Perfect pitch for the Tour

Campers Sarah Smith (left) and Helen Hodgson at the camp site in Low Bradfield, close to the route of the Tour de France.
Campers Sarah Smith (left) and Helen Hodgson at the camp site in Low Bradfield, close to the route of the Tour de France.
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Hello campers! A host of sites are opening for cycling fans to pitch their tents at during the Tour de France.

Thousands of people are heading to Sheffield for the exciting event and it is predicted many will want to camp near the heart of the action.

Cotton Star Camping will launch in Low Bradfield – nearby one of the event’s iconic hill climbs and a busy spectator hub – as the world’s most watched sporting event arrives on July 6.

Organisers are also offering guests the chance to cycle to the field off Windy Bank and have tents with equipment provided so they feel part of the peloton.

Mum Sarah Smith, who is running the venture with business partner Helen Hodgson and owns the field with her husband, said: “With the Tour coming we thought if we were going to do it, now is the time.

“It’s a site that is completely enclosed on all sides by woodland but within easy walking distance to Low Bradfield and a 20-minute walk from High Bradfield, so it will be right in the heart of the action.”

Local residents have expressed an interest in camping at the site as have visitors from outside South Yorkshire.

Sarah added: “It’s been untouched for 35 years so there is a lot of wildlife, we sometimes see wild deer there. We are off grid and always will be, we want to give people the experience of going back to basics, connecting with the environment and having quality time with their friends and family.”

Yellow bunting and fancy dress, fundraising for Tour charity Marie Curie Cancer Care, and food to fuel those uphill climbs will be on offer at the campsite.

Temporary campsites are also springing up in Barnsley, close to the race so people can soak up the atmosphere.

All of the 19 pitches are a short walk or bike ride away from the action and some provide a route-side seat. Coun Roy Miller said: “Camping isn’t just for out-of-towners.

“The Tour de France experience will provide several hours of entertainment and is a great day out for cycling fans and families alike. Making a weekend of it will allow people to make an early start on the morning of the race, while enjoying the build-up and festivities beforehand.”

n Visit Cotton Star Camping or Visit Barnsley for more details of the campsites.