MANY of the hotels in and around the tour centres have long been booked up by cycling aficionados who have planned their ‘Grand Depart’ with military precision.

Even hotels, guest houses and chalet providers on the Lancashire side of the border have cashed in on the tour’s first appearance on these shores for seven years.

The Lancashire Telegraph reported earlier this week how the Stirk House Hotel in Gisburn has been a sell-out and others also reported healthy booking levels, according to Visit Lancashire.

Just over the great divide in Todmorden, tourism officials have promoted a variety of locations, under their ‘Tour de Tod’ festival.

And while they were unsuccessful in hiring out the historic grade I listed town hall as digs, Todmorden Cricket Club has been offering camping spots and watering holes such as the Roebuck Inn and the Staff of Life have been getting their cycle-friendly credentials in order.