Renowned for its cycling links, the world famous Tour de France passed through the centre Otley in 2014 during the Grand Depart of the race which went from Leeds to Harrogate. In May 2015, le Tour de Yorkshire also passed through Otley, this time the cyclists were challenged by “le Cote de Chevin”, aka East Chevin Road.
Otley was honoured again in the Tour de Yorkshire 2016 when it hosted the start of the second stage of the race (Otley to Doncaster) on Saturday 30th April. As well as the men’s race, the women’s one day race, led by Otley’s Lizzie Armitstead (the current World Road Champion) also started from Otley. Both races attracted huge crowds into the town.
Otley has a street market three times a week, a monthly Farmers’ Market, a wide range of specialist shops, award winning bakeries and butchers as well as high street chains and three supermarkets. The high number of independently owned businesses pride themselves on their expertise, personal service and value for money. The many traditional pubs and inns offer good food and a range of beers.
Along the River Wharfe, which runs through the heart of the town, is the attractive Riverside Park which offers beautiful walks, whilst the wooded hillside, rocks and moor land of Chevin Forest Park provide spectacular views over the town and the glorious surrounding countryside.
This delightful town has been a centre for TV and film industry for many years. As you wonder through the charming streets don’t be surprised if you recognise scenes from Emmerdale, Heartbeat and The Chase. To add to the charm of the town, Otley has its own Bellman who walks around the town calling out the town’s news and events.
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