Today it’s Barnsley to Bedale, covering a mere 132km, which the riders will cover in just over three hours. Tomorrow (May 4) will be Bridlington to Scarborough and on Sunday, riders race from Halifax to the finish on The Headrow in Leeds. Here is a selection of pubs to bare in mind for a well earned pitstop.
Bedale boasts The Old Black Swan (cosy, spacious with outdoor seating, plus Theakston’s Lightfood and Old Peculiar), the Three Coopers (b&b available here) and The Green Dragon (b&b).
Bronte Country has us taken care of, with The Fleece Inn part way up the main cobbled street and The Kings Arms (beer garden) right on the crest of the hill, so you can work up a sweat as the riders breeze past.
The race will travel through Skipton and up over Barden Moor into the Dales but before and after that, there’s an ideal opportunity to pay a visit to some of the market town’s numerous drinking holes, among them the 200-year-old The Castle Inn, the enigmatic Cock & Bottle (beer garden) and last but not least Royal Shepherd Inn.
THE ROYALTY, OTLEY CHEVIN
Boasting one of the best views from any beer garden this side of the Pennines, this independent pub also offers the chance to see aeroplanes landing and taking off from nearby Leeds Bradford Airport. Dogs welcome.
The Tour riders will whiz past Kirkstall Brewery’s flagship pub and its enormous beer garden, after which they will turn onto Wyther Lane and then head up an almost cruel incline toward Stanningley Road.
There are worse ways to spend your Sunday, so if you are planning on watching this section of the race, ‘the Bridge’ is as good as anywhere. Food is served but the real draw is the host of craft and real ales, including the eminently quaffable Kirkstall Pale Ale, Three Swords and the intensely hopped Dissolution IPA.
TOWN HALL TAVERN
It’s technically on Westgate but from here you will be within spitting distance of the finish line. It bills itself as a ‘village pub’ in the centre of the city. This Timothy Taylor pub dates back to 1926 and stands bang opposite the Town Hall. Food, offering a range of cask and real ale, from the ever reliable Boltmaker, Golden Best and Knowle Spring Blonde. Race? What race?