Fancy a track-side seat at one of the world’s greatest sporting events next year?
Well, now may be the time to start looking. Because when the Tour de France comes through in July 2014, competition for the best places to watch it from will be almost as fierce as the rivalry between the riders.
Each year, literally millions of spectators turn out to watch the race, which lasts 23 days and covers over 2,000 miles. Many even camp out to secure the best vantage points.
God’s Own County will get a double dose of the action, with the first two stages taking in much of North, West and South Yorkshire (see box for the full route).
Those with the best views may well be the owners of homes along the route, and you could be one of them. The following four properties all have great views of the action and are all currently for sale.
Rose Cottage in North Stainley is a cobble-and-pantile property believed to have been converted from two adjoining cottages in 1988.
It has three bedrooms, three reception rooms, and a garden to the side, as well as off-street parking for two cars.
It’s located in the north of the village, just near the primary school, and has plenty of windows facing out onto Main Street for a great view of the riders, who will have cycled more than 100 miles by the time time they pass by.
In Killinghall, 23 Ripon Road is a stone-built, semi-detached house a short walk from the village’s two pubs.
Having been remodelled and extended over the years, it now has five bedrooms, two reception rooms and plenty of storage space, as well as rear gardens and a double detached garage.
To the front is a mainly gravelled garden behind low railings – the perfect spot to put the deckchairs and wait for sporting history to race by.
Once the Tour reaches Harrogate, it should pass the Royal Hall and head (the wrong way) up Parliament Street – right past one of the town’s few tall buildings, Harrogate House.
Flat 19 is at the top – a penthouse-style property, with three bedrooms and airy, open-plan layout. It has oak floors, video entryphone and secure underground parking. The main attraction, though, is its views, which must rank among the finest in Harrogate.
From its living kitchen, you should be able to track the race from the top of Ripon Road, down the hill, up past your window towards Betty’s and the finish line beyond.
Finally, flat 8 at 10 West Park might just occupy that “golden position” right by the finishing line. It has two bedrooms and has been priced for a sale “without undue delay”. The third-floor flat is also high enough to give views right over the crowd’s heads
Incidentally, the Little Wonder Hotel (lately rebranded the New Park/Café Marsala) stands at one of only two spots passed on both day one and two of the Tour – and is also for sale for £350,000.
l Next week: homes along the route of Stage Two of the Tour de France (A59: Green Hammerton, Knaresborough, Harrogate, Blubberhouses).