Source: www.guardian.co.tt

By Tom Degun at the Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre in London

London 2012 today revealed the first details of the route of 70-day, 8,000-mile Torch Relay of Britain ahead of next year's Olympics, starting at the southern tip of the country at Land's End in Cornwall on May 19, 2012.

London 2012 officials announced 74 locations where 8,000 torchbearers will carry the flame after it arrives from Greece - where it will be lit on Mount Olympus, the ancient birthplace of the Games - in exactly a year's time on May 18, 2012.

The relay, which is being presented by London 2012 Tier One partner Lloyds TSB and Olympic worldwide sponsors Coca-Cola and Samsung, will start the following morning at Land's End, chosen ahead of Dover, where the Torch arrived the last time London hosted the Games in 1948.

The torch will pass through England's major cities, the capitals of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland as well as remote outposts including the Isle of Lewis.

Dublin is also set to be officially confirmed as a stop on the Relay on June 7 when it is set to travel from Belfast to the Irish capital, where it will spend a day, before departing for Glasgow, its first stop in Scotland, where it will spend eight days.

The flame will spend the week in London - arriving in Waltham Forest on July 21 - before it is used to light the cauldron at the opening ceremony in the Olympic Stadium on Friday, July 27, 2012.

it is estimated that 95 per cent of the population will be within a one hour journey time of the London 2012 Olympic Torch Relay.

"The Olympic Flame will shine a light right across every Nation and Region of the UK and showcase the very best of who we are and where we live," said Sebastian Coe, the chairman of London 2012.

"The first locations on the route confirmed today give a flavour of the reach the Olympic Torch Relay will have around the UK and how extensive the opportunity for starting to celebrate the London 2012 Olympic Games will be."

London 2012 worked for more than a year with representatives from a number of sectors in each Nation and Region to devise this first phase of the route.

In addition to the first 74 locations confirmed on the route today, many other cities, towns, villages and places of outstanding natural beauty, sports venues and community hubs will be announced in a second, more detailed route announcement later this year that will confirm the many other places the Olympic Flame will visit each day.

The Olympic Flame will travel for approximately 12 hours each day, concluding on 66 of the 70 days with an early evening celebration event that, London 2012 officials claim, will enable thousands of people each evening to enjoy a variety of entertainment and shows staged by them and the three Presenting Partners with the support of the host Local Authority.

Each celebration event will differ with locally programmed content on the stage which will add to the celebratory atmosphere.

Many thousands more people are expected to celebrate along the route each day.

"The Olympic Torch Relay brings London 2012 to the doorsteps of the UK giving everybody the chance to celebrate the London Games," said Hugh Robertson, the Sport and Olympics Minister.

"It's a magnificent showcase for the country and a chance to mark the achievements of inspirational people in our communities."

Coe is due to announce at a press conference later today how to apply to become one of the 8,000 people chosen to carry the Torch.

The full list of venues and dates is, in date order, as follows:

May

19 May Land's End
19 May Plymouth
20 May Exeter
21 May Taunton
22 May Bristol
23 May Cheltenham
24 May Worcester
25 May Cardiff
26 May Swansea
27 May Aberystwyth
28 May Bangor
29 May Chester
30 May Stoke-on-Trent
31 May Bolton

June

01 June Liverpool
02 June Isle of Man (island visit)
03 June Portrush
04 June Derry~Londonderry
05 June Newry
06 June Belfast
08 June Glasgow
09 June Inverness
10 June Orkney (island visit)
10 June Shetland (island visit)
11 June Isle of Lewis (island visit)
11 June Aberdeen
12 June Dundee
13 June Edinburgh
14 June Alnwick
15 June Newcastle
16 June Durham
17 June Middlesbrough
18 June Hull
19 June York
20 June Carlisle
21 June Bowness-on-Windermere
22 June Blackpool
23 June Manchester
24 June Leeds
25 June Sheffield
26 June Cleethorpes
27 June Lincoln
28 June Nottingham
29 June Derby
30 June Birmingham

July
01 July Coventry
02 July Leicester
03 July Peterborough
04 July Norwich
05 July Ipswich
06 July Chelmsford
07 July Cambridge
08 July Luton
09 July Oxford
10 July Reading
11 July Salisbury
12 July Weymouth & Portland
13 July Bournemouth
14 July Southampton
15 July Guernsey (island visit)
15 July Jersey (island visit)
15 July Portsmouth
16 July Brighton & Hove
17 July Hastings
18 July Dover
19 July Maidstone
20 July Guildford
21 July Waltham Forest, London
22 July Bexley, London
23 July Wandsworth, London
24 July Ealing, London
25 July Haringey, London
26 July Westminster, London



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