London 2012: Torch relay heading for 1,000 places

Tyne Bridge, Newcastle The flame will fly off the Tyne Bridge on a zip wire

The London 2012 Olympic torch will fly by zip wire from the Tyne Bridge, ascend Snowdon by rail and cross Loch Ness during its journey around the UK.

The relay will visit UK landmarks like the Giant's Causeway and Stonehenge.

London Games organisers Locog have set out the 1,018 places the torch will pass through when it is carried around the UK from 19 May to 27 July 2012.

On the last day of the 70-day relay it will travel down the River Thames to Olympic Park for the opening ceremony.

During the 10-week relay, the torch will be carried by 8,000 torchbearers and will travel about 8,000 miles.

Locog say the torch will come within 10 miles of 95% of the population. It will go through every English county and every local authority area in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales.

The scope of the route reaches from Lerwick, in the Shetland Islands to St Helier, Jersey, as far east as Lowestoft, Suffolk to Enniskillen, County Fermanagh.

While the communities and landmarks the torch will visit have been set out, the street-by-street detail of the route will not be confirmed until later in 2012.

London 2012 Chairman Lord Coe explains what happens if the torch goes out

Locog chair Sebastian Coe said the relay would take the 2012 Games to almost every corner of the UK, saying: "Now everyone is invited to plan their welcome and find out where they can go to be part of this historic occasion," he said.

He added on the BBC: "We originally started out by saying 95% of the population would be within an hour's journey of the route - we now have that as within 10 miles. We've got to get the torch to as many communities as possible.

"Fifty per cent of the torchbearers will be aged between 12 and 24. We are going to focus on young people, it is a young people's torch."

The flame, in the torch or Olympic lanterns, will also be transported by more novel methods including boat, bicycle, tram and train.

The flame will:

Newcastle City Council leader Nick Forbes said the zip-wiring torch moment planned for 15 June was a thrilling opportunity for the city to be part of Olympic history and to inspire young people.

London 2012 - Begin your journey here

London view

"There could be no more poignant backdrop for the flame than the Tyne Bridge, an enduring symbol of our people and our region," he said.

The flame will go to Snowdon on 29 May. Alun Gruffydd, of Snowdonia National Park Authority, said it was most fitting that the torch would reach the summit of Wales' most iconic landmark.

"The Snowdonia landscape is here for everybody to enjoy and it is hoped that the 2012 Olympics will inspire people to keep active and experience our breathtaking countryside," he said.

Peter Carson, head of Stonehenge, where the torch will appear early on 12 July, said it was particularly relevant for the torch to visit the site as during London's bid for the Olympic Games it played a part in showing the UK's history and culture.

"We're delighted that having been part of this for the past seven years, the torch will come and visit us," he said.

Torchbearers wait

Jeremy Hunt, Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport, said the Olympic flame's arrival in the UK on 18 May 2012 would "mark the final countdown to the greatest sporting event the country will host in our lifetime".

"The Olympic Torch Relay will be an amazing opportunity for people to see the Olympic flame in their own towns and communities," he said.

In keeping with tradition, the Olympic flame will be lit in Olympia, Greece, in May 2012, and be flown to the UK on 18 May.

Iconic places the torch will visit during next year's relay

The 70-day torch relay begins early on 19 May at Land's End and, after covering the country, spends a week touring London before making a final journey on 27 July from Hampton Court Palace to Olympic Park, for the opening of the Games.

People nominated to carry the torch will be contacted with a conditional offer in December and their places confirmed from February.

Locog has also launched its Local Leaders programme, to invite people to organise torch relay and other Games celebrations within their communities, as well as its Get Set for the Olympic Torch Relay education kits for teachers.


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  • rate this

    Comment number 64.

    #58 sheilacoleman;

    "The HYS on this only allowed 211 comments, I expect it was as they were so scathing."

    I expect they closed it when the first of the moderators shot himself through having to read such morose and depressing comments.

  • rate this

    Comment number 63.

    The comments on the how meaningless the Olympics are to the poor, wee insecure souls who feel they have to perpetually advertise their apathy to any poor sod unfortunate enough to listen are themselves... meaningless.

    Get over yourselves.

  • rate this

    Comment number 62.

    Really strange trying to use plus rating on many of the comments against this charade and guess what many times it says rated but the total does not change??? Has this happened to anyone else? Wonder if the mods will allow this post! Ho Hum another day in paradise.

  • rate this

    Comment number 61.

    Delighted at all the negative comments! As well as being so miserable can you refrain from spreading your misery here and do what you want to do and leave the rest of us to it? If you are not interested and spending your time in Italy or wherever, do everyone a favour and start avoiding it now. The Olypmpics...its here, its happening, and no amount of self pitying nonsense will stop it. Bring it!

  • rate this

    Comment number 60.

    Once there might have been a time when i was interested in the olympics, but alas no more. It`s been turned into a corporate money making machine whose sole purpose is to extract as much money it can from this event. The ideals and sportsmanship of the olympiad are as far removed from the modern olympics as the timeline between 776 BC and 2012 AD.

  • rate this

    Comment number 59.

    ahh, to be British and proud.
    I hope the lot of you do avoid the olympics, but do those of us that are interested favour and shut the heck up.
    Despite the corporate seating priority and the screw up with credit cards, there are a lot of people who are interested in these games, the mass over subscribing for tickets being proving that.
    It's very sad to read some of these posts, very sad indeed.

  • rate this

    Comment number 58.

    Why on earth will it be a tourist attraction as it will only be seen for a minute or so. The torch design is cheap looking and the posters could have been desined much better by a school child. Why didn't they do it as a competition giving the school a prize instead of paying these other so called designers. The HYS on this only allowed 211 comments, I expect it was as they were so scathing.

  • rate this

    Comment number 57.

    John #23 - I'm going to hazard a guess it's called London 2012, as a city bids to hold the games. In this case, it was London that won the bid.

  • rate this

    Comment number 56.

    #54 EVERY Olympics over the past 20 years has turned a very nice profit. If this one fails to do so it'll be down to miseries like you raining on it. You don't hear the Aussies, Greeks or Chinese bad mouthing their Olympics.

  • rate this

    Comment number 55.

    I can't believe the torch is going through little bolton but not through BIG BURY.
    It could have travelled on from Ramsbottom (home of the Grants brothers mentioned in the novel Nicholas Nickleby by Charles Dickens as the Cheeryble brothers) on The East Lancashire Railway via the Sir Robert Peel statue and the No1 Market in the country & onto the Tram to Manchester. No room for more comments !

  • rate this

    Comment number 54.

    Sorry but from the git go I have dreaded this time wasting, money pit of a show hitting the UK. How many people forceably removed from their homes to built this daft Olympic nightmare? Only the wealthy able to buy up this property when the nightmare is over. Tourism already down for next year due to this tawdry ghastly show so money already being lost.

  • rate this

    Comment number 53.

    21 John it is the London Olypmics. It was awarded to London not the UK. Sydney Olympics, Munich Olympics, Moscow Olympics NOT Australian, German or Russian Olympics. Londoners are also paying through an Olympic tax fro the priviledge so stop moaning. It will be Londoners and the SE suffering disruption. Commuting will be a nightmare but I welcome the Games as showcasing what the UK can do.

  • rate this

    Comment number 52.

    40 - Rodders
    Can I just clarify - I am in agreement with some of the comments re vast amounts of money spent, commercialism, lack of available tickets to the general public etc. BUT..the Games are happening regardless so lets try to take some positives out of the situation - hence my point about hopefully helping to increase tourism.

  • rate this

    Comment number 51.

    #6 matha

    "My God, Aren't there some miserable gits in this world..."

    Indeed.I wish Australia would reintroduce the £10 pom scheme so we can get rid of the lot of em in one go.

  • Comment number 50.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • rate this

    Comment number 49.

    No interest in sport so the whole Olympics thing is a big yawn for me. In spades for the torch procession!

    Next year the school hols in Scotland start on June 30th and finish on August 14th. I shall be spending that time at my wife's family's villa in Italy. There's no TV there and no mobile phone signal. Bliss doesn't even begin to describe it.

  • rate this

    Comment number 48.

    "It is a young people's torch."
    Nicely marginalised, you grinning Tory fool.

  • rate this

    Comment number 47.

    Mm Buckingham on 9th. Isn't that the same day the F1GP at Silverstone turns out all the trucks, campers etc. I'm sure they've thought through the route though and all that traffic won't clash :-)

  • rate this

    Comment number 46.

    40 Rodders
    I feel that the BBC coverage about positive comments towards the route, is as equal as politicians on any other form of democracy.
    They think they know better....

  • rate this

    Comment number 45.

    It seems that many commenting so far don't understand that the money for the Olympics and all related events, such as the torch relay, was already in the budget years ago, before the current economic climate, and is not an extra expense we're footing the bill for now.

    Chips on shoulders all over this site today. I bet most of you will get caught up in it when it's actually happening.


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