Yorkshire cycling website
Beverley Minster, by Hedgehog Cycling
Stage 1 of the Tour de Yorkshire 2016, on Friday 29th April 2016, starts in Beverley, heads west to Tadcaster, Boston Spa, Wetherby and Knaresborough, continues via Ripley, past Brimham Rocks, to Pateley Bridge, Greenhow Hill, Grassington, Gargrave, and Long Preston, and finishes in Settle. It takes in some of the 2014 Tour de France route. This is the stage 1 route map.
It's a race that starts on flat terrain, which might encourage an early break. The second half of the day is hillier, and should see the strongest overall contenders fighting it out. The stage distance is 185km.
Westwood Pasture, by Hedgehog Cycling
The ceremonial start of stage 1 is from Saturday Market in Beverley. The riders will parade along Toll Gavel, along Cross Street past County Hall, continue to the railway station, head south on Armstrong Way, then west to Beverley Minster; they'll continue west to Lairgate, which takes them north, past St Mary's church, then out of the town centre through North Bar, and immediately left on the A1174 York Road. The official start is from Beverley Races, which is to the west of the town centre, set in Westwood Pasture (photo above). There'll be plenty of space for the riders, team buses, media, and spectators.
Beverley Races, by Hedgehog Cycling
St Mary's church, Beverley, by Hedgehog Cycling
From Beverley races, the riders go west on the A1174, then north on the A1035/B1248 to Cherry Burton, a village of 1,392 people, which has a shop, a pub (the Bay Horse), and a village hall; it is a Fairtrade Village. From there, they take Etton Road to Etton, a village of 277 people, where Reverend John Lothropp was born in 1584 - he went on to found Barnstable, Massachusetts. Thomas Carling emigrated from Etton to Canada in 1818, and used a recipe from his native Yorkshire for the beer he made in the Carling Brewery. Probably Carling is served in the local pub, the Light Dragoon.
The riders continue north to South Dalton (a village which is part of the Dalton estate, owned and managed by Lord Hotham, and which features the tall spire of St Mary's church, plus the Pipe & Glass Inn, which has a Michelin star). The next villages are Holme on the Wolds and Middleton-on-the-Wolds. The riders then head south west on the A614, with the first slight climb up Middleton Wold (from 37m in Middleton-on-the-Wolds to 103m at the top). They leave the A614 to go into the centre of Market Weighton.
After Market Weighton, the race rejoins the A614 for a short distance, as far as Holme-on-Spalding-Moor. (The name of the village, Holme, is Danish in origin, and means 'island', and that's because the village was built on a hill in the marsh that was Spalding Moor. There was an RAF station here during and after World War II). From Holme-on-Spalding-Moor, the race takes the A163 Selby Road past Yellowtop Country Park to the village of Foggathorpe (which gives its name to poorly-drained, clay soils).
The next village is Harlthorpe, then Bubwith, where there's an intermediate sprint. (The name Bubwith means Bubba's wood, Bubba being a Scandinavian male name). The race route goes over Derwent Bridge (pictured above) before arriving in North Duffield; it meets the A19 near Barlby (which is on the York to Selby cycle route).
York to Selby cycle route, by Hedgehog Cycling
The riders will go north on the A19 to Riccall, also on the York to Selby cycle route (which is part of the Trans Pennine Trail).
The Greyhound, Riccall, by Hedgehog Cycling
At Riccall, they take the minor Kelfield Road, which passes close to the river Ouse at Wheel Hall (a farm on the site of a former residence of the Bishop of Durham), and leads to Kelfield. (Kelfield is known as the home of the York Prophetess, Hannah Beedham, who incorrectly predicted the exact time and date of her own death).
The riders go across Kelfield Ings to Cawood, where they cross the Ouse. Continuing west, the race takes the B1223 to Ryther, on the river Wharfe (just beyond the point where the Wharfe flows into the Ouse). Ryther has the C13th All Saints church, and the Rythre Arms pub; the Ryther family once lived in Ryther Castle which was on this site. The race continues to Ulleskelf, a village of 980 people, with a name of Scandinavian origin meaning Ulfr's calf. Ulleskelf has a station, and is on the line to York. It has a Post Office and shop, and a pub, the Ulleskelf Arms.
West of Ulleskelf, it goes north
on the A162 to Tadcaster.
The route has been relatively
flat to this point.
Stage 1 of the Tour de Yorkshire 2016 takes the riders into the centre of Tadcaster, then out again on the A659, close to Newton Kyme, and Toulston (which is mentioned in the Domesday Book, and has a polo club). At Boston Spa, the riders cross the Wharfe to Thorp Arch.
Exiting Thorp Arch, in a field at the junction of Dowkell Lane and Wood Lane, there'll be a piece of landart - a huge RNLI yellow welly. RNLI is the Tour de Yorkshire's charity partner for the 2016 race, and the yellow welly has been adopted as the RNLI's symbol. Fundraisers will be selling yellow welly pin badges. To highlight the partnership, the giant yellow welly - the idea of Knaresborough RNLI Guild member Paula Letts - will be put up on a field overlooking the race route and belonging to farmer Tom Kilby.
From Thorp Arch, the riders then take Wood Lane and Walton Road to Wetherby.
In Wetherby, they pick up the B6164. It's a road that's well used by local cyclists, although the professionals racing the Tour de Yorkshire won't have to contend with close passes by impatient drivers. They'll be able to make their way safely through the charming villages of Kirk Deighton and North Deighton.
The next village on the route is Little Ribston, near the river Nidd. The Ribston Pippin apple originated here - the seed was brought back from Normandy in the 1700s, and planted in Ribston Park. In the village of Little Ribston is St Helen's church. On the other side of the Nidd stands Ribston Hall, on an estate which was granted to the Knights Templar in 1217; the current manor house dates from the 1600s, and belongs to the Dent family.
The race crosses the Nidd and joins the A59 through the centre of Knaresborough.
River Nidd and railway viaduct at Knaresborough, by Hedgehog Cycling
Stage 1 leaves Knaresborough on the B6165 towards Scotton, running next to the Nidd Gorge, and almost parallel with the Nidderdale Greenway from Harrogate to Ripley.
Ripley Castle, by Hedgehog Cycling
The race goes through the centre of Ripley, then out on the B6165, over Thornton Beck on a little bridge, and up a short, steep climb to Bedlam and Burnt Yates.
Burnt Yates, by Hedgehog Cycling
(The B6165 is the sort of road that ought to be great for cycling, and it is rideable on a Sunday morning when it's quiet. The rest of the time, it can be unpleasant, because of the volume of traffic, and the fact that a significant percentage of drivers treat the speed limit of 60mph as a target rather than a limit, and some pass people on bikes too close, too fast, and in places where they can't see whether there's oncoming traffic, because of blind bends or blind rises.
It would be fantastic if the tentative plan to extend the Nidderdale Greenway from Ripley to Patelely Bridge could go ahead, to provide a traffic-free alternative to the B6165. To support the idea, get in touch with Harrogate Borough Council's cycle forum, or Harrogate Cycle Action).
Tour de Cinema at Brimham Rocks, Summer 2014, by Hedgehog Cycling
At the far end of Burnt Yates, the race takes the right fork on Brimham Rocks Road, which is a nice road to cycle. The riders pass Fiddler's Green, then instead of turning right to Brimham Rocks, they go straight on and descend to Smelthouses. There's a climb out of Smelthouses, then they rejoin the B6165 at Wilsill (the location of Nidderdale Llamas), and continue to Glasshouses before getting to Pateley Bridge. There's to be a big screen showing the hole stage, in the park at Pateley Bridge.
There's quite a steep climb on the B6265 from Pateley Bridge (altitude: 121m) to Greenhow Hill (402m) over about 5km. The first King of the Mountains points will be awarded here, on the categorised climb of the Cote de Greenhow Hill. (See road closure information - the road up to Greenhow will be closed from 10am until late afternoon. VisitHarrogate has more information about arrangements including parking). From Greenhow, the riders continue past Keld Houses, and cross Craven Moor, passing Stump Cross Caverns.
Presumably they'll be well-briefed about the notorious Dibbles Bridge, over the river Dibb: there's a steep descent to the bridge, and the road bends at either end of it, which can catch out cyclists and drivers; there have been a number of bad accidents here. The route continues through Hebden (featuring the Clarendon Hotel; in the 1800s, there was lead mining on nearby Grassington Moor, and a cotton mill on Hebden Beck; today, there are farms, a fish farm, and transport companies). It then reaches Grassington.
From Grassington, the race crosses the Wharfe to Threshfield (location of the Old Hall Inn and the Gamekeeper's Inn), and continues on the B6265 to Cracoe. (Cracoe is famous for its geology, particularly the limestone hills between Cracoe and Burnsall to the east, known as the Cracoe Reef Knolls. They are the remnants of an ancient coral reef which formed in a shallow sea millions of years ago). This is part of the route of Stage 1 of the Tour de France 2014, but going in the opposite direction.
At Cracoe, the Tour de Yorkshire leaves the B6265, taking the minor road to Hetton and Flasby. (Flasby was mentioned in the Domesday Book as Flatebi, a Norse name meaning 'the farm of a man called Flat.' Flasby Hall was built in the mid-1800s. An Iron Age sword with scabbard, the Flasby Sword, was found in the grounds). The route continues on the minor road to Gargrave. Gargrave Village Hall will be open from 10am to 6pm on the day of Stage 1 of the Tour de Yorkshire, serving sandwiches, toasted teacakes, and cakes.
From Gargrave, the riders go west on the A65 over the river Aire to Coniston Cold (with the Coniston Hotel just outside the village), and Hellifield. (Hellifield is mentioned in the Domesday Book as Helgeflet. It is said that the countryside between Hellifield and Long Preston was roamed by wolves in Medieval times. The village grew because of its railway station, in the C19th. The Hellifield Flashes are ponds, which support varied birdlife).
The next village is Long Preston, mentioned in the Domesday Book of 1086 as Prestune, meaning priest's farmstead; 'Long' was added later, referring to its linear development.
After Long Preston, the road heads north, alongside the river Ribble. It appears from the official race route map that the riders will go into Settle on the B6480, then climb out of the town, with Giggleswick Scar to their right. At Cave Hole Wood, they'll turn left onto the A65 to Giggleswick, cross the river Ribble, and make their way back into Settle on the B6480, this time for the finish.
Craven DC has information about Tour de Yorkshire arrangements in Settle, including parking, road closures, and the Greenfoot Festival Fanzone with a big screen showing the race, kids' entertainment, a stunt bike display, and after the race a showing of Sing Along Grease.
This official route video (26 seconds) shows the route of Stage 1 of the Tour de Yorkshire 2016, and the profile of the stage:
The timings for stage 1 of the Tour de Yorkshire 2016 have been published by Welcome to Yorkshire. There are three scenarios, based on different average speeds (42, 40, or 38kmh). These are the timings at some of the main points along the route:
|Distance||Place on the route||47kmh||45kmh||43kmh|
|128||Cote de Greenhow Hill||1502||1512||1522|
|172||Settle (first time)||1606||1618||1631|
The towns hosting the start and finish of the three Tour de Yorkshire 2016 stages were announced in October.
Beverley is a market town, and the county town of the East Riding of Yorkshire. It has a population of 30,587 people (2011 census).
Beverley was founded around 700AD by St John of Beverley, who was Bishop Of York, and who built a church and founded a monastery here. At the time it was called Inderawuda (in the wood of the men of Deira), but its name was changed to Bevreli (beaver lake). In Anglo-Saxon times, Beverley became one of the most important Christian centres in northern England.
After the Norman conquest, many pilgrims visited Beverley, inspired by stories of miracles associated with John of Beverley. Beverley was also a trading town, selling wool to cloth makers in the Low Countries. By 1377, it was the tenth largest town in England.
Thereafter, Beverley declined gently, albeit it was still the main market town for the surrounding area. While Hull was bombed during World War II, Beverley escaped largely unscathed.
Some of the historic entrances to the town, such as the brick-built bars, were taken down due to an increase in population, but the North Bar remains.
Beverley has the oldest state school in England, Beverley Grammar School, which was founded by John of Beverley in 700AD. Thomas Percy, who was involved in the gunpowder plot, went there, as did goalie Paul Robinson.
As well as the Minster, which has a tomb containing the bones of John of Beverley, there are two other C of E churches, St Mary's and St Nicholas.
There's also a Roman Catholic church, three Methodist churches, and a Quaker meeting house.
The main market day is Saturday, with a smaller market on Wednesdays. Visitors to the town can also patronise a cafe, or one of the many (over 40) pubs.
Beverley has a well-known racecourse to the west of the town centre, and that's where the Tour de Yorkshire will start.
The local council is expecting the roads to be very busy on the day of Stage 1 of the Tour de Yorkshire 2016. They have arranged two park and ride facilities. One is at Bishop Burton College on the A1079 west of Beverley, and the other is at Morrisons supermarket on the A164 south of Beverley. The services start at 9am, and buses go every 15 minutes during the morning. The adult fare is £1. This is the council's park and ride summary sheet.
There's a full programme of events in Beverley on Friday 29th April, the day of Stage 1 of the Tour de Yorkshire 2016. It includes dancing, comedy, music, a stunt bike display, and Rebecca Romero meeting and greeting the riders.
Market Weighton is a market town with a population of 6,429. The charter to hold a market was granted in 1251. Market Weighton was home to William Bradley (born 1787), the Yorkshire Giant, who was 7ft9 at the age of 20.
Riccall is on the Humberhead Levels, near the river Ouse. During the last ice age, it was under the Glacial Lake Humber, and as a result, the area has light, sandy soil.
There is evidence of an Anglo-Saxon church on the site of the current St Mary's (the current church having been built after the Norman conquest).
In 1066, Harald Hadrada made camp at Riccall before his victory in the Battle of Fulford, after sailing up the Humber Estuary and the Ouse. Shortly afterwards, he lost the Battle of Stamford Bridge to Harold Godwinson, and was killed. There's an information panel at the bottom of Landing Lane, where Hadrada moored.
There was coal mining at Riccall Mine between 1983 and 2004.
Riccall is at the end (or start, depending on your point of view) of the off-road cycle path, Cycle the Solar System, part of the York to Selby cycle route.
Cawood is said to get its name from the calls of the crows in nearby woods.
Cawood Castle was one of the main residences of the Archbishop of York, and the village grew up around the castle. The Archbishops were forced to leave at the time of the English Reformation. Cardinal Wolsey was arrested at Cawood by Henry VIII's men, and the the nursery rhyme Humpty Dumpty is believed to be based on this event. The castle is now in ruins, but the Gatehouse survives, and you can stay there - it's a Landmark Trust property.
Cawood has a connection with Dick Turpin, who is said to have forded the Ouse here when he escaped to York. The only other way to cross the river was by ferry, until Cawood Bridge was built in 1872.
Tadcaster is known as a brewing town.
Its history goes back to Roman times, when it was a staging post on the road to York (Eboracum). The Romans called Tadcaster 'Calcaria', referrring to the local limestone which has been quarried since Roman times, and which was used in building York Minster.
There was a Norman motte and bailey castle here, built in the C11th. There were wooden bridges across the Wharfe, but the first stone bridge was built in 1240; the present Wharfe bridge was built around 1700. The town's bridge was the scene of the Battle of Tadcaster (1642) during the English civil war.
Brewing in Tadcaster goes back to 1341, when tax registers record the presence of two brewhouses. It was a good location because of the quality of the water, which has been filtered through Yorkshire limestone, and bubbles up from springs known as popple-wells.
There are three breweries in Tadcaster at the moment - the Tower Brewery, John Smith's, and Samuel Smith's. Sam Smith's uses draft horses, which can be seen in the streets of the town.
Boston Spa is a village of 4,662 (2011 census).
It was established in 1744 by John Shires as a spa town, after he discovered magnesian limestone and sulphur springs. It attracted visitors and prospered until Harrogate's spa facilities became more popular.
Boston Spa has a Post Office and two pubs, the Admiral Hawke and the Fox & Hounds.
Thorp Arch, on the other side of the Wharfe, is several centuries older than Boston Spa. It had a Royal Ordnance Factory during World War II and until 1957. Part of the site is now the Northern Reading Room of the British Library, and the rest is Wealstun Prison and Thorp Arch Trading Estate.
The pub in Thorp Arch is called The Pax. Leeds United's training ground and academy is on Walton Road, Thorp Arch.
Thorp Arch was mentioned in Northern Upholstery furniture adverts from the 1980s. They always seemed to have a sale on. The ads finished with the locations of the shops - Carcroft, Brigg, Thorp Arch, and Hull. If you want to catch the sale, you'll have to hurry:
Owner of the Segway company Jimi Heselden died at Thorp Arch after he allowed a dog walker to pass him on a narrow path, lost control of his Segway, and fell off a cliff.
Wetherby is a market town by the A1, in the City of Leeds and the county of West Yorkshire. It was mentioned in Domesday Book as Wedrebi, meaning either ram-farm or settlement on the bend of the river. The population is 11,242 (2011 census).
The Knights Templar and Knights Hospitallers owned land in the area (Ribston Park), and in 1240 the Knights Templar were granted the right to hold a market in Wetherby, by Royal Charter from Henry III.
In the early 1300s, Wetherby was raided by the Scots, and the town was burned and many inhabitants killed or captured.
The first mail coach arrived in Wetherby in 1786. The Great North Road passed through the town, and a large number of coaching inns were established to cater for travellers.
During World War II, there was an RAF station at nearby Tockwith, renamed RAF Marston Moor to avoid confusion with RAF Topcliffe. Clark Gable was stationed there. Part of the airfield is now used as a driver training centre.
Wetherby has some manufacturing, mainly on Sandbeck Way and Sandbeck Lane - for example, Goldenfry gravy brand. There's also a Young Offender Institution, a cinema, a racecourse, and several sports clubs, including football, rugby league, rugby union, cricket, bowling, golf, and tennis.
At one time, Wetherby had seventeen pubs, but only eleven now remain.
Pateley Bridge is a small market town in Nidderdale, in the Harrogate Borough, with a population of 1,432 (2011 census).
It was first mentioned in a document in 1175. It belonged to the Archbishop of York, and in 1320, he granted a charter for a market and a fair. Until 1964, a railway line ran to Pateley Bridge.
Pateley Bridge has a large park, and a pool and leisure centre. It is home to the Nidderdale Museum, and on the route of the Nidderdale Way. As well as several pubs, it has the oldest sweet shop in England.
It was granted a charter for a market and fair in 1282, so is technically a market town rather than a village.
When the Yorkshire Dales Railway was built in 1901 to neighbouring Threshfield, Grassington began to receive many visitors. Today, they come by road, to visit the Yorkshire Dales National Park, including nearby Grass Wood. People also come for the Grassington Festival.
At Linton Falls, close to Grassington, Archimedes Screws generate hydroelectric power.
A Roman villa was found and excavated at Kirk Sink, close to Gargrave.
The Pennine Way passes through Gargrave. It is also popular with cyclists.
Settle signpost, by Hedgehog Cycling
Settle is a market town in the Craven district of North Yorkshire. The population of Settle is 3,659 (2011 census).
It is thought to have been founded by the Anglians in the 600s, as Settle is the Anglian word for settlement. Settle's Royal Charter for a market was granted to Henry de Percy, Baron of Topcliffe, in 1249.
Settle market place, by Hedgehog Cycling
Settle was quite isolated for many years, but industry did develop in the 1700s and 1800s, mostly textile mills.
Settle station bridge, by Hedgehog Cycling
The railway reached Giggleswick in 1847, and in 1875, the Settle to Carlisle railway was built.
Settle to Carlisle railway sign, by Hedgehog Cycling
The river Ribble provided power for Settle's cotton mills in the past, and is now used for Settle Hydro, a micro hydroelectric scheme.
The Singing Kettle, Settle, by Hedgehog Cycling
Settle is a tourist town today, popular as a centre for walking and cycling. A number of hotels, pubs, and cafes serve visitors to the town.
The Folly Museum, Settle, by Hedgehog Cycling
Settle Stories Festival began in 2010, and has become increasingly popular. It is held at the beginning of April.
There are a number of caves in the area around Settle where prehistoric remains have been found, including Victoria Cave (north east of Settle, and east of Langcliffe), discovered in 1837, the year of Queen Victoria's Coronation. It contained animal bones including those of mammoths, hippos, rhinos, elephants, and spotted hyenas. There were also items from the Roman period, including coins, brooches, and pottery.
Giggleswick Scar is a series of wooded limestone cliffs, formed by the Craven Fault. There are several caves in the Scar, a large cairn called Schoolboy Tower, and the Ebbing and Flowing Well.
Giggleswick is a village near Settle. It was recorded as Ghigeleswic in the Domesday Book, meaning dwelling or farm of a man called Gikel.
It has a railway station with services to Leeds to the east, and Lancaster and Morecambe to the west, and a church dedicated to St Alkelda, dating mostly from the C15th. There's a Plague Stone, with a shallow trough, which was filled with vinegar during times of Plague, to sterilize coins left by villagers to pay for food from local farms.
Giggleswick has a well-known independent school, Giggleswick School, which was founded in 1499.
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