Not only is Stage One a first for women’s sport in the UK, but it also includes two rather unique sections of racing, heading through the grounds of two of Northamptonshire’s finest stately homes.

Boughton House and Althorp House are usually the scene of more sedate activities, but on Wednesday 7 May both will see 96 of the world’s top cyclists racing through their grounds during the route from Oundle to Northampton.

After just over 17-kilometres of racing, just after the village of Grafton Underwood, riders will swing left onto the Boughton Estate and race through the country park for approximately a kilometre.

The Boughton Estate is the Northamptonshire home of the Duke of Buccleuch, owner of Drumlanrig Castle in Dumfries & Galloway where the opening stage of The Tour of Britain finished last September.

Approaching the 60-kilometre mark the peloton will enter their second private estate of the day, joining the tens of thousands of members of the public who visit the Althorp Estate each year.

Around two kilometres of the race will pass through the Althorp Estate, family home to 19 generations of the Spencer Family since 1508.

While neither of the properties will be open to the public during the race, you can visit both at other times of the year – Boughton during August and Althorp on selected dates during May to September and December.  To find out more about visiting either estate, please click on the links below.

SweetSpot would like to pass their thanks to both Estates for allowing the Friends Life Women’s Tour to pass through their grounds during Stage One.