After a day out on the bike, it’s hard to resist the temptation to hit the hay.
Cycling fans following the greatest two-wheeled spectacle on earth this summer can do exactly that, only they will be sleeping on grassland adjacent to a field full of 20 grazing donkeys.
The Donkey Sanctuary, in Eccup, near Leeds, is gearing up for the once-in-a-lifetime visit of the Tour de France in July by setting up a spectator campsite with a difference.
The charity, which offers free donkey assisted riding therapy sessions to 190 disadvantaged and disabled youngsters every week, has been given permission to open as a 60-pitch campsite during the weekend Le Tour visits to raise funds for its sessions.
Kirsty Christmas, riding instructor and fundraiser at the centre, said: “There’s nothing like waking up to 20 braying donkeys.
“We do get a lot of cyclists coming past already as we’re on good cycling routes and they’re always interested in what we do. This is a great opportunity to raise funds as well as raise awareness of the Donkey Sanctuary, while introducing people to the area.”
The family campsite, which lies in countryside close to the Harewood estate and Pool-in-Wharfedale which both feature on the stage one route, will host visitors on Friday and Saturday July 4 and 5, before campers leave on the Sunday evening.
There will be more creature comforts in the form of refreshments, a gift shop and evening barbecues. Camping pitches measuring 6sqm cost £100 for the weekend for up to four people.
For details visit www.thedonkeysanctuary.org.uk or call 0113 2619249.
GETTING IN THE SPIRIT OF LE TOUR
- The YEP wants to turn the region yellow to mark the arrival of Le Tour.
We want residents to back our Yellow Yorkshire campaign, which launches on March 24, by posting pictures and stories at www.facebook.com/yep.newspaper or by tweeting them to @leedsnews using hashtag #yellowyorkshire.
- BBC Look North’s Amy Garcia and Harry Gration will cycle 241 miles of the combined Grand Depart routes on a tandem bike, setting off from Leeds Town Hall today at 9.30am in aid of Sport Relief. Text BIKE to 70011 to donate £1.