Put on a brew and get ready wi’ the pie and peas – the Tour de France is coming to god’s own county this weekend. Abaht bloody time too.
Yorkshire ‘ant never seen owt like this. That lot from T’tour de France are comin’ over on t’ferry with their funny-shaped bread, fancy wine and skin-tight outfits to ride around in t’hills fer a bit. It all seems like a lot of fuss to me just to win a yellow jumper. Ah don’t know, it in’t like it was in my day I tell thee.
Anyway, it’ll probably do them some good to see some real hills, proper ones wi’ peat and moors and lonely windswept ‘ouses like in that book Wutherin’ights, not all that fancy-pants nonsense wi’ the ski lifts and southern jessies prancin’ around in sunglasses like tha gets in t’Alps.
And no doubt there’ll be all sorts o’ dee-dars and offcumden folk coming from miles around to stand by t’side of t’road fer hours in t’rain just to gawp at some blokes ridin’ past on bikes fer 10 seconds. Which’ll be a reet pain in the arse frankly. Ah well, each to their own as they say, I won’t myther as long as they’re not from Lancashire.
Anyway, if you’re daft enough to want to come ‘ere at t’weekend, tha might as well get a good view and a walk in while tha’s at it. Here’s some ideas for you dozy twonks who can’t think of ‘em yerself.
If you do decide to go to any of ‘em, tha better leave pronto – otherwise the traffic’ll be a nightmare.
1. Muker, Swaledale
All Yorkshire folk know that if there is such a thing as ‘eaven, it looks a lot like t’Yorkshire Dales. Rivers the colour of a pint o’ golden bitter, lovely moors, ton o’ sheep and some bloody great hills. Swaledale is an especially crackin’ place. There’s a bit of road called Buttertubs Pass above it where those blokes on bikes’ll have to climb up moss for a long way. By the end of it they’ll be so ‘ungry they could eat a scabby donkey ‘tween two bread vans.
The King of the Mountains Festival is appnin’ in Muker. Champerton.
Walking route: Muker and Upper Swaledale from Keld
2. Addingham, Lower Wharfedale
Tha waits all tha life to see the Tour de France and then look what ‘appens! Folks in Addingham are in the unlikely position of ‘avin the Tour come through their village not once, but twice – an no doubt some of ‘em’ll still find a way to complain. Ah well, that’s just what us Tykes are like. Some bright spark has planned a load o’ festivities over t’weekend so people’ll be all jolly and that. Ah don’t know, what’s wrong wi’ a brass band?
Walking route: Beamsley Beacon, Hazlewood and Storiths
3. Cray, Upper Wharfedale
Back in my day the car used to conk out goin’ up Kidstones Pass, so ah dread ‘think what it’ll be like for the blokes on bikes. Some wag’s calling it the Côte de Cray. But it’s also got some bloody brilliant views and some of Yorkshire’s finest hills and moors roundabouts. Tha can keep tha’s Alps and tha’s Pyrenees, it dunt get much better than this.
Walking route: Buckden Pike
4. Holme Moss, Kirklees
Watch this video of that Harry Gration and Amy Garcia from t’telly trying to cycle up Holme Moss. It shows them grittin’ their teeth, lookin’ like they’re abaht to be sick, inching slowly up some bleak, windswept moor in godawful weather. I don’t know what they’re complainin’ abaht, in my day that were a good family ‘oliday! Le Col de Moss is the toughest categorised climb in t’stage, so tha can imagine it’s not for anyone who’s a bit nesh.
Walking route: Upper Holme Valley and Ramsden Clough
5. Haworth, West Yorkshire
Tha probably knows Haworth as the home of the Brontës, the reet talented sisters who wrote champion books, died young and inspired that song my missus likes. It’ll be ‘eavin wi’ people but they’ll be big screens and stuff to keep the bairns ‘appy. Afterwards tha can escape the crowds for a wander on t’moors.
Walking route: Haworth Moor and Top Withins Walk
Carey Davies is the BMC’s hill walking officer and a proud Yorkshireman. He’ll be watching the Tour in his hometown of Otley this weekend, mythering about the crowds.
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