Tour de France 2014
In one of the biggest coups of the year, Welcome to Yorkshire secured the Grand Départ of the 2014 Tour de France – and it came right through upper Swaledale!
The biggest free sporting event in the world, the Tour de France is massively popular in countries around the globe, and attracts huge media coverage. The Yorkshire leg of the race was particularly opportune, with Bradley Wiggins and Chris Froome having been our home-grown winner in 2012 and 2013.
On Saturday, 5th July, 2014, the cyclists made their way up from Leeds, through Skipton and Kettlewell, into Hawes in Wensleydale. From there it was over the iconic Buttertubs Pass into Swaledale, just below pretty Thwaite and down Swaledale to Grinton, before heading over the moors towards Leyburn and finishing eventually in Harrogate.
The Swaledale route took in some of the most breathtaking scenery in Britain, from wild fells and moorland to wildflower meadows and pasture, with wildlife second to none. Tourists already flock to this wonderful area to relax, hike and revel in the beautiful landscape, but the Tour de France certainly encouraged cyclists to explore this area.