Hampshire & Isle of Wight

London 2012: Olympic torch on Isle of Wight chairlift

The Needles
Image caption The torch relay route will take in the Needles on the Isle of Wight

The Olympic torch will be taken on a cliff chairlift on the Isle of Wight as part of its 70-day relay around the UK before the London 2012 Games.

While at the Needles, it will be carried in the open lift from the clifftop down to Alum Bay Beach.

The London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games has announced all the places the torch will visit.

In Hampshire, they include Basingstoke, Winchester, the New Forest and Portsmouth.

Leader of Hampshire County Council, Councillor Ken Thornber, said: "We will now be working with our partners to plan lots of exciting events and activities to line the routes as well as encouraging as many people as possible to support members of the community who have been chosen to run with the Olympic Flame through Hampshire."

The torch first enters the county on 11 July 2012 when it visits Basingstoke, Kings Worthy, Andover and Winchester before heading into Wiltshire and Dorset.

On 14 July, it will travel from Bournemouth to Lyndhurst and Brockenhurst in the New Forest, and cross to the Isle of Wight from Lymington.

'Great honour'

Manager of the Needles Park, where the torch will be carried on the chair lift, Marino Zanty said: "We're all totally excited by this news. It's fantastic news for the Isle of Wight and the Needles."

It will also go on to pass Carisbrooke Castle.

Councillor George Brown, from Isle of Wight Council, said: "It is a great honour to be part of the Olympic torch route.

"This could be a once-in-a-lifetime moment to view the torch on our own island and I know the local community will turn out in large numbers to welcome and cheer on the bearers next summer."

From East Cowes, the flame will cross the Solent to Southampton where it will have an overnight stop before being flown to the Channel Islands.

On its return to England, it will make its way to Portsmouth via Fareham and Gosport.

After an overnight stop in Portsmouth, the torch relay heads into West Sussex through Petersfield on 16 July.

The relay finishes at the Olympic Stadium on 27 July at the Games' opening ceremony.

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