It’s not too late to get on your bike, over the Pennines and involved with Le Grand Départ this weekend. We’ve picked out our five top things to do…

1. Beryl at West Yorkshire Playhouse and Tour de Social warehouse party
Stuck for something to do in that Leeds after t’peloton says ‘au revoir’ on Saturday morning? Tickets are still available for that girl Maxine Peake’s debut play Beryl (Daily, times vary, £12 – £23) at West Yorkshire Playhouse, about cult cycling hero and Morley lass Beryl Burton – or head over to East Street Arts festival Tour de Social (Sat 5 Jul, 8am – 1am, FREE) for Leeds’ biggest pedal-powered warehouse party.

2. Rapha Tempest Festival at Broughton Hall
An easy ride from Manchester, Broughton Hall will host hundreds of road-cycling aficionados at the Rapha Tempest festival (Thu 3 – Sun 6 Jul, £22 per day, £85 weekend inc. camping) – featuring cycle races on the estate, talks, DJ sets from Electric Chair’s Kelvin Brown and a Q&A with director of The Accidental Death of a Cyclist, the acclaimed film about the controversial Tour and Giro winner Marco Pantani.

3. King of the Mountains Festival at Swaledale
For our money, the best spot to catch Le Tour on is Swaledale. Watch as the terrifying descent down Buttertubs ends in the most perfect scenery in Yorkshire. There are a few family tickets left for the weekend-long King of the Mountains festival (Fri 4 – Sun 6 Jul, Prices vary – read our preview here) – and, while you’re there, enjoy a spot of luxury at Keld Lodge or camp out alongside stunning waterfalls at Hoggarths Farm (as featured in Cool Camping).

4. Belleville Rendez-Vous and A Sunday in Hell at Keighley Central Hall
The summer-long Tour de Cinema coincides with the race speeding through Bradford and Keighley on Sunday lunchtime. Highlights this weekend include Belleville Rendez-Vous (Sat 5 Jul, 5pm, £5) and classic Tour doc A Sunday in Hell (Sat 5 Jul, 7.30pm, £5) at Keighley Central Hall.

5. Calder Homes Park and Cragg Vale
A short-walk from Hebden Bridge train station is Calder Homes Park tour hub, a great place to see the race on Sunday as it heads across Haworth Moor and through the bohemian enclave. The ascent up Cragg Vale is the longest continuous gradient in England, passing Sunday lunch favourite The Hinchcliffe Arms, which is upping its game this weekend with an outdoor bar, barbecue and live music.


Camp up by the spectacular Holme Moss ascent to see fastest thing out of Holmfirth since Compo and Cleggy put wheels on a bath.

Sheffield hosts the climax to the race, and the Jenkin Road ascent may well decide who wears the yellow jersey – or head over to Bragazzi’s.

Culture Vulture checks out the logistics involved with staging Le Tour.

Thu 3 Jul - Sun 6 Jul
Joe Cairns
Published on:
Thu 3 Jul 2014