Countdown to 'Le Tour': discovering Holmfirth

As Le Tour is about to begin in Yorkshire, Cassandra Ferguson of www.theglamoutdoors.com explores the walking routes around Holme Moss on the route

Illustration photo of Countdown to 'Le Tour': discovering Holmfirth

At just over 1,700 feet, Holme Moss overlooks the picturesque Holme Valley and town of Holmfirth – made famous by the hit TV series ‘Last of the Summer Wine’ and its three irascible OAPs (who you may recall enjoy a spot of bathtub racing…).

Visiting Holmfirth, there is a sense of excitement as residents and visitors look forward to the arrival of ‘Le Tour’. Flags and bunting ripple in the gentle summer breezes, bicycles painted in bright ‘Tour’ yellow are hung above the doors and windows. And, in honour of the iconic climb of Holme Moss, the town has bedecked itself with the white and red spots of the Tour’s legendary ‘King of the Mountains’ competition. There is even a 10-metre red and white jersey on display – the work of over 35 community groups and schools.

The Holme Moss climb is iconic in the world of British cycling – its approach through the charming town of Holmfirth and the initial gentle rolling route through the picturesque villages of Holmebridge and Holme belies its thigh-crunching bite. But, as a cyclist or walker, it is tremendous fun to walk or ride this section of ‘Le Tour’ – not only will you have climbed the route of the peloton but the scenery from its 1,720 feet summit is  superb.

While it’s exciting to think that in a few days, the town and route up Holme Moss will be transformed into the bustling carnival of ‘Le Tour’, Holmfirth and the surrounding hills and moors offer the most wonderful cycling and walking opportunities throughout the year. And why not include a visit a working vineyard at Holmfirth Vineyard (01484 691861, www.holmfirthvineyard.com).

For a walk that combines villages, moorland, views across open water and picturesque woodland – visit Holme and walk to Digley Reservoir, returning along the foot of ‘Black Hill’ to a hearty lunch at the ‘The Fleece, Holme village (01484 683449, www.fleeceinnholme.co.uk).

Or, returning for a late lunch to Holmfirth centre, try Nick’s cafe for a delicious and great value meal - Nick’s Kitchen, 4 Victoria Street, Holmfirth (01484 685734, nicks-kitchen.co.uk).

It really is worth considering spending a few days in the area to enjoy its range of places to walk, cycle and visit – for information and accommodation, contact Holmfirth Tourist Information Centre (01484 222444, holmfirth.tic@kirklees.gov.uk).

Find out full details of the 'Tour De France' UK stages at www.letour.yorkshire.com

OS Map Landranger 110: Sheffield & Huddersfield

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Cassandra Ferguson is founder of outdoor website www.theglamoutdoors.com - celebrating everything that’s gorgeous about the great outdoors - follow on Twitter @theglamoutdoors

Cassandra’s first memory is of being carried up Pen-y-Ghent on her Dad’s back - and it’s been a love affair with the great outdoors ever since.

With over fifteen years of writing and editing experience, including five years at the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority, Cassandra’s writing combines knowledge, warmth, humour - sharing her hard-won experience from adventures in the great outdoors.

Cassandra published ‘The Glamorous Girl’s Guide to the Great Outdoors’ in 2013 (available from www.theglamoutdoors.com) and is founder of www.theglamoutdoors.com - a website that celebrates everything that is gorgeous about the great outdoors… with a distinctly feminine twist.

Cassandra is a member of the Outdoors Writers and Photographers Guild (visit at www.owpg.org.uk) and is based in the north-east of England.

IMAGE: Holme Moss and a row of decorated cottages at the foot of the Holme Moss climb.