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Get ready for the 24th Legendary Grand Tour this weekend

The Legendary Grand Mini Tour calls in at Children's Hospice South West's Little Bridge House in August 2018

It's the August bank holiday this weekend and that can only mean one thing – the Minis and their drivers are gearing up ready for the 24th chapter of The Legendary Grand Tour.

How incredible is that, I never thought it would get past 10.

Last year was very special and a massive surprise, when we won the Pride of Britain, Regional Fundraisers award 2018.

I do not look upon it as my award; it belongs to everyone who takes parts, not just the Mini owners, but our crew members and motorbike marshals, as without them, the event would never happen.

Another group that we cannot forget is the people of North Devon, who come out in their thousands to watch us drive by and help fill our collection buckets.

Last year also marked an incredible milestone for us as our donations to Children’s Hospice South West went over the £500,000 mark, which is a remarkable achievement.

We have also given another £100,000 to other charities and associations that help us put the event on.

With the help of The Big Sheep at Abbotsham, which allows us to camp on one of its fields, our weekend event has now turned into a full week.

We will never know how much money we have brought into the communities of North Devon and Torridge over the past 24 years, but it has been worth it.

The publicity from the television coverage we got during the event meant that this year's legendary Grand Tour was full, two months after we opened the bookings. Terry at Baker at Children’s Hospice South West's Little Bridge House

For the rest of the year, I had to keep telling Mini owners that we could not take out any more Minis, and what a headache that was.

We had to apologise to so many people who wanted to be part of it, but we had to tell them we do not control the number of cars taking part, the car parks do.

Even after 24 years, the organisation that goes into the event is still a nightmare, but it has such fantastic support from so many people.

The motorbike marshals who ride ahead of the Minis and make sure no one gets lost.

Some of them also collect money from the people watching the Minis go past, and we must have the longest street collection in the country.

For everyone who was not lucky enough to get a ticket for the event, you are more than welcome to join us at The Big Sheep Mini Show, on Saturday, August 24.

During the day, Mini drivers will get into The Big Sheep for free, and their passengers will be allowed in at half the normal price.

Then in the evening you can come and join us for the Saturday Night Cruise around Northam, Appledore and of course Westward Ho! then back to The Big Sheep for a bit of fun in the EWE-TOPIA indoor play zone, this time it is free to enter.

It is the last big weekend of the summer holidays, why not make it a bit different this year by joining us, and see why the Legendary Grand Tour is so special.

 

Itinerary

 

Saturday, August 24

10am - Big Sheep mini show.

5.30pm - the Saturday night cruise. Meet at the information centre, not before 5.30 or you will be charged.

6.30pm - depart the Burrows.

7pm - arrive The Big Sheep. Free entry for fun in the EWE-TOPIA indoor play zone. The café and brewery will be open. 10pm the Big Sheep closes.

 

Sunday, August 25

7.30am - Westward Ho! Parking opens.

10.45am - Bideford Youth Piped Band starts.

11am - leave Westward Ho! Up Stanwell Hill, Abbotsham roundabout.

11.30am - arrive Hartland Quay.

1pm - depart Hartland.

2pm - arrive Dartington Crystal

3.30pm - depart Dartington for home, going via the two big dippers.

 

Monday, August 26

7.30am - Victoria Park opens

10.30am - Bideford Youth Pipe Band starts.

11am - off again along the Quay and over the old bridge towards Instow.

11.40am - turn off the road by Fremington shops and through the housing estate. Arrive at Little Bridge House and go round roundabout the wrong way.

12.05pm - Portmore Golf Course Road regroup.

12.55pm - cross Bridge over A361.

1.20pm - Bratton Fleming.

1.30pm - Blackmoor Gate.

1.45pm - Barbrook.

1.55pm - Lynton.

2pm - arrive Valley of the Rocks.

2.50pm - depart car park, sharp.

3.10pm - Hunters Inn.

3.30pm - arrive Combe Martin.

4pm - arrive Ilfracombe.

4.30pm - prize giving and auction, etc.