The Countrywide Great Tour is coming to Devon
- Credit: Archant
A 64-day cycle ride taking in the entire coast of Great Britain is coming your way - and anyone can get involved
It’s being billed as Britain’s ultimate cycling challenge – a chance to cycle all the way around the coast of Great Britain in 64 days. The Countrywide Great Tour begins in July and will be coming to a coastal road near you soon.
And if you enjoy seeing the world from the saddle of a bicycle you can take part – for a day, a week or even the whole 6,800 kilometres.
The event begins in Holyhead on Anglesey on 4 July – the same day that the Tour de France begins.
Heading clockwise – with the sight, sounds and smell of the sea never far from the riders – the tour circumnavigates Great Britain. It returns to Holyhead just over two months on Saturday 5 September – on the eve of the Friends Life Tour of Britain’s Grand Depart from Anglesey.
Each day of the Countrywide Great Tour will have capacity for up to 250 riders, with a core group of riders completing the entire challenge.
Along the way they will be joined by members of the public wishing to ride a day or week of the route, plus riders from corporate and charity partners, using the event to raise funds for good causes.
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Among the charities to have already signed up to the Countrywide Great Tour as a fundraising and awareness platform are Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research, Anthony Nolan, Macmillan and the Alzheimer’s Society.
Hugh Roberts, Chief Executive of organisers SweetSpot Group, personally completed the Great Tour route in 2010.
He said: “The Countrywide Great Tour is a fantastic challenge.
“We want to stimulate cycle tourism by creating and formalising a route that circumnavigates Britain’s fantastic coastline, drawing attention to all of the attractions it has to offer. We hope to firmly establish the Countrywide Great Tour as an annual event, providing a platform for charitable fundraising and promoting cycling in each of the communities it touches around the coast.”
Working with partners Ordnance Survey, each day of the Countrywide Great Tour will be mapped and shared using Ordnance Survey products, with an official route app also being published.
A club will also be created for riders who have completed the entire circumnavigation, whether in one go, or over a prolonged period.
The Countrywide Great Tour is supported by Countrywide, the UK’s largest and most successful estate agency and property services group.
Commenting on Countrywide’s involvement in The Great Tour, Alison Platt, Chief Executive Officer of Countrywide PLC said: “We are thrilled to support The Great Tour as lead sponsor and are very pleased to strengthen our involvement in supporting the local communities all along the route.
“We were particularly struck by the opportunity to develop extensive charitable support and as a national organisation thought that we could support the Great Tour around the entire country.”
The Countrywide Great Tour is being put on in tandem with CTC, the national cycling charity, who are the experts in helping and supporting thousands of everyday cyclists to realise the joys and benefits of cycling.
CTC are supporting the riders with trained ride leaders, insurance and membership package.
The charity’s Chief Executive Officer Paul Tuohy urged rider to take part, saying: “CTC has been helping cyclists ride for leisure and pleasure for over 137 years and is proud to be part of such a stunning cycling event.
“We want as many people as possible to join us and have a fun and enjoyable time exploring the fantastic riding the coastline of Britain has to offer.”
The Devon route
In Devon the Countrywide Great Tour will arrive in Seaton on 15 August, at the end of a 100 kilometre ride from Poole along the stunning Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site.
The following day (16 August) the cyclists will head along the beautiful East Devon coast, through Sidmouth, Budleigh Salterton and Exmouth and along both sides of the Exe estuary before following the coast down to the historic town of Dartmouth.
The next day (17 August) the riders make their way along the South Devon coastline past Slapton Sands, Salcome and Burgh Island before dropping down into the naval port of Plymouth.
Six days later, after cycling the coast of Cornwall, the riders will return to Devon on 23 August on a north coast route that begins in Padstow, Cornwall, and ends on the famous steep cobbled streets of picture-postcard fishing village Clovelly.
On 24 August the cyclists continue through Bideford, Barnstaple and Ilfracombe and then along the dramatic ‘hidden coast’ of Exmoor above the Bristol Channel and on into Porlock in Somerset.
How do I take part?
For more information about the Countrywide Great Tour, please visit thegreattour.co.uk to find out about all 64 legs of this epic challenge