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Stage Two, Tour de France 2014: York to Sheffield

The route of Stage Two of the 2014 Tour de France, on 6th July 2014, is from York to Sheffield via Howarth, Hebden Bridge, and Huddersfield. 

Map of Stage 2, Tour de France 2014

It's 201km, or 126 miles, from the start of the racing on the A59 outside York. (The procession part through York, after the ceremonial start, or départ fictif, at York races, is not included in the official race distance). See the above Stage 2 map in pdf format, or the interactive Tour de France map of Stage Two

This is a real 'up hill and down dale' ride, which will be tough. It's unlikely that the whole peleton will arrive together, so Stage 2 could affect the general classification of the race.

(See our stage 2 report, which describes how the race turned out on 6th July 2014).

Stage Two, Tour de France 2014: video of the route

Our video of the route of Stage Two of the 2014 Tour de France shows you the itinerary in about 7 minutes. We give the distance so far at the major towns along the way. You can see the roads of the route, where the climbs are, and the countryside, attractions, and landmarks the riders will pass. There's film of cyclists along the route of Stage 2 of the Tour de France 2014 too.

Stage Two, Tour de France 2014: the route

Thiery Gouvenou, the Sports Director of the Tour, said of Stage 2, 'The landscape will be much hillier [than Stage 1], especially with the ascent of Holme Moss and a very difficult last part into Sheffield. The last 30 kilometres will be very difficult, all the more so because the racers will have already covered more than 160km...The routes are sometimes narrow, climbing the hills is very rapid, with no area of flat ground for recuperation. This will force the leaders to position themselves well when they approach the final kilometres so as to avoid any breaks. 

I think that the most difficult hill is at Oughtibridge (1.7km at 9.5%). That's where a group of the favourites should move away. The hill at Jenkin Road (800m at 10%) a few kilometres before arriving at Sheffield is also very steep and could decide the final winner. Those riders who are in the general classification of the Tour will not be able to hide that day.'

Stage 2, Tour de France 2014: York to Knaresborough (0-21km; 0-13mi)

Clifford's Tower, York    York city walls

Stage Two begins at the racecourse in York (which is one of the official spectator hubs), and goes towards Skeldergate bridge, over the river Ouse there, past Clifford's Tower and York Minster, then out towards Clifton; there, it goes left, over the Ouse again, and right out of York on the A59. Read about the Tour de France in York.

York Minster   Bootham Bar, York

The A59 is flat, as it goes past the villages of Poppleton and Green Hammerton, crossing the Nidd in between them. It takes the riders into Knaresborough, where they cross the Nidd again.

Stage 2, Tour de France 2014: Knaresborough to Bolton Bridge (21-54.5km; 13-34mi)

View of Knaresborough from the Castle   Tour de France, Knaresborough

Leaving Knaresborough, Stage Two of the Tour de France 2014 continues on the A59, through Starbeck, and up to the Empress roundabout on the edge of Harrogate. The riders won't go into the centre of Harrogate today, but follow the road round to the New Park (or Little Wonder) roundabout, then head out on the A59 Skipton Road. 

Nelson Inn, near Harrogate    Wind turbines on Knabs Ridge

They'll pass the wind turbines at Knabs Ridge, and the golf balls at Menwith Hill; they then go by the end of Fewston reservoir, just before Blubberhouses.

Fewston   Blubberhouses

This video by York City Council, featuring professional cyclist Jamie Sharp, shows him on a section of the A59 west of Harrogate known as Hopper Lane, just before Blubberhouses:

After Blubberhouses, the route climbs the gully known as Kex Gill (this is the Category 4 'Cote de Blubberhouses' climb), emerges onto open moor, and soon crosses into the Yorkshire Dales National Park. 

Blubberhouses moor   Sheep on Blubberhouses moor

There's a gentle descent to Bolton Bridge.

Stage 2, Tour de France 2014: Bolton Bridge to Haworth (54.5-75.5km; 34-47mi)

Bolton Bridge tea rooms   Devonshire Arms, Bolton Bridge

The riders take a left onto the B6160 at the roundabout at Bolton Bridge, a gently undulating route by the Wharfe to Addingham. Let's hope nobody takes a wrong turn in Addingham (see second photo below).

Crown Inn, Addingham   Druggist Lane, Addingham

This short video shows the ride into Addingham, with a few safety tips for those riding the route of Stage 2:

The road (A6034) climbs out of Addingham, towards the Old Tower, and Silsden reservoir, both on the right hand side; then it descends into Silsden

This flyover video shows the route from Blubberhouses, up Kex Gill, to Bolton Bridge and Addingham, then on towards Silsden:

After going along the main street in Silsden, the riders take the A629 dual carriageway south east alongside the river Aire to Keighley. The day's intermediate sprint is in Keighley, with points available in the Green Jersey competition.

Silsden   Keighley library

From Keighley, it's a short pedal along the river Worth, and by the Keighley and Worth Valley railway, to Howarth. (Keighley and Howarth both have spectator hubs).

Steam train, Haworth   Haworth parsonage

Stage 2, Tour de France 2014: Haworth to Hebden Bridge (75.5-91km; 47-57mi)

Cobbled street, Howarth   Vintage shop, Haworth

The road climbs steeply up through Haworth, on the cobbles shown in the photo (above left), then leaves the village heading towards Stanbury, before turning left past Lower Laithe reservoir. There's then a descent into Oxenhope. From Oxenhope, the A6033 climbs around 220m in a south westerly direction to Cock Hill (alt: 432m), part of Oxenhope Moor. The climb is called 'Cote d' Oxenhope Moor' on the Stage 2 timetable, and is Category 3. This is proper Yorkshire moorland, heather and all. 

Lower Laithe reservoir   Oxenhope moor

The riders then descend into the idiosyncratic town of Hebden Bridge

This video shows a short section of the descent, on the open moor:

And this is the continuation of the descent, as the road goes through woods, then into Hebden Bridge itself:

Stage 2, Tour de France 2014: Hebden Bridge to Huddersfield (91-121.5km; 57-76mi)

Hebden Bridge Mill   Hebden Bridge cycle recycle shop

Now the race follows the A646 along the Rochdale canal to Mytholmroyd. From there, it goes under the railway bridge, past the Shoulder of Mutton, and begins to climb Cragg Vale, by Cragg Brook. This is wooded at first, then eventually emerges onto open moor land. It's a well-known hill climb, and it is claimed that it is the longest continuous climb in England, at around 5 miles, with an average gradient of 3%. There's an annual Hill Climb time trial up it, organised by the Yorkshire Cycling Federation. (The new record time set by Alastair Wareham in 2013 is 15 min15).

Shoulder of Mutton, Mytholmroyd   Cragg Vale

Next comes Blackstone Edge reservoir, on the exposed moorland at the top of the Cragg Vale climb. (The Pennine Way long distance footpath runs along the gritstone escarpment, Blackstone Edge; it is crossed by Blackstone Edge Roman Road, which may in fact be an C18th packhorse route, rather than a Roman road). 

At Blackstone Edge reservoir, the riders turn left, and make a sweeping descent, with Rishworth Moor on the right, to Ripponden. After crossing the river Ryburn in the town, there's another steep pull out of Ripponden (Category 3 'Cote de Ripponden'), then a gradual descent to the town of Greetland

Blackstone Edge reservoir   Ripponden

The route in Greetland is a little tricky to follow. There's a right turn on the B6112 Stainland Rd towards Holywell Green, then a left up Queen Street. Here, the route starts to climb, and this is the Category 3 'Côte de Greetland'. From Queen St, the route goes right on Green Lane, and left up Hullenedge Lane, then right on Hammerstones Road, which turns into Blackley Road. It passes Blackley Cricket Club, then goes under the M62 at Ainley Top, before following the A629 Halifax Rd to Huddersfield

Greetland, near Elland, West Yorkshire   Blackley Cricket Club

Who would have guessed that the Tour de France would one day travel the back streets of Greetland, West Yorkshire, just off junction 24 of the M62?

Stage 2, Tour de France 2014: Huddersfield via Holmfirth and Holme Moss to Langsett (121.5-159.5km; 76-100mi)

Huddersfield centre   Huddersfield station

The route heads south out of Huddersfield, along the course of the river Holme, to Holmfirth (famous as the location of the TV series 'Last of the Summer Wine'). From Holmfirth, the riders will be able to see Holme Moss, a steep climb that begins after they've passed through the village of Holme, about 4km south of Holmfirth. This is a Category 2 climb ('Côte de Holme Moss').

Holmfirth church and hardware shop   Holme Moss from Holmfirth

The contours are tightly packed together on the ascent of Holme Moss. Holme is at about 300m, and it's a bit more than 2km to the top of Holme Moss, at 524m altitude. Here, the Tour crosses into Derbyshire.

Holme village   Holme Moss

From the top of Holme Moss, there's an exhilarating descent to the Woodhead reservoir. 

Holme Moss descent   Woodhead reservoir

Part of the descent of Holme Moss is shown in this video:

The race turns left on the A628, crossing a bridge over Woodhead reservoir, and heading east. It crosses into Barnsley Borough at Salter's Brook Bridge (see Tour de France in Barnsley), and passes through moorland (Thurlstone moors to the left, and Langsett mooors to the right). It joins the A616 before getting to Langsett. Sheffield is now not far away. 

Bank View Cafe, Langsett   Pedalers Inn, Langsett

Stage 2, Tour de France 2014: Langsett to Sheffield (159.5-201km; 100-126mi)

Langsett reservoir   Mustard Pot, Midhopestones

A right turn off the main road, onto Mortimer Road, takes the riders up through Midhopestones, past Underbank Reservoir near Stocksbridge, and to the top of the hill near Ewden Height ('Côte de Midhopestones' climb, Category 3). The route then goes down past Garlic House Farm into a steep little wooded valley, and there are two sharp bends in the small country road as it crosses Ewden Beck. The descent is shown on this York City Council video:

The Tour route then heads up again towards High Bradfield, the start of the next climb ('Côte de Bradfield', Category 4). 

White Lee Moor, near Bradfield   Bradfield

Now, the route takes in villages in the hills to the north west of Sheffield - Worrall, Oughtibridge, and Grenoside. There's a spectator hub in Oughtibridge, in Coronation Park, at the foot of the climb to Grenoside.

This flyover video shows the Stage 2 route from the descent of Midhopestones via Ewden Beck, Bradfield, Worrall, Oughtibridge and Grenoside, to the outskirts of Sheffield:

The riders go into Sheffield on the A61, passing close to Hillsborough, Sheffield Wednesday's ground, then east on the A6102, and south past the old ski centre, before following the river Don towards Meadowhall. There's a loop near the Meadowhall shopping centre, taking the riders up Jenkin Road ('Côte de Jenkin Road', Category 4) towards Wincobank, then around and back to Tinsley. 

Jenkin Road Tour de France climb   Wincobank Common, Jenkin Road

The finishing straight is the A6178 Attercliffe Common, and the finish line is in Carbrook, just after the junction with the A6102 Broughton Lane. 

Don Valley stadium

There's a spectator hub at Don Valley Grass Bowl, near the finishing line. See the finish line and spectator hub on this map:

Map showing Stage 2 finish and Don Valley Bowl spectator hub

Where to watch Stage Two of the Tour de France 2014

Where to watch Stage 2, TDF 2014: the start in York

As with Stage One, there'll be lots to see at the start, which is at York Racecourse. 20,000 tickets to watch the start of Stage 2 at the racecourse were taken within hours; there will be an announcement about possible further tickets on 3rd March 2014. The riders are likely to go through York in a procession, at a relatively low speed, and this will be a good opportunity to see them. (The racing will start a few kilometres after the départ fictif, or 'ceremonial start' of the stage).

Where to watch Stage 2, TDF 2014: spectator hubs

Aside from the start at York racecourse, and another hub at York Designer Outlet, there will be spectator hubs at Knaresborough Castle, West Park Stray Harrogate, Victoria Park in Keighley, Central Park Haworth, St George's Square Huddersfield, Sands Recreation Ground Holmfirth, Coronation Park Oughtibridge, and Don Valley Grass Bowl near the finish line in Sheffield. They'll have big screens to watch the race, food and drink, and activities for all the family. See all the Yorkshire TDF spectator hubs.

Where to watch Stage 2, TDF 2014: Harrogate

The race passes the Empress roundabout and the New Park roundabout. If you live in Harrogate, or are staying there, and don't want to go far, you can see the race come past. It will probably be going pretty fast, though, and past in a flash.

Where to watch Stage 2, TDF 2014: the climbs

Cote de Blubberhouses (Kex Gill) Tour de France climb

The climbs are popular places to watch the Tour de France, because the riders' speed is lower when they are going uphill. There are nine categorised climbs on Stage 2.

Côte de Blubberhouses (Kex Gill) is the first of the categorised climbs on Stage 2. It's a dramatic stretch of road up the gully known as Kex Gill, between Fewston reservoir and Blubberhouses moor. There are some good vantage points, where you can see quite a long stretch of road - for example on the rocks up to the right of the road. Parking is limited, but it may be that the quarry at the top of Kex Gill will open for parking.

Although not categorised, the ride up the cobbled Main St in Haworth should be interesting. The next categorised climb is out of Oxenhope ('Côte d' Oxenhope Moor'). 

The climb of Cragg Vale, from Mytholmroyd, doesn't appear to be an official one on the race route (not steep enough?), but should nevertheless be worth watching. There are official climbs out of Ripponden ('Côte de Ripponden') and Greetland ('Côte de Greetland'). 

The most spectacular climb is up Holme Moss ('Côte de Holme Moss'). As this is only Category 2 climb on Stage 2, it is rated the most difficult climb of the day. Finally, there are some short, steep climbs as the race nears Sheffield - Côte de Midhopestones, Côte de Bradfield, Côte d' Oughtibridge (Jawbone Hill), and Côte de Jenkin Road, not far from the finish.

Where to watch Stage 2, TDF 2014: the finish in Sheffield

The finish will be on the A6178 Attercliffe Common at Carbrook, close to the junction with the A6102 Broughton Lane. There'll be a big spectator hub at the Don Valley Grass Bowl, near the finish line.

Stage Two, Tour de France 2014: timings

The Tour de France organisers have published the estimated timings for Stage Two of the 2014 Tour. There are three scenarios, based on different average speeds of the race. Stage Two leaves York at 1100 (ceremonial start), and the racing starts at 1120 on the A59 outside York. The riders should arrive at the finish in Sheffield between 1614 and 1646.

See the full timings for Stage Two, Tour de France 2014.

Stage Two, Tour de France 2014: the climbs

Côte de Blubberhouses, or Kex Gill, Tour de France climb

There are nine categorised climbs on Stage 2 of the Tour de France 2014, which will make it a very tough day. They are Category 3 or 4, except for Holme Moss, which is Category 2.

Climbs on Stage 2, Tour de France 2014: Côte de Blubberhouses (Category 4)

This first climb begins at Blubberhouses, about 13km west of Harrogate. The riders ascend a gully known locally as Kex Gill, and emerge onto Blubberhouses Moor. Read more about Côte de Blubberhouses...

Climbs on Stage 2, Tour de France 2014: Côte d' Oxenhope Moor (Category 3)

This is a climb out of the village of Oxenhope, up Cock Hill, with the summit at 432m. Read about Côte d' Oxenhope Moor...

Climbs on Stage 2, Tour de France 2014: Côte de Ripponden (Category 3)

Ripponden Bank is very steep, especially for the first 500m. It then eases past The Fleece Inn, to the summit near Barkisland. Read about Côte de Ripponden...

Climbs on Stage 2, Tour de France 2014: Côte de Greetland (Category 3)

This climb features the rather surprising prospect of the world's best cyclists ascending residential backstreets between Greetland and Elland, in West Yorkshire. A steep climb brings them to Blackley Cricket Club then Ainley Top. Read about Côte de Greetland...

Climbs on Stage 2, Tour de France 2014: Côte de Holme Moss (Category 2)

Holme Moss climb, Stage 2 Tour de France 2014

Holme Moss is the king of the climbs on the Tour route in the UK, and it's likely to be thronged with fans all the way up to the summit, marked with the Holme Moss transmitter. Read about Côte de Holme Moss...

Climbs on Stage 2, Tour de France 2014: Côte de Midhopestones (Category 3)

This is a sharp ascent, starting near the Mustard Pot pub in Midhopestones, and heading up to Ewden Height. Read about Côte de Midhopestones...

Climbs on Stage 2, Tour de France 2014: Côte de Bradfield (Category 4)

This is a short, sharp climb (gradient almost 10%) out of High Bradfield on Kirk Edge Road towards the Kirk Edge Carmelite Monastery and Worrall. Read about Côte de Bradfield...

Climbs on Stage 2, Tour de France 2014: Côte d' Oughtibridge or Jawbone Hill (Category 3)

This is another steep climb, out of Oughtibridge towards Grenoside, over a distance of about 2km. It gets the name Jawbone Hill from whale jawbones which used to make an arch over the road at the top of the hill. Read about Côte d' Oughtibridge (Jawbone Hill)...

Climbs on Stage 2, Tour de France 2014: Côte de Jenkin Road (Category 4)

The Jenkin Road climb is less than 1km, but very steep in places - at one point, it's 33% gradient, and there are handrails by the pavement to help pedestrians. As it's only a few short kilometres from the finish line, you can imagine that it might be decisive in splitting a lead group. Jenkin Road could be the springboard to victory for somebody. Read about the Côte de Jenkin Road...

Poppleton

Poppleton is a village of 1,961 people, with a Post Office and a railway station. The two halves are known as Upper Poppleton (nearer the A59 main road), and Nether Poppleton (nearer the river Ouse).

It was formerly agricultural land. The village's name means 'pebble farm' - popel meaning 'pebble', and tun being a farm or hamlet. This is because it is built on a gravel bed. 

Poppleton has a long history. It was mentioned in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicles in 972, and in the Domesday Book (1086). Today, it is mainly a dormitory village for commuters.

Starbeck

Starbeck Belmont Field

The Tour de France comes into Starbeck on Sunday 6th July 2014, on the A59 from Knaresborough. It continues up to the Empress roundabout, on the edge of Harrogate.

Starbeck will have a spectator hub in place for the first two stages of the Tour de France 2014, on 5th & 6th July. There will be a big screen at Belmont Field (which the race passes on the left, just before Starbeck level crossing). Starbeck is also planning a funfair, and live music.

Addingham

Hen Pen garden, Addingham

Addingham is a village on the route of the first two stages of the Tour de France 2014, with a population of 3,730 (2011 census). It's within Bradford Metropolitan District Council, and in the county of West Yorkshire.

The name Addingham comes from 'homestead associated with a man called Adda'. It was called 'Ediham' in the Domesday Book, which could be connected with Earl Edwin of Bolton Abbey.

The area has been inhabited since the Bronze Age (around 1800BC), which is shown by cup and ring carved stones on Addingham Moor. The present village grew during the Industrial Revolution. The first mill opened in 1787, and in the 1800s, there were five working mills. Textile production declined after World War II. Addingham's last mill (Low Mill) closed in 1976.

Addingham is now a commuter and retirement village. It has several local shops and pubs, and various well-tended public gardens, as well as a bowling green. The village has a football team and cricket club.

Keighley

Keighley public library

'I'll tell you now and I'll tell you briefly, I don't never want to go to Keighley.' This line from John Cooper Clarke's poem 'Burnley' is perhaps harsh on Keighley - which seems to have been chosen for its ability to rhyme with briefly.

It is part of the Metropolitan Borough of Bradford, and at the confluence of the rivers Aire and Worth. The population is 53,331 (2011 census).

Keighley means 'Cyhha's farm or clearing'. It was mentioned in the Domesday Book, when there were six carucates to be taxed. 

Henry de Keighley was granted a royal charter for a market in 1305, by Edward I. By 1379, the population of Keighley was 109.

Keighley was at an intersection of stage coach turnpikes in the 1700s. In the late 1700s and 1800s, during the Industrial Revolution, a textile industry grew up in Keighley (cotton and wool processing, and making textile machinery). By 1801, the population was 5,745.

Today, Keighley has much of its shopping in the indoor Airedale shopping centre. It's on an electrified railway line to Leeds and Bradford, amongst other places. It's also the terminus of the Keighley & Worth Valley Steam Railway.

The town's houses are largely built out of millstone grit. Nearby is East Riddlesden Hall, home of C17th cloth merchant James Murgatroyd, and one of the National Trust properties offering camping during the Tour. Another attraction is Cliffe Castle Museum, the mansion of Victorian millionaire textile manufacturer Henry Isaac Butterfield. As well as  period rooms inside the house, there are greenhouses, aviaries, a children's play area, and a museum with various displays including minerals and fossils.

Also in Keighley, there's a picture house dating from 1913, the Timothy Taylor Brewery (which makes the excellent Landlord, amongst other beers), and Keighley Cougars rugby league team. (The Cougar Park stadium will be a Tour de France campsite).

Keighley has a significant Muslim population, mainly immigrants from Pakistan and Bangladesh, and there are a number of mosques in the town.

Ripponden

Ripponden, Calderdale

Ripponden is a village on the river Ryburn. It is grouped together with Barkisland, Rishworth and Soyland, which are all served by Ripponden Parish Council. Ripponden has a population of 4,665 (2011 census). They hold an annual pork pie competition (taking place on 26th April in 2014).

The area is rich in prehistoric remains. At nearby Ringstone Edge, there is a stone circle and evidence of neolithic settlement; and Rishworth Moor, which is an area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, has the Cat Stones - a series of ancient round barrow burial sites.

Ripponden is associated with the famous physicist Richard Feynman (who took part in the Manhattan Project). He used to visit the village with his wife, who was born locally.

There's a dedicated Tour de France Ripponden website. It refers to the climb out of Ripponden, and says, 'It may not be Alpe d' Huez but Ripponden Bank is not a hill for the faint hearted.' They have ideas of where to stay, with contact details. There is also information about the proposed Ripponden Tour de France legacy project, which would be a traffic-free cycle route to Sowerby Bridge.

Langsett

Langsett Reservoir

Langsett is a village near Penistone, in the Metropolitan Borough of Barnsley. The Waggon & Horses Inn in Langsett is to be rebranded with a bike theme for the Tour. There's a nice walk to do around Langsett Reservoir.

Pedalers Inn, Langsett

Worrall

Worrall is a village in the parish of Bradfield, and the City of Sheffield. It's about 4 miles NW of the city centre, and has a population of 1,245 (2011 census).

It dates back to Anglo-Saxon times, when it was part of a manor held by the Saxon chief Aldene. The name 'Worrall' comes from the Saxon hvrifull, meaning top - a reference to its hilltop location.

At the time of the Domesday Book (1086), it was held by Roger de Busli.

It had always been a farming community, but in the late 1700s, there was some small scale industry, with the manufacture of cutlery and knives by 'little mesters' - individual craftsmen renting space in a factory. 

There was also quarrying of ganister (a quartzose sandstone) from the mid-1600s until the early 1900s.

These days, Worrall is a residential commuter village, with some farms on the edge. It has two pubs - the Blue Ball and the Shoulder of Mutton. 

Bradfield School is on the Tour de France route, on Kirk Edge Road, on the western edge of Worrall.

Grenoside

Grenoside sign

Grenoside is in the Parish of Ecclesfield and the City of Sheffield.

We know that Grenoside is an old settlement. Its name may be of Anglo-Saxon origin, possibly from the word graefan, meaning quarry. The Birley Stone, on the south west edge of Grenoside, at a point where you get a fantastic view over Sheffield, has stood there since before 1161.

People here earned a living from farming, later helped by nail making, according to Grenoside local history. In the 1700s, the Walker brothers established an iron foundry business, and other iron and steel cottage industries were opened in the 1800s.

The other main industry in Grenoside was quarrying, especially in the 1700 and 1800s. Some of the stone was suitable for grindstones for the cutlery trade, and other stone was used as furnace lining.

One tradition that continues to this day is the Grenoside Sword Dance, performed on Boxing Day. It's a bit like Morris dancing with swords.

Bolton Bridge & Bolton Abbey

Devonshire Arms, Bolton Bridge

Bolton Bridge is a small village dominated by the Devonshire Arms. Indeed, there's nowhere to park unless you're patronising the Devonshire! It has a bridge, in fact two bridges, over the river Wharfe, and is on the route of the Dales Way.

Bolton Bridge is about a mile from Bolton Abbey. Bolton Abbey, which was really Bolton Priory, was a twelfth century Augustinian priory. It was originally founded at nearby Embsay in 1120, then moved to the Bolton Abbey location in 1154. The priory was dismantled during the dissolution of the monasteries in 1539. The church which remains today is Victorian Gothic.

Bolton Abbey was immortalised by artist JMW Turner in an 1809 painting which is now in the British museum. It also inspired Wordsworth to write 'The White Doe of Rylstone'.

Bolton Abbey is owned by the Duke of Devonshire. There is parking, and beautiful walking along the Wharfe, with bluebell woods, and the impressive Strid where the river narrows. There are two gift shops, restaurants, a brasserie, tea rooms, cafes, and refreshment kiosks. 

Bolton Abbey station, on the Embsay & Bolton Abbey steam railway, is about equidistant between Bolton Bridge and Bolton Abbey.

There'll be camping at Bolton Abbey over the weekend of the Tour.

Silsden

Silsden

Silsden has a population of 7,912 (2011 census). It is the town where Mr V Throup grew the biggest onion in the world in 2010 (but the record has since been broken). 

Silsden is on the north slope of the Aire valley, about 1km from the river, and on the Leeds & Liverpool canal. It lies in the Metropolitan District of Bradford, and the county of West Yorkshire.

The town existed at the time of the Domesday Book (1086), when it was referred to as 'Siglesdene'. It was largely an agricultural area until mills were built at the time of the Industrial Revolution. It housed some refugees and POWs in the Second World War.

These days Silsden still has some manufacturing, for example Advanced Actuators, who were in the news for being visited by the nasty Chancellor, George Osborne, in early 2014. It also has commuter links - from Steeton & Silsden railway station to Leeds and Bradford, and by bus to Keighley and Ilkley.

The Telegraph & Argus says that there's a plan to make wooden bike shapes covered in flowers for the Tour de France. There'll be Tour de France camping in Silsden.

Oxenhope

Oxenhope, West Yorkshire

Oxenhope is a village within the Metropolitan Borough of Bradford and the county of West Yorkshire, with a population of 1,872 (2011 census). It's the terminus of the Keighley & Worth Valley railway.

The Oxenhope Straw Race is an annual event (scheduled for 13th July in 2014) in which teams of two carry a bale of straw around a 2.5 mile course, drinking a pint of beer in each pub on the route.

Mytholmroyd

Mytholmroyd

Mytholmroyd ('Royd) is in the Metropolitan Borough of Calderdale, and the county of West Yorkshire. It has a population of 3,949 (2011 census).

The name Mytholmroyd comes from Old English, and means field or clearing where two rivers meet. The rivers are Cragg Brook, and the river Calder.

In the late 1700s, the adjoining Cragg Vale was home to a gang of counterfeiters called the Cragg Coiners.

Poet Ted Hughes was born in Mytholmroyd. Sylvia Path is buried in nearby Heptonstall.

Greetland

St Thomas's church, Greetland

Greetland is a village (but has the feel of urban sprawl) in the Metropolitan Borough of Calderdale, and the county of West Yorkshire. It incorporates West Vale, which is its centre, and it's near Elland. 

The population of Greetland and Elland together, in the 2011 census, was 15,625.

Greetland has a connection with Roman Britain. A Roman altar stone dated AD 208 was found at Bank Top in 1597.

One of the best-known buildings in Greetland is Clay House, to the north (Lindwell) side of Greetland. It was built around 1650, and belonged to the Clay family. It is available for hire through Calderdale Council for weddings, receptions, meetings, and presentations. 

The Calderdale Way is a 50-mile circular path that passes by Greetland.

Midhopestones

Mustard Pot, Midhopestones

The farming village of Midhopestones is in the parish of Bradfield and the City of Sheffield. It lies on the Little Don River (or Porter), between Midhope Reservoir and Underbank Reservoir.

Together with the neighbouring hamlet of Upper Midhope, Midhopestones is known as 'Midhope'. (Until the 1600s, the two villages were called 'Over Midhope' and 'Nether Midhope'). The name comes from Old English (mid = middle, hop = enclosed or dry place). 'Stones' refers to stepping stones across the river, which were lost with the creation of Underbank Reservoir.

There was probably a manor at Midhopestones, with a lord of the manor, from the 1100s, but the first written record of the village was in 1227, when a man called John de Midhope was a party to a charter. 

The village, which is in a Conservation Area, expanded in the 1600 and 1700s, and some of the gritstone houses still standing today date from that time. St James's church was rebuilt in 1705.

From 1720 until 1845, pottery was made here, at the Midhope Pottery.

The village pub, Ye Olde Mustard Pot, was converted from a farm to an inn in 1780. Initially it was called the Barrel Inn, and later the Club Inn. The Mustard Pot has quite a good Midhope village history. It is organising a Tour de France campsite.

Stage 2, Tour de France 2014: Frequently Asked Questions

What time does Stage 2 of the Tour de France 2014 start in York?

Stage 2 starts at the racecourse in York at 11.00, then the racing begins on the A59 at 11.20. See the full timings for Stage 2 of the Tour de France 2014.

What time does Stage 2 of the Tour de France 2014 arrive in Knaresborough?

The riders will arrive in Knaresborough between 11.51 and 11.54, depending on their average speed.

What time does Stage 2 of the Tour de France 2014 arrive in Starbeck?

The race will arrive in Starbeck between 11.57 and 12.01.

What time does Stage 2 of the Tour de France 2014 pass through Harrogate?

Stage 2 of the Tour passes through Harrogate between 12.01 and 12.05.

What time does Stage 2 of the Tour de France 2014 arrive at Blubberhouses?

The riders will arrive at Blubberhouses between 12.29 and 12.36.

What time does Stage 2 of the Tour de France 2014 arrive in Addingham?

The race will arrive in Addingham between 12.41 and 12.50, depending on the average speed.

What time does Stage 2 of the Tour de France 2014 arrive in Silsden?

The Tour will arrive in Silsden between 12.52 and 13.02.

What time does Stage 2 of the Tour de France2014 arrive in Keighley?

The riders will arrive in Keighley between 12.55 and 13.06, depending on their average speed.

What time does Stage 2 of the Tour de France 2014 arrive in Haworth?

The race will arrive in Haworth between 13.10 and 13.22.

What time does Stage 2 of the Tour de France 2014 arrive in Hebden Bridge?

The Tour will arrive in Hebden Bridge between 13.33 and 13.47.

What time does Stage 2 of the Tour de France 2014 arrive in Ripponden?

The riders will arrive in Ripponden between 14.00 and 14.17, depending on their average speed.

What time does Stage 2 of the Tour de France 2014 arrive in Huddersfield?

The race will arrive in Huddersfield between 14.18 and 14.37.

What time does Stage 2 of the Tour de France 2014 arrive in Holmfirth?

The Tour will arrive in Holmfirth between 14.38 and 14.59.

What time does Stage 2 of the Tour de France 2014 arrive at Holme Moss?

The riders will arrive at Holme Moss between 14.49 and 15.12, depending on their average speed.

What time does Stage 2 of the Tour de France 2014 arrive in Bradfield?

The race will arrive in Bradfield between 15.34 and 16.01.

What time does Stage 2 of the Tour de France 2014 arrive in Grenoside?

The Tour will arrive in Grenoside between 15.47 and 16.16.

What time does Stage 2 of the Tour de France 2014 arrive at the finish in Sheffield?

The Tour will arrive at the finish in Sheffield between 16.14 and 16.46. See the full timings for Stage 2 of the Tour de France.

Where are the spectator hubs on Stage 2 of the Tour de France 2014?

We have a complete list of the official spectator hubs for Stages 1 and 2 of the Tour de France 2014 in Yorkshire.