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Harewood shines with the arrival of the Tour de France.

Harewood House in Yorkshire hosted Le Grand Depart

The world’s greatest bike race got off to a flying start at Harewood this weekend. It was a truly historic occasion made even more special by Royal visitors, the Red Arrows, perfect weather and a wonderful crowd.

Crowds at Harewood House for Le Grand Depart

The Official Ceremonial Start began with the Tour de France caravan containing upwards of 140 cars which set off from Leeds at 11am. The excitement began to build as everything from tea bags to t-shirts were thrown out to the crowds.

After the caravan, came the arrival of the Royal party. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry were greeted by Lord and Lady Harewood who introduced them to Patricia, Countess of Harewood, Deputy Prime Minster, the French Ambassador, Lord Lieutenant, Vice Lord Lieutenant and the High Sheriff.

Overhead the sound of helicopters got the crowd’s attention as the peloton grew nearer. There were thousands of people lining the Drive and the atmosphere was truly electric. As the riders reached the official start line, they were called to a halt. Our top British cyclists were at the front of the pack. Mark Cavendish, Chris Froome, Geraint Thomas and Simon Yates were introduced to the Royal party who wished them well for the race.

Harewood House welcomed the Royal Family

The icing on the cake came with the arrival of the Red Arrows who made two passes of the House and crowds. After the fly past, the bikes set off on their 2,277 mile journey.

Lord Harewood, said: “But, much more important, a huge thank you to you and everyone else at Harewood for their fantastic energy, commitment, good humor and hard work. Without all of you, and a little bit of help from the weather, Saturday wouldn’t have been the huge success that it was.”

Alongside Le Grand Depart was the Dare 2b Festival of Cycling keeping the crowds entertained. The Festival attracted 10,000 campers and glampers as well as local visitors here for the day. They enjoyed the Tour de France on huge screens as they sat in the sun and soaked up the atmosphere.

Festival of Cycling at Harewood

It was an incredible weekend which has been made possible by thousands of hours of hard work. The organisers, staff, police, local councils, volunteers and local residents have made this a real moment in history.

Harewood opening times during Tour de France

With so much activity happening at Harewood during the Tour de France there are some changes to our normal opening hours for the big weekend.

On 4th, 5th and 6th July, the House will be closed to the public and members. This is to allow Harewood to prepare for Royal visitors and functions during Le Grand Depart weekend. Do not despair! The grounds and gardens will be open on the 4th and 6th July to members and day visitors.

If you want to come down and see all the activity ahead of the big race you can. On July 4th visitors will be able to enjoy the Festival of Cycling free of charge.

Below is a summary of the opening times during this historic weekend.

4th July 5th July 6th July
House Closed Closed Closed
Grounds and Gardens Open as usual Closed Open, free entry with Festival passes and/or parking.
Parking Harewood standard car park included in ticket price. Festival of Cycling Parking only (£10). Also applies to members. Festival of Cycling Parking only (£10). Also applies to members.
Festival of Cycling Free with standard Harewood entry. Tickets apply. Also applies to members. Tickets apply. Also applies to members.

If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to contact the team on 0113 218 1000.

Royal Appearance at Harewood for Le Grand Depart

Royal visit to Harewood

The Earl & Countess of Harewood are much looking forward to welcoming the Duke & Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry to Harewood. Harewood is the Official Ceremonial Start of the Tour de France and host of the Dare 2B Yorkshire Festival of Cycling on Saturday 5th July.

Their Royal Highnesses will briefly meet cyclists as they line up in front of Harewood House before they officially start the race.

“I’m delighted that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry are coming to Yorkshire for the Grand Depart and we’re very much looking forward to welcoming them to Harewood for the first time, for the Ceremonial Start and to visit our Festival of Cycling. I’m sure the many thousands who will be here will give them a wonderful Yorkshire welcome!”

David Lascelles, Earl of Harewood

Harewood is also hosting the Dare 2B Yorkshire Festival of Cycling, the biggest celebration of cycling Britain has ever seen and it is wonderful news that the Royal Party will be at Harewood for the launch of the Festival.

Over the weekend of Le Grand Depart the Dare 2B Yorkshire Festival of Cycling will welcome thousands of cycling fans and their families to a host of entertainment to celebrate this historic occasion. Events will include two fly pasts from the Red Arrows on the Saturday and a Spitfire, Hurricane and a Lancaster from the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight on Sunday 6th July.

Telephone issues at Harewood

Harewood House from the North

We’re currently experiencing technical difficulties with our telephone lines and emails at present. Our apologies for any inconvenience this may cause whilst we work to resolve the issue. For visitors calling Harewood you will find that the connection appears to be working however we are not receiving the calls on site. For urgent queries please contact our Duty Manager on 07801 340 712. Please note this number will be in service until 6pm.

Follow us on Twitter @harewoodhouse to keep updated about the status of this issue.

Once again, apologies for the inconvenience this may cause you.

Kind regards,

The Harewood Team

Red Arrows to welcome Tour de France riders to the Dare 2b Yorkshire Festival of Cycling

Red Arrows

The world’s best cyclists will be gracing the historic grounds of Harewood House as it hosts the Ceremonial Start of the Tour de France this year, and they’ll be receiving a very British welcome as the Red Arrows fly over the Harewood Estate, home of the Dare 2b Yorkshire Festival of Cycling.

The Red Arrows have performed at great occasions such as the London Olympics and the Diamond Jubilee, and are now set to conduct a magnificent Hawk jet flypast over the Festival on Saturday 5th July, as the first stage of the Grand Depart rolls onto Harewood’s grand drive to be greeted by the principal guests.

Entertaining the crowds with their trademark streams of red, white and blue, the Red Arrows’ flight will mark the beginning of a patriotic Festival weekend packed full of entertainment by the British Military. On Sunday the 6th as the tour passes from York on to Sheffield festival-goers will be treated to a Battle of Britain Memorial Flight, with the rare sight of WWII RAF aircraft including a Spitfire, Hurricane, Dakota and a Lancaster taking to the air.

The marching Band of The Corps of Royal Engineers, directed by Captain James Marshall, will also be performing several sets within the grounds over the weekend, while the Army and RAF will be taking over two acres of the Festival site with a range of activities for all ages to take part in, including an assault course, speed-shot football, a bungee run and military vehicle displays.

Taking place throughout the Grand Depart weekend from 4-6 July 2014, the Festival will be hosting high quality camping and glamping facilities, providing groups of all sizes a prime spot to see the Tour de France first hand.

As well as the newly-announced military showcase, there will be plenty more on-site activities to keep festival-goers of all ages entertained. These include a range of sporting participation events such as duathlons, cycling time trials and trail runs (with the challenge to beat times set by Olympic gold and bronze medal-winning triathletes Alistair and Jonathan Brownlee) as well as led rides out into the Yorkshire dales to view the later stages of the race on both days.

Among a host of further entertainment for all the family there will be a cycling cinema, shopping expo, live music and big screens to view the rest of the Grand Depart, as well as the Football World Cup quarter finals, F1 British Grand Prix and Wimbledon in a bumper weekend of British sport.

High profile guests will be there to join in the carnival atmosphere, including Lizzie Armitstead, 2006 Tour winner Oscar Pereiro and another former winner Stephen Roche, providing a truly one-off experience of the best that Yorkshire – and Britain – has to offer.

Dare2B Le Tour of Yorkshire

Harewood hosts the Dare2B Yorkshire Festival of Cycling in July.