OPINION: - Get outdoors in May for the Tour de Walkshire - James Mason, chief executive of Welcome to Yorkshire

The first bank holiday in May is always much-anticipated. A long weekend to kick back, enjoy the improving weather and to get outdoors to meet up with family and friends.

Thursday, 29th April 2021, 4:40 pm
Tour de Walkshire 2021 - Skipton Towpath. Photograph taken by Steven Garnett.

Of course, it’s also usually the time for the much-loved Tour de Yorkshire international cycling race to be sweeping through the county, showcasing Yorkshire across the globe to a vast TV audience, as crowds of eager roadside spectators cheer on the cyclists, before heading to the nearest restaurant or pub for some fantastic food and perhaps a drink or two.

The pandemic has meant that the 2020 Tour de Yorkshire has been postponed until 2022, but this year the Tour de Walkshire will take its place.

Welcome to Yorkshire has teamed up with its official charity partner, Harrogate-based Yorkshire Cancer Research, to launch the month-long event, encouraging everyone to enjoy the great Yorkshire outdoors throughout the whole of May, to improve their own fitness and well-being, plus raising awareness and vital funds for an incredibly important charity and its life-changing cancer research.

Harrogate has an abundance of pretty park paths, stunning scenery around The Stray and it is surrounded by breathtaking countryside, so the Tour de Walkshire is the perfect opportunity to explore it all and for a great cause too.

Perhaps take in one of the town’s many hospitality venues en route, offering socially distanced get-togethers, and the chance to enjoy some local delicious delicacies.

The Tour de Walkshire, as part of Welcome to Yorkshire’s year-long Walkshire campaign, allows everyone of all abilities to take part and at whatever distance, individually or as a group and it’s the perfect way to get together outside with loved ones, as well as being an ideal opportunity for team building with colleagues, as lockdown continues to lift.

All who register to be part of this fantastic charity event will receive a free Tour de Walkshire t-shirt and if you hit the £250 fundraising target, a Yorkshire Cancer Research bottle and a Welcome to Yorkshire Y badge will be sent to each individual as a special thank you.

I’m looking forward to walking 450 miles, across the county, with some exciting celebrity guests, from Olympian Alistair Brownlee (hope I can keep up) to TV’s Dr Amir Khan and Harrogate’s very own celebrated cartoonist, Graeme Bandeira, plus many more.

It’s going to be a lot of fun for a fantastic cause.

Statistics show that one in two people will be diagnosed with cancer and the impact on individuals, as well as their loved ones is immense.

Every week in Yorkshire, 592 people are told that they have the disease. Yorkshire Cancer Research’s goal is that by 2025, at least 2,000 more people across the county survive cancer every year.

Raising awareness, continued research and vital fundraising are all of the utmost importance to improve the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer.

Welcome to Yorkshire and Yorkshire Cancer Research are particularly proud of this Tour de Walkshire initiative, promoting the county, as well as fitness and well-being, and benefitting a crucial cause simultaneously.

So celebrate Yorkshire with friends and family, and have fun fundraising for this amazing charity.