Personal welcome from our Eurotour Co-ordinator
Organising any event is a great honour and responsibility, especially one as prestigious as Eurotour. When considering what area to base the 2023 Eurotour in, Malcolm and I considered many areas including some that previous tours have visited. It became obvious that the wonderful gem that is Yorkshire, has been overlooked. We have organised smaller tours up in other parts of Yorkshire, but none have ever visited this part of the great county.
The title of ‘Eurotour de Yorkshire’ takes its inspiration from when the ‘Tour de France’ visited the area a number of years ago. We may be going along some of the roads used in that Tour, it is worth noting that there were a lot of complaints that the hills were far steeper to cycle up than in the Pyrenees!
To explore the many wonders of the area would take a lifetime, its rolling countryside, its industrious past and its majestic cities. We will touch on some of its hidden gems, which reflect not only its past, but the richness of culture, the ingenuity of its people and the quality of its produce - something that makes Yorkshire one of the proudest, if not boldest of all the areas of the UK.
We are all looking very much to welcoming you on ‘Eurotour de Yorkshire’ 2023
Eurotour co-ordinator 2023
The tour will take place over three days, with participants arriving from midday on Friday 19th May and leaving on the morning of 22nd May. There with be two full day of events on the Saturday and Sunday. Lunch is provided on both days and an evening meal will be provided on all three evenings.
Our tour will be based at Oulton Hall and Spa, conveniently situated just off the M62, north of Wakefield. Set within 300 acres of rolling countryside, this Grade II listed estate brings the perfect balance of luxury and charm. You can relax in the Champagne Bar or relax in the complimentary leisure facilities. If you want to take the opportunity to explore more of Yorkshire, there are options to extend your stay at a competitive rate.
Oulton Hall finds itself in the middle of the Rhubarb Triangle, where the first commercial production of forced Rhubarb took place, it is still the centre for this much maligned vegetable and is very much celebrated in the area.
We have built in as much flexibility into the programme as we can, to ensure the tour is relaxed as possible. We realise that people will be arriving at different times on Friday, the timings right through to the buffet dinner, are to allow for those who will be arriving at different times.
The tour officially starts at 12noon onwards when your hosts will welcome you in the historic location of Thwaite Watermill, nestled on a tiny island, the mill is one of the last remaining examples of a water powered mill in Britain. In its time, it was one of the most powerful in existence in the UK, this mill was in operation into the mid 1970s, when a weir broke, putting the mill out of use.
However, with a group of volunteers, this unique site was recommissioned and is a wonderful insight into the use of water power. A mill has been on the site since the 17th century, it has never milled food products, its most recent history being around putty manufacture.
After your visit, you can relax at the hotel, or perhaps visit The Hepworth Museum in Wakefield, the home town of Barbara Hepworth, it houses several of her famous sculptures.
The tour check-in will take place in the early evening, followed by a drinks reception to welcome everyone. Dinner will then follow, which will be a hot and cold buffet.
After breakfast, we will be setting off to Brodsworth Hall and Gardens near Doncaster. This small Victorian mansion is preserved just as it was when its last occupant left in the 1980s. An eccentric family, who, when they finished with a room just shut the door and left it. The gardens have been restored and this place is a real joy to visit. There has been a hall on the site for some time prior to the present house, and like many places of its type across Europe, some of its wealth came from the slave trade. English Heritage have been careful not to ignore this and there is an exhibition exploring and acknowledging this exploitation.
From Brodsworth, we will be taking a scenic driving route to the Yorkshire Sculpture Park. This is an outdoor and indoor art space, where art and sculpture meet in stunning countryside. There are some permanent exhibits from famous artists such as Ai Wei-Wei, Barbara Hepworth, along with a constantly changing internal exhibition space. There is something for everyone at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park and with the breath-taking landscape, it will always challenge and excite.
After this, the tour will return to Oulton Hall for dinner and entertainment.
Well rested and fuelled up from breakfast, we will depart on a drive of the countryside, heading northwards, taking in some of the finest driving roads in the country. Our final destination will be the Yorkshire Air Museum which being a former RAF airfield, houses some particularly important preserved aircraft ranging from the early years of aviation, through to more modern aircraft and includes the iconic Spitfire and Harrier. Here we will have lunch, your afternoon is your own. Returning to the hotel, the tour will conclude with a gala dinner.
Yorkshire and LGBTQ+ history
Yorkshire also has some rich LGBTQ+ history. Anne Lister of Halifax (known as ‘Gentleman Jack’) has been immortalised on the small screen, with her coded diaries revealing her determination to seek true love as a lesbian and equality as a woman.
‘Brideshead Revisited’ is set at Castle Howard. Said to be a thinly veiled truth, this unrequited love affair between two men, who went off to war is one to tug at the heart strings.
The story of Maurice Dobson is not as well known. Consider a same sex couple, living openly in a Barnsley mining village, not one you could imagine would be easy, especially as homosexuality was not legalised in the UK until 1967. Maurice and his partner lived openly and ran a local shop, which is now a museum.
‘God’s Own Country’ is a film which is set near Halifax, where the challenges of farming, migrant labour and family acceptance are laid raw. Dubbed the British ‘Brokeback Mountain’, it is certainly worth watching. Sally Wainright, who wrote the screenplay for ‘Gentleman Jack’, has also been quite forthright, writing in gay characters to a lot of her work all set in the areas Anne Lister would have known.
We will be offsetting the carbon footprint of this event, in line with GCCG's commitment to the future sustainability of classic motoring.