice cream parlour is a fun day out for the entire family. Plus, when you’re finished, you can continue your adventures in the Yorkshire Dales.

Aplin’s Farm, Devon.

Otter Valley Dairy in Devon have won numerous awards, and it’s not hard to see why. The small, family-run business has been around for four generations, refining their range of ice cream to create new, mouthwatering flavours. There are 21 flavours to choose from, including Rhubarb and Ginger, Cream Tea, and Devon Rice Pudding with Raspberry Jam, as well as four varieties of sorbet for those looking for something a little different. The ice creams are made in house, using milk from their own herd of cows, and the recipe is based upon Italian Gelato. Off the beaten track, Otter Valley Dairy can be difficult to find but a visit is worth the trip. Tucked into the breath-taking valley, the summerhouse offers fantastic views of the Devon countryside. If the weather permits, you can enjoy your ice cream outdoors in the designated picnic area, beside the very same cows that helped to create the wonderful ice cream.

Broughty Ferry, Scotland

Visocchi’s Café, in Broughty Ferry, has recently been awarded the title of the best ice cream in Scotland. Located just outside Dundee, the café specialises in two Italian delights: pizza and ice cream. All handmade at the premises, their ice creams attract huge crowds during the summer. Exceptionally creamy, and with inventive flavours, you get luxury ice cream at affordable prices. Broughty Ferry itself is located on the Firth of Tay. It’s a historic river town, with plenty to see and do, including Sandy Beach and its Esplanade, Barnhill Rock Gardens, and Broughty Ferry Castle.

Blaze Farm, Peak District.

Blaze Farm boasts the best ice cream in the Peak District. The ice cream is well known, having won several awards, and is all made on site using milk from its own herd of dairy cows. With an impressive range of flavours, you can choose from traditional varieties or the more inventive, such as the Turkish Delight with White Chocolate Chip. In addition to the amazing ice cream on offer, Blaze Farm has nature trails that can be enjoyed by the whole family. With plenty of wildlife and incredible countryside views, it’s not to be missed! If you visit in the springtime, you may even get to watch the lambing take place on the farm. There’s lots of interactive fun for the children, too, with cows milked daily in the parlour. There’s no admission fee for the farm, so it’s the perfect family day out for those on a tight budget.

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

SONY DSC

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.