Scottish Queen's Baton Relay Route Released
The Queen's baton relay will visit more than 400 communities and pass landmarks such as Loch Ness and the Glenfinnan Viaduct as it tours Scotland.
Organisers have unveiled the list of places it will visit on the final stage of its journey around the globe ahead of the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.
It will cover 8,000km (4,970 miles) on its 40-day journey which will take it as far north as Brae in the Shetland Islands and as far south as Kirkcudbright in Dumfries and Galloway, while it will also visit the Outer Hebrides.
Organisers said the route will showcase the nation's most iconic landmarks and culture, including Skara Brae in Orkney, the Kelpies sculptures in Falkirk and in the Highlands the Glenfinnan Viaduct which featured in some of the Harry Potter films.
Sporting highlights on the route include visits to Melrose, the home of Rugby Sevens, a visit to Team Scotland's training camp at the University of Stirling and a stop at the Old Course in St Andrews, dubbed the home of golf.
Up to 4,000 baton bearers will take part in the Scotland route which will cover all 32 local authorities, culminating in Glasgow for the opening ceremony on July 23.
When it arrives in Scotland on June 14 the baton will have been on a 248-day journey through all the other 69 nations and territories of the Commonwealth. Commonwealth Games Scotland Chairman Michael Cavanagh said: ``The Queen's Baton Relay is the ultimate symbol of the Commonwealth Games and its arrival in Scotland will be an important signal to both the athletes and the public that the Games are just around the corner.
``The baton's journey through the country is the ideal opportunity for people to celebrate community sport and show support for their local athletes selected to represent Team Scotland at Glasgow 2014. We hope everyone the length and breadth of the country will get behind the team and play their part in what is going to be an amazing home games.''
The baton will visit schools, sporting facilities and leisure centres on its journey, and will also take part in a ceilidh in Dundee.
On July 23 the message that the Queen placed in the baton will be read at the Opening Ceremony.
David Grevemberg, chief executive of Glasgow 2014, said: ``The Queen's Baton Relay is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for people across Scotland to celebrate what's extraordinary and unique about their communities, and honour those locals who make a difference to others.
``The baton is visiting hundreds of villages, towns and cities, with thousands taking part in the relay, and many more attending the vast programme of sports and cultural events along the route.
``With less than three months to go until the baton comes home to Scotland, the momentum is building up for the biggest festival of sport and culture this nation has ever hosted.''
Thousands of people will find out on March 31 whether their nominations to become baton bearers have been successful.
Commonwealth Games and Sport Minister Shona Robison said it would be an ``exciting and dramatic countdown to the Games'' while Glasgow City Council leader Gordon Matheson said it will signify the ``last lap'' in preparations.
The games take place from July 23 to August 3 and will feature 17 sports, with 4,500 athletes attending.