5 of the best – Stage One Pit-stops

May 1st 2015 marks the first day of the inaugural Tour de Yorkshire – an annual 3 day, UCI category 2:1 cycling race in Yorkshire. This blog highlights 5 of the best pit-stops to pop into on the route.

Blog written and researched by @tom_ashurst and @richiewear13

Headlands Restaurant Flamborough

Within the first half an hour of the first ever Tour de Yorkshire some of best cyclists to grace this planet will fly through Flamborough on their quest to Yorkshire glory. Whatever happens in the future, people that watch the race from there will have the privilege of knowing that they were one of the first people to see the new chapter in Yorkshire’s blossoming cycling heritage.

Those that watch in Flamborough can also visit the refurbished Headlands restaurant, aside the dramatic white chalk cliffs, to grab a tasty bite to eat. Headlands offer an incredible range of dishes which is sure to suit all tastes, including vegetarian, as well as hot or cold beverages. You can see why Headlands would be a perfect spot for any of Yorkshire’s fluctuating weather patterns.

If the sun is shining then the ice cream kiosk will be your first port of call for some of Mr Moo’s real dairy ice creams. On the other hand, shelter from the elements can be sought indoors where dishes including favourites such as fish and chips or locally made steak pie can be enjoyed under the watch of Flamborough’s iconic lighthouse that has been guiding in deep sea vessels for over 200 years.

The Headlands – a venue for all weathers, all ages, and all interests. You may even see some of the Yorkshire coast’s famous wildlife too!

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Go Ape Dalby Forest

When the Tour de Yorkshire routes were announced, for me there were a few stretches that were of particular excitement, but I think the bit that caused the most intrigue for me was the Dalby Forest stretch. Obviously well known for its mountain biking routes, this truly stunning neck of the woods, will deservedly deliver one of the backdrops of the Spring during the race.

However, it’s not all about biking in Dalby Forest, and a trip to Go Ape is high on the priority list of many tourists to the area. As it says on their website, Go Ape is the UK’s number one forest adventure. Probably best well known for their Tree Top Adventures, Go Ape is a fun, challenging and rewarding day out where you can fly down zip wires and tackle the high rope courses in a completely unique and outdoorsy kind of way.

Don’t fancy playing the role of Tarzan? Then their Forest Segway Experience is an alternative way to discover the rugged terrain of Dalby Forest. These self-balancing, electric segways are really easy to steer and the experience is unlike any mode of transport you have ever had before. It’s great fun!

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Blacksmith Arms Hartoft

The location of The Blacksmith’s Arms at Hartoft is ideal in every sense of the word. Located where The North York Moors and Cropton Forest converge, The Blacksmith’s gives great access to a range of beautiful walks, bike trails and scenic drives. On the other hand the larger conurbations of Pickering, York and Whitby are within an hour travelling time.

On that basis alone The Blacksmiths must be towards the top of your list of places to stay to watch the Tour de Yorkshire. On the run up to the “Cote de Rosedale Abbey”, the second categorized climb on stage 1, it is sure to be a prime location for cycling enthusiasts waiting to catch a glimpse of their favourite lycra-clad heroes.

The Blacksmith’s itself was refurbished in 2010, the inn is old and iconic with a cosy welcome guaranteed, especially if you like sitting beside a log fire with a tasty real ale. This will, of course, be after you have tasted the food from the restaurant. Head Chef Kevin Ewington uses seasonal produce sourced a few miles from the kitchen to produce incredible food for all occasions. So whether you just want a light nibble or a Sunday lunch, you will be well looked after.

The North York Moors offers so much more than a full day can contain, therefore you would be well advised to take advantage of the Blacksmith’s spacious and comfortable hospitality for the night. The en-suite rooms have either a forest or moorland view and you will also have access to the stunning gardens at the Blacksmith’s.

The Blacksmith’s has won TripAdvisor awards in 3 of the past 4 years, and that is the mark of excellence that you are guaranteed when you visit one of The North York Moors’ real gems.

RomeroJo's Whitby

If you were planning to visit Whitby, you would previously have been forgiven for not factoring in a visit to a restaurant that serves Costa Rican cuisine. Not anymore. Romerojo’s can boast that it is the only Costa Rican restaurant in the United Kingdom and with the head chef, who is a native, the food is as Costa Rican as your coffee and chocolate.

After the Tour de Yorkshire has swung through Whitby town centre, over the iconic swing bridge, and up the hill towards the Benedictine Abbey, inspiration for the work of Bram Stoker, you are offered a variety of choice of things to do along a popular part of Yorkshire’s coast. If eating is at the top of your priorities then look to further.

Located metres from the route of the race Romerojo’s is not only convenient but is also child friendly and suitable for vegetarian and vegan food. They even have a dog-friendly room so you can feed your hungry hounds!

The menu itself comprises of over 20 delicious options from The Americas, including Costa Rica, Mexico, Peru and Cuba. Romerojo’s uses fresh and where possible local ingredients to combine to make exquisite flavours, and these are complimented by a selection of beers, wines and rum to wash down your feast!

All food at Romerojo’s is served with a smile, so when the Tour de Yorkshire hits the coast, you should hit Romerojo’s!

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The Barn Bistro Burniston

After about 168km of stage one of the Tour de Yorkshire, the peloton would be forgiven for feeling more than a little jiggered and in need of a sweet treat to kick start them on the long sprint into Scarborough. Well, as luck would have it, The Barn Bistro in Burniston produces delicious cakes and home baking that are served all day long alongside a selection of speciality teas and coffees.

The Barn Bistro was a traditional farm building which was converted into a stylish little dining venue in 2008. On a sunny day, you’d be a plum if you didn’t take advantage of their beautiful outdoor courtyard area and perhaps devour one or two Hop Studio beers too.

If you’ve been working particularly hard on the bike, then maybe you’d prefer to reward yourself with more substantial offerings on their Sunday Lunch menu. All meat is locally sourced, with outdoor reared pork from Easingwold sounding particularly scrummy. All in all, you can’t fail with a stop at The Barn Bistro.

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