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Olympic Torch Route Revealed
The first glimpse that Britain will get of the Olympic torch as it makes its way to the start of the London 2012 Games will be at Land's End, it was announced today (18th May).
The 70-day, 8,000-mile torch relay will snake across the length and breadth of the nation, starting on May 19 2012, before reaching the opening ceremony at the Olympic Stadium on July 27 2012.
The stops include Southampton, Portsmouth, Weymouth and Bournemouth.
The aim is that 95% of the UK population would take no longer than an hour to travel to the relay.
Councillor John Hannides, Cabinet Member for Leisure and Culture at Southampton City Council, said: "It is fantastic news that Southampton has been chosen as an Olympic torch destination.
The City has a proud and fine heritage for producing elite athletes, so it is wonderful that we will be able to share an important part of the London 2012 games with residents and visitors. The visit of the torch emphasises the importance of the City in the South East and the country as a whole."
Cllr Peter Charon, Leader of the Bournemouth Borough Council, said:
"There are over 163,000 reasons why the Olympic Torch should come to Bournemouth - our residents. They help us welcome 5million visitors to Bournemouth each year and have recently voted their home town the happiest in the UK.
Add to that the Council's role in staging the UK's biggest free Air Festival each August and you can be certain that the Olympic Torch Relay will be greeted unreservedly by the people of Bournemouth, and in breathtaking style."
"We want to involve Bournemouth's communities in staging a fabulous Evening Event, and will be looking for inspiration from them on how to showcase the town's amazing diversity and unique warmth - all in true Olympic spirit."
Sebastian Coe, Chair of LOCOG said:
"We are thrilled that Bournemouth has agreed to host the Olympic Flame on its journey right across the UK. The Olympic Flame will shine a light right across the town, celebrating the culture and heritage of the area and showcasing the very best of Bournemouth.
"We have no doubt that the welcome Bournemouth Borough Council will provide will demonstrate how the spirit of the Olympic Games is reaching out across the UK and excitement builds as the start of the 2012 Games draws closer."
Here is the route of the relay and some of the sporting and cultural landmarks to watch out for:
:: May 19 - Land's End, South West. This landmark is famed as the most south-westerly point of mainland Britain.
:: May 19 - Plymouth, South West. The home of Tom Daley, the teenage World diving champion and one of Britain's hopes for success at the London 2012 Olympics.
:: May 20 - Exeter, South West.
:: May 21 - Taunton, South West.
:: May 22 - Bristol, South West.
:: May 23 - Cheltenham, South West.
:: May 24 - Worcester, West Midlands.
:: May 25 - Cardiff, Wales. The seat of the Welsh Assembly.
:: May 26 - Swansea, Wales. The home town of poet Dylan Thomas and Oscar-winner Catherine Zeta-Jones.
:: May 27 - Aberystwyth, Wales.
:: May 28 - Bangor, Wales.
:: May 29 - Chester, North West.
:: May 30 - Stoke on Trent, West Midlands.
:: May 31 - Bolton, North West. Sprint cycle star Jason Kenny, already a gold and silver medalist from the Beijing Games, looks set to be among the ones to watch at London 2012.
:: June 1 - Liverpool, North West. Being the birthplace of the Beatles alone gives Liverpool a place in history. It also boasts the Royal Liver Building, Liverpool FC and was the 2008 European Capital of Culture.
:: June 2 - Isle of Man, North West. Mark Cavendish, self-styled as the fastest man on two wheels and a 15-time Tour de France stage winner, hails from this region. The Manx man is also a strong tip for Britain's first gold medal of 2012 when he is set to take on the road race competition.
:: June 3 - Portrush, Northern Ireland.
:: June 4 - Derry/Londonderry, Northern Ireland. Nobel Prize-winning writer Seamus Heaney plus punk rockers The Undertones are from this region, which is the UK's City of Culture 2013.
:: June 5 - Newry, Northern Ireland.
:: June 6 - Belfast, Northern Ireland. This is the adopted hometown of Dame Mary Peters who will be marking the 40th anniversary of her winning the 1972 Olympic pentathlon gold medal. She became the nation's golden girl and at a time when the Troubles were at their most intense, her victory brought a temporary calmness to Northern Ireland with rival factions celebrating her sporting success.
:: June 8 - Glasgow, Scotland. Charles Rennie Mackintosh is celebrated around the world as one of the most creative figures of the early 20th Century after making his mark on architecture and design. Glasgow is also a Unesco City of Music.
:: June 9 - Inverness, Scotland.
:: June 10 - Orkney, Scotland. The Islands of Orkney are a group of about 70 islands and skerries situated 10km (6.2 miles) from the north-east tip of the Scottish mainland. It boasts the UK's largest crab processing plant.
:: June 10 - Shetland, Scotland. Shetland is known as Britain's most remote inhabited island. It is also home to thousands of puffins and the islands have a reputation for attracting rare migrant birds.
:: June 11 - Isle of Lewis, Scotland.
:: June 11 - Aberdeen, Scotland.
:: June 12 - Dundee, Scotland.
:: June 13 - Edinburgh, Scotland. Arthur's Seat is one of the must-see landmarks looming over the city which annually stages the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Sherlock Holmes creator Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and four-time Olympic cycling champion Sir Chris Hoy were both born in Edinburgh.
:: June 14 - Alnwick, North East.
:: June 15 - Newcastle, North East.
:: June 16 - Durham, North East.
:: June 17 - Middlesbrough, North East.
:: June 18 - Hull, Yorkshire and Humber.
:: June 19 - York, Yorkshire and Humber.
:: June 20 - Carlisle, North West.
:: June 21 - Bowness-on-Windermere, North West.
:: June 22 - Blackpool, North West. Heritage buffs may be familiar with the historic and Victorian sites including The Grand Theatre, Blackpool Tower and the crowd-pulling illuminations.
:: June 23 - Manchester, North West.
:: June 24 - Leeds, Yorkshire and Humber.
:: June 25 - Sheffield, Yorkshire and Humber. London 2012 chairman and two-time Olympic 1,500m champion Lord Coe and World champion heptathlete Jessica Ennis, who is going for gold at the the 2012 Games, are among Sheffield's track and field famous sons and daughters.
:: June 26 - Cleethorpes, Yorkshire and Humber.
:: June 27 - Lincoln, East Midlands.
:: June 28 - Nottingham, East Midlands. Nottingham's ice-skating legends Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean, the 1984 Olympic ice dance champions, are among the Olympic ambassadors who will be helping give advice to Britain's 2012 hopefuls. This region is also linked with the legend of Robin Hood.
:: June 29 - Derby, East Midlands.
:: June 30 - Birmingham, West Midlands.
:: July 1 - Coventry, West Midlands.
:: July 2 - Leicester, East Midlands.
:: July 3 - Peterborough, East of England.
:: July 4 - Norwich, East of England.
:: July 5 - Ipswich, East of England.
:: July 6 - Chelmsford, East of England.
:: July 7 - Cambridge, East of England.
:: July 8 - Luton, East of England.
:: July 9 - Oxford, South East.
:: July 10 - Reading, South East.
:: July 11 - Salisbury, South West.
:: July 12 - Weymouth & Portland , South West. The London 2012 sailing competitions will be held here.
:: July 13 - Bournemouth , South West.
:: July 14 - Southampton , South East.
:: July 15 - Guernsey, South East.
:: July 15 - Jersey, South East.
:: July 15 - Portsmouth . Portsmouth is home to almost two-thirds of the Royal Navy's surface ships. It is also where HMS Victory, Horatio Nelson's flagship at the Battle of Trafalgar and the Royal Navy's most famous ship, is docked.
:: July 16 - Brighton & Hove, South East.
:: July 17 - Hastings, South East.
:: July 18 - Dover, South East.
:: July 19 - Maidstone, South East.
:: July 20 - Guildford, South East.
:: July 21 - Waltham Forest, London.
:: July 22 - Bexley, London.
:: July 23 - Wandsworth, London.
:: July 24 - Ealing, London.
:: July 25 - Haringey, London.
:: July 26 - Westminster, London.
:: July 27 - Opening Ceremony, Olympic Stadium.
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