5 reasons to visit Beverley this summer
- Credit: Archant
It is all go in Beverley either on two wheels or four legs, as David Marsh discovers
It may be just a matter of weeks since the first Tour de Yorkshire swept through Beverley but the town is already looking forward to another major cycling event that is a highlight on its sporting calendar. The crowds and riders will be out in force again on July 24th when Beverley plays host the Elite Men’s Circuit Race Series.
The event has been described as ‘one of the most popular and eagerly anticipated town centre circuit races in the British cycling calendar’ and is estimated to be worth about £500,000 to the local economy.
Colour, noise, excitement and a vibrant atmosphere are assured as for 60 minutes cyclists race around the 1.25km circuit that starts in Saturday Market and takes in the town’s historic heart. The following day Saturday, July 25th attention turns to the Big G – Grimpeurs des Wolds Cyclosportive.
Hundreds of riders of all abilities will tackle the rolling hills and climbs of the magnificent Yorkshire Wolds. Launched in 2008 and promoted by Hull Thursday Road Club, the first Big G attracted about 300 riders but last year that number had soared to over 900. There is a choice of four distances ranging from 30km up to 160km
Andy Cawley who helps organise this festival of cycling, said: ‘Both events have become really well established. It’s quite a spectacle to see some of the country’s top riders racing around the streets and people are amazed at how fast they go, entering corners at up to 30mph.’
Sporting activity of a very different kind also draws many people to Beverley. The town’s attractive racecourse is popular with many punters and during the 2015 flat season it will host 19 meetings. The new 2015 season showcases the racecourse at its best, with £650,000 of investment including the refurbishment of two stunning new Premier Enclosure bars. It marks phase one of a two year project that will see the entire Premier Enclosure redesigned and refurbished by 2016.
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Sally Iggulden, chief executive said: ‘Not only will it provide some of the smartest facilities for racegoers, but it will also allow the racecourse to be used throughout the year as a wedding, conference and party venue.’
The course plays host to Beverley Folk Festival June 19th-21st with a top class line-up that includes Seth Lakeman, Barbara Dickson and Ralph McTell among many others.
Six months ago the curtain went up on the first production at the new East Riding Theatre and the early signs have been encouraging. Converted from a former Baptist Chapel in the heart of Beverley, the theatre opened its doors in December and an adaptation of Dickens’ A Christmas Carol by actor and director Vincent Regan was a sell out.
It was sweet success for the Beverley-based film and TV star who was one of the leading figures in helping the ambitious theatre project come to fruition and is now its artistic director. He led a steering committee that was instrumental in driving the scheme forward with the help of a number of organisations, including East Riding of Yorkshire which granted a lease on the Edwardian building in Lord Robert Road.
Funds for the conversion were raised through a variety of initiatives – a sponsor a seat initiative for the 180-seat venue sold out – and the project attracted the high-profile support of Dame Judi Dench, who is one of the theatre’s patrons. Playwright John Godber, one of the theatre’s official ambassadors, has already trod its boards appearing in his latest play, Shafted! which tells the story of a married couple’s struggle to rebuild their lives following the 1984-85 miners’ strike.
Gordon Meredith, one of the theatre’s directors, said: “It has been very exciting bringing a dedicated professional theatre to the town and the first six months have gone very well.
“Right from the word go many people showed great enthusiasm for the project and we are getting great support from people who want to see the theatre develop and grow. It is already contributing to what the town has to offer and the longer we are here and the stronger we get the more that will become the case.”
The opening of the theatre is a big boost for Beverley, a bustling and thriving market town working hard to increase its profile and attract even more visitors to its many attractions.
Beverley already enjoys a reputation as a foodie town thanks to its annual food festival and a range of restaurants, cafes and delis. That reputation has been further enhanced with the launch of a series of monthly local produce markets in the Wednesday Market. It has not only food stalls but entertainment and cookery demos, future markets are scheduled for June 17, July 15, August 19 and September 16.
With a new theatre, improved racecourse, an array of festivals from food to folk and the major Flemingate regeneration scheme underway, Beverley is buzzing as many visitors are discovering.
For more information about events in Beverley go to visthullandeastyorkshire.com