Visit Harrogate column with Mike Newby

There will be plenty for children to do during the February half-term, including fun at Stockeld Park.
There will be plenty for children to do during the February half-term, including fun at Stockeld Park.

Visit Harrogate

British cycling fans will be out in force to see Voeckler, one of the most celebrated cyclists of his generation, in his last-ever appearance on British soil; he plans to retire after this year’s Tour de France.

This year’s Land Art competition has also been launched. Welcome to Yorkshire are looking for installations that might be a church spire draped in a blue jersey, a field housing a mammoth bicycle, or a market square spelling out messages of support.

Just use your imagination as all works are welcome and stand a great chance of being beamed to over 11 million people in 178 countries when the race’s live television helicopters sweep across the county.

More information can be found at

Stage 2 of the Tour has been called Historic Market Towns so it is no surprise that ideas are coming forward to mark the day in the district’s market towns.

If you want to learn more or would like to get involved then look out for the Tour de Yorkshire roadshows which are in full swing. They are calling at The Dower House, Knaresborough on Thursday 16 February from 1pm to 3pm, Masham Town Hall from 5pm to 7pm on Thursday 23 February, the Council Chamber in Pateley Bridge on Tuesday 28 February from 6pm to 8pm and Studfold Farm, Lofthouse on Thursday 23 March from 6pm to 8pm. Further information and registration details can be found at The Tour will also be the focus of the next Harrogate Chamber of Commerce meeting on Monday 13 March at Rudding Park.

Details about how to register can be found at

Visit Harrogate is producing a special Stage Two Spectator Guide. If you are holding an event please let us know at

If you would like to advertise your business in the Guide then please contact


It may be three years since Harrogate was voted the Third Most Romantic Destination in the World (ahead of Paris, Vienna and Rome) but romance continues to blossom in the Harrogate district.

Valentine’s Day is on the horizon and if you have not yet decided how to treat the love of your life the Visit Harrogate team might be able to help you. In our website’s popular ‘Top 10 Things To Do’ we now have a ‘Top 10 Things for Couples’. Just go to the Inspire Me section of the website.


Next week sees the start of half term (or tomorrow for schools in the Leeds area).

For holiday ideas visit our events section of the website featuring children’s activities at Harlow Carr, Ripon Museums, the Pump Room, Mercer Gallery, Harrogate Theatre, Lightwater Valley and Stockeld Park.

I mentioned our Top 10 Series earlier and we have some useful ones for half-term, including ‘Top 10 Sunny Days Out For Free’ (useful if the budget is tight), ‘Top 10 Things for a Rainy Day’ and ‘Top 10 Days Out To Expand Young Minds’.

Finally, the panto season is not yet over with Pannal Players’ production of Cinderella running from 22 to 25 February.