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 144.

    136. It might have been better to have some events in other parts of the UK so pre-existing sports venues could be used.

    You mean like the football in Cardiff, Manchester,Glasgow, Newcastle, Coventry..or the archery at Lords, or badminton at Wembley Arena, or Judo/Fencing/Boxing at the Excel, or Volleyball Earls Court....etc etc?

  • rate this

    Comment number 143.

    3 Minutes ago
    136. It might have been better to have some events in other parts of the UK so pre-existing sports venues could be used.

    E.G. the facilities in Manchester from when that city so successfully played host to games.

  • rate this

    Comment number 142.

    Just heard on the radio the Government has 'snapped up' 200+ front row tickets for the opening ceremony plus countless others for events.

    Partly if not wholly funded by us the taxpayer.

  • rate this

    Comment number 141.

    I am sure the cynicism is well intentioned and a reaction to a miserably materialistic world.

    For sure the Olympics, and the leadership of the world, does barely merit our faith any more.

    But one day your cynicism must give way again to something positive; all things positive have only come about by individuals putting their own hands in the earth, without regard for what the crowd is doing.

  • rate this

    Comment number 140.

    What torch ..? what games.......? who is Lord Coe anyway...? Duh....!
    It's all about filling the back pockets of the select few.

  • rate this

    Comment number 139.

    136. It might have been better to have some events in other parts of the UK so pre-existing sports venues could be used.

  • rate this

    Comment number 138.


    You'd be a fool not to see the torch going through your town or watch beach volleyball at Horse Guards Parade etc. it'll be an excellent show & probably the last in UK will host."

    Call me picky but this doesn't sound the most exciting thing in the world to me ...

  • rate this

    Comment number 137.

    Seriously who cares its a total waste of time and money, as for the artwork please its a mess, a toddler could do better.
    Still the elite such as Coe have made a fortune out of OUR monies, and why is he a lord? because he can run around in a circle wow i would imagine millions of us can do that.

  • rate this

    Comment number 136.

    It must surely be a positive thing that the world's nations are brought together for this event? My only gripe is that as with most major events in Britain, whether new plays and films, major concerts or exhibitions, London is the venue. Yes, it is the nation's capital, but it is not the centre of the country, and is therefore not easily accessible to the majority of the nation's people.

  • Comment number 135.

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

  • rate this

    Comment number 134.

    Hosting the Olympics would be a lot on the plate of a small country - like ourselves - even without our current economic mess. I like sport, think it's to be encouraged but there are cheaper ways of enjoying it. I think the billions its costing would be so much better spent on more pressing concerns.

  • rate this

    Comment number 133.

    Olympics..yawn. Oops sorry, wasn't borrowing money for their Olympic games one of the reasons why Greece is in so much trouble? Funny how Britain can afford it - who are we borrowing from? Worrying.

  • rate this

    Comment number 132.

    Its wonderful that the flame will travel so widely but when will the calls to boycott the games begin. It is only right that, as the UK boycotted the Moscow games of 1980 because the Soviets were controlling rioting in their Afghanistan region, the UK should also be boycotted for it's illegal invasion of Afghanistan.

  • rate this

    Comment number 131.

    118 champagne charlie2 - I was horrified at the cost of the bid as, I will say, were so many of my friends, family and acquaintances. And have subsequently been totally shocked by the increasing costs, the crazy prices and system for admission, the ubiquitous appearance of those out of touch with average humanity lauding their efforts in public relations for the events. Did anyone ask me? No!!!

  • rate this

    Comment number 130.



  • rate this

    Comment number 129.

    Ever noticed a similarity between politicians and amateur athletes ? So many polticians want to change the world for the better, so many amateur athletes want to compete for honour and satisfaction,,, then they arrive at the trough

  • rate this

    Comment number 128.


    Go have a cup of tea and put lots of suger in it to sweeten your approach up!

    Some of us don't give two hoots for this event at all and would have liked to se ethe monies invested directly into the UK infrastructure of building homes, hospitals and school, etc.

    With this funding such as would not be happening would it?

  • rate this

    Comment number 127.

    118 champagne charlie2 It wasn't such a great idea when the bids were submitted; given our countries infra-structure, appalling transport network, tendency to over-do beaurocracy & our history of making very expensive white elephants (like the dome).

  • rate this

    Comment number 126.

    I see that British Rail and the Postal Service are not helping to transport the torch!

  • rate this

    Comment number 125.

    So far the planning of the London Olympics has been great, sports clubs & swimming pools have been saved (in return for backing 2012), tickets sold out (even obscure events) and now the torch relay is a PR coup.

    You'd be a fool not to see the torch going through your town or watch beach volleyball at Horse Guards Parade etc. it'll be an excellent show & probably the last in UK will host.



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