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Harewood Festival of Cycling

Harewood House

Harewood House is organising and hosting the Yorkshire Festival of Cycling over the weekend of Friday 4th to Sunday 6th July 2014, when the Tour de France 2014 is in the county. 

The highlight will be the visit of the race itself shortly after the ceremonial start of Stage One in Leeds on Saturday 5th July 2014. The riders are expected to pause in front of Harewood House, where they will be greeted by a VVIP. (Does this mean the Queen?). Once the race heads off, there will be a series of led rides to key vantage points along the route, and big screens in the Harewood grounds.

There will be unlimited parking, and camping for up to 50,000 people. Tickets went on sale on 7th November 2013.

Harewood Festival of Cycling: camping

A standard camping pitch is £120 for the weekend (Friday and Saturday nights). A pitch is 10m x 10m, and limited to a maximum of eight people, in a tent or caravan. It's possible to arrive on Thursday, and leave on Monday, for an extra charge. 

There will also be pre-pitched tents available, at a higher price, and something called Boutique Camping, which sounds very expensive.

Harewood Festival of Cycling: Expo

The Expo element will involve stands set up by cycling and outdoor brands, showcasing their products.

Harewood Festival of Cycling: entertainment

On a big stage, expect interviews, debates, music, comedy, and cycling demonstrations, as well as a big screen showing the race. In Harewood's grounds, you can try out BMX and mountain bike tracks, and watch professionals perform in a stunt area. There'll be plenty of food and drink stalls too. 

On 4th June 2014, more details of the music were announced. On Friday 4th July, from 6.30 to 10.30pm, there'll be a concert featuring Tony Hadley (of Spandau Ballet), Rebecca Ferguson, and Soul II Soul. Advance tickets are £30 for adults, and £5 for children. 

Also announced on 4th June, there'll be a Literature Tent, with authors including Christophe Basson, Max Leonard, Tim Lewis, Lexie Williamson, and Phil Burt to speak. And at 7pm on Saturday 5th July, there's a Night of Adventure, organised by Emily Chappell, with talks from Alistair Humphreys, Maria Leijerstam and others. 

Harewood Festival of Cycling: participation

The Yorkshire Festival of Cycling at Harewood involves cycling and running events, for all ages and abilities. We have a summary of what's on offer, below. The prices mentioned are in addition to the price of a Festival ticket (basic price £18 per adult or £30 for the weekend; other prices for groups, children, and camping - see the Festival's ticket prices and booking form). The participation options include:

  • led rides to see the Tour de France. These are split into gentle, medium and fast categories, with total distances between 30 and 65 miles. The Festival has 'hubs' where participants can watch the race. (£26.50 per person; various rides over the weekend)
  • family fun ride within the grounds of Harewood (£6.50 per person; 10am Sunday 6th July)
  • individual time trial, 5 laps of a 2.4 mile circuit (£26.50; 5pm, Saturday 5th July)
  • team time trial, 5 laps of a 2.4 mile circuit (£202.50 + VAT per team of 5; 3pm, Saturday 5th July)
  • enduro - 36 mile closed road course around Harewood (£36.50; 7am, Sunday 6th July)
  • off road trail run - 5, 10, or 15km runs. (£16.50 or £21.50; 8am Saturday 5th & Sunday 6th July)
  • off road duathlon - 5 or 10km runs plus 15km mountain bike course. (8am Saturday 5th & Sunday 6th July)

Deer at Harewood House   Red kite at Harewood

Harewood Festival of Cycling: update 28th June 2014

It has now been confirmed that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry will officially start the Tour at Harewood House on 5th July. The Festival of Cycling website says, 'Their Royal Highnesses will meet the competitors as they line up at the steps of Harewood House for the Ceremonial Start, and will get the race underway.'

The website has a timetable, with the start in Leeds at 11am, the riders arriving at Harewood about 20 minutes later, and the Harewood Ceremonial Start at 11.45:

Harewood Festival of Cycling timetable

It appears from the timetable that the band of the Royal Engineers will play as the ribbon is cut to signal the start of the 2014 Tour, and the Red Arrows flypast will happen as the riders leave Harewood.

On the Festival's Saturday schedule page, the organisers say that the publicity caravan will start arriving from 9.30am, and they advise people to arrive '...before 8am to ensure enough time to get into the grounds of Harewood itself for the best possible Tour de France viewing.'

Harewood Festival of Cycling: update 23rd June 2014

Harewood Festival's newsletter on Friday 20th June had a link to a map showing how to get to Harewood, with different coloured routes based on road closures. It also announced a new led ride - at 8am on Friday 4th July, doing 36 miles with former Tour de France winner Stephen Roche. This morning (23rd June) there appear to be places still available to book.

We reported on 17th June that William, Catherine, and Harry are due to attend the Grand Départ, but there were no details on where they would be. It appears from Tim Lewis's article in the Guardian that they may be at Harewood. '...[I]t is from this bucolic vantage point that Princes William and Harry and the Duchess of Cambridge are expected to watch...'

Harewood Festival of Cycling: update 23rd May 2014

Harewood Festival yesterday announced that it had sold out of the initial allocation of led rides (some of which will be guided by Lizzie Armitstead), and has added 400 more places - 200 on Saturday 5th July, and 200 on Sunday 6th July 2014. The rides will take participants to good vantage points to watch the race.

In other Harewood Festival news, the Brownlee brothers were at Harewood on 7th May, and they set times for the time trial circuit and the trail run. This video shows them at Harewood in poor weather:

Harewood Festival of Cycling: update May 2014

The Red Arrows will be at - or above - the Harewood Festival of Cycling as the riders line up on Saturday 5th July 2014. The organisers of the Festival have also announced that on Sunday 6th July, there'll be a Battle of Britain Memorial Flight over Harewood, with Spitfires, Hurricanes, a Dakota, and a Lancaster.

Harewood Festival of Cycling: update February 2014

Harewood Festival of Cycling sent an update on their plans in a newsletter in February 2014.

The two ambassadors already anounced, who will be present at the Festival, are Lizzie Armitstead and Oscar Pereiro. There are two more ambassadors to be announced. 

BMX stunt shows will be by Ben Savage and Savage Skills. 

Harewood Festival of Cycling won't be a one-off. Even though the Tour de France won't be coming every year, it is planned to hold an annual Yorkshire Cycling Festival at Harewood.