Poet William Wordsworth’s Cockermouth birthplace will be festooned with Cumberland flags to celebrate the Tour of Britain’s return to the town on Monday 5 September – and a table in the café with a bird’s-eye view of the riders will be reserved for the highest bidder.

Last year, when a stage of the cycle race started in the town, Wordsworth House’s façade was temporarily redecorated with green and white spots to match the SKODA King of the Mountains jersey awarded to the best climber.""

This time, with an intermediate Yodel Sprint finishing just outside on Main Street, the team plan to drape the building with flags in the historic county’s green, white and blue design.

Zoe Gilbert, Wordsworth House and Garden’s visitor experience manager, said: “William was the original king of the mountains. He tramped the Lakeland valleys and fells almost every day of his life and celebrated their beauty and power to feed the soul in countless poems. If bikes had existed in his youth, we think he would have been an enthusiastic cyclist too.

“In 2015, we marked the race by covering the house’s usual terracotta limewash with green spots on a white background. This year, we’ll be flying the Cumberland flag – lots of them. We’re also offering a table in our café, which looks out onto Main Street and up Sullart Street, where the riders will be passing, to the highest bidder.”

""Stage 2 of the race, from Carlisle to Kendal, is expected to pass through the town at around 1.30pm. For a chance to secure use of the window table from 12.30-2.30pm, with a free light lunch or cream tea for up to five people, worth up to a total of £50, bidders should email their offer to wordsworthhouse@nationaltrust.org.uk, including a daytime contact number.

Bids close at 9am on Friday 2 September and the winner will be notified later that day. Their payment will go towards the upkeep of the National Trust-owned house and garden.

Wordsworth House and Garden, on Main Street, Cockermouth, is open Saturday to Thursday, 11am to 5pm (last entry 4pm) until 30 October. *Adult £8, child £4, family £20; National Trust members free. (*Gift aid prices include a voluntary 10% donation. See website for standard admission prices.)

For more information on events and activities, visit www.nationaltrust.org.uk/wordsworthhouse

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