Berkshire

London 2012: Berkshire Olympic torch relay route revealed

Eton Dorney rowing lake
Image caption The Olympic rowing venue at Eton Dorney is on the torch relay route

The Olympic flame will be carried on water and on horseback during its passage through Berkshire.

The exact route of the Olympic torch relay around the UK has been announced by the Games organisers, Locog.

The torch will travel through the county on 10 July, passing Ascot Racecourse and Bisham Abbey National Sports Centre.

It will also visit the Olympic rowing venue at Eton Dorney and have an overnight stop in Reading.

The list of torchbearers and the places where they will carry the flame have also been confirmed.

After travelling in a rowing boat at Henley-on-Thames on 10 July, the torch will travel through Maidenhead to the Olympic rowing venue at Eton Dorney. While at Ascot Racecourse it will be carried on horseback.

Shelley Baynton, landlady at the Running Horse pub in Bracknell, said: "We can't believe the Olympic torch is passing outside the pub. We've got lots planned and are really excited - everyone's talking about it."

The torch will be taken on to the water at Eton Dorney lake which will host the Olympic rowing and canoeing events and will have a change of carrier half-way across the 2,000m long waterway.

Slough and Bracknell are also on the route before the overnight stop in Reading.

It will enter Reading on London Road before being paraded along the riverside and on to a special celebration event at the Madejski Stadium at about 19:00 GMT where a torchbearer will light a cauldron.

The following day the torch will make its way towards Basingstoke in Hampshire after going through Theale, Thatcham and Newbury.

Andy Murrill, of Reading 2012 Partnership, said : "Now the exact route is known people can start to plan where they will watch the torch go past with their families and friends. I hope everybody will have an Olympic experience to remember and give the torch relay runners a really warm Reading welcome."

Eight thousand torchbearers will carry the flame on its journey around the British Isles, starting on 19 May.

Fiona Devine was nominated for the relay for her role in setting up a children's hospice service for Berkshire.

She founded the Alexander Devine charity after her eight-year-old son died from a brain tumour.

"It made us realise there was a lack of palliative care in Berkshire. The hospital staff were great but we needed more and there is such a demand," she said.

The charity currently has two "Alexander Nurses" helping children with life-shortening conditions in their own homes.

There are also plans for a purpose-built hospice on six acres of land in Maidenhead.

Ms Devine said: "It's been immense but it's been a privilege to do anything that can make people's lives better and to help others in Alexander's name."

She said receiving several nominations for the Olympic torch relay was a "complete surprise".

The relay finishes at the Olympic Stadium on 27 July for the lighting of the cauldron at the Opening Ceremony, signifying the official start of the Games.

Locog says the torch will come within 10 miles of 95% of the population.

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