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Welly-come to Helmsley for the Tour de Yorkshire

With the Tour de Yorkshire just a few short weeks away, Helmsley is inviting cycle fans to set up home for the day in the town, with the message that ‘Helmsley is open for business’.

The race will head directly through Helmsley on Sunday 1st May at the estimated time of 1.24pm. The tour’s publicity caravan will also be stopping in the Market Place ahead of the cyclists, handing out freebies, at around 11.30am.

However, the Helmsley in Business group is keen to encourage people to come visit for the day, witnessing the spectacle of the racers but still enjoying a leisurely, stress-free day out in Britain’s Best Market Town.

Extra parking is being made available on the day. As well as the usual long and short stay car parks in the town, the usually private car park at the North York Moors National Park’s head office will also be available for visitors to use.

Individual businesses will be running competitions and special offers, and the town will put on a Yellow Welly Trail – raising vital funds for the Tour’s charity of choice, the RNLI. Families will be encouraged to find the hidden yellow knitted wellies to win one of two prizes – a family pass to either The National Centre for Birds of Prey or Helmsley Walled Garden.

In the heart of the town, the Black Swan Hotel will run an al fresco bar and cafe area, as a spectator hub, with live music keeping the street party atmosphere going once the race has passed through.
There will also be a couple of pieces of eye-catching land art to admire as part of Welcome to Yorkshire’s ‘Line the Route’ land art competition – both on the roof of the Black Swan and in the grounds of Helmsley Walled Garden – although designs are being kept strictly top secret.

The Black Swan will also host an art exhibition within the hotel of works by Lucy Pittaway, the Richmond-based pastel artist who has been chosen as the official artist for this year’s Tour de Yorkshire. Her colourful works of art capture both the spirit of the race and iconic Yorkshire scenery.

The town has already started decorating and will be a colourful array of blue and yellow bunting, balloons and banners, as well as adornments featuring bikes, helmets and lycra!

Lizzie Rohan, a member of the Helmsley in Business Tour de Yorkshire committee and owner of No 54 B&B, said: “We’re so excited the race is coming through Helmsley! We were going to put on a big additional event, but really the race in itself is such a huge thing, it seemed like we should focus on helping people make the most of being able to see such an exciting sporting spectacle. Hopefully the extra parking should help, as we know that’s the kind of thing which worries people, and we want everyone to have a stress free and enjoyable day.

“Helmsley is the perfect place to set yourself up to make a day, or weekend, of it, and enjoy the atmosphere. Once the race passes through, you can avoid the traffic and hang about in Helmsley for a spot of retail therapy, a bit of pampering, family fun or a bite to eat. Hopefully we’ll raise lots of funds for the RNLI too, and businesses have got lots of activities taking place to make the day fun for everyone. We’re looking forward to revealing our land art as well – watch this space!”

To keep up to date with news and information about events in Helmsley,  follow Helmsley on Facebook www.facebook.com/visithelmsley or @visithelmsley on Twitter