Queen’s Baton Relay: 11 – 13 July

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The Queen’s Baton Relay is returning from Orkney to Scotland’s mainland and starting on the home straight in anticipation of this year’s XX Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.

Arriving in Wick on Friday 11 July, it will tour the eastern Highlands before travelling, via some of the country’s most famous landscapes, to Scotland’s west coast on the 12 July and down through Argyll on Sunday 13 July. Come and cheer on the batonbearers and soak up the atmosphere at this unique event.

Here’s our guide to days 28 – 30:


THE ROUTE

Day 28 of the Baton’s journey in Scotland sees it travel from Wick to Dingwall. Pausing at the Emigrants statue in Helmsdale and stopping by the school gala in Brora, it will then be greeted by pipe music and serenaded by the local feish (folk group) in Golspie. There will be more events along the route in Tain and Alness before the end of day celebrations in Dingwall.

Day 29 starts at Inverness Castle in the city centre and the route then passes the cathedral, Bught Park and even a game of shinty at Glenurquhart Shinty Club Park. Taking in the impressive ruins of Urquhart Castle by Loch Ness, the Commando Memorial at Fort Augustus, and Spean Bridge, the baton will travel through the stunning scenery of the Great Glen to reach Fort William. It’ll be quite a sight to see it travel across the iconic Glenfinnan Viaduct, which featured in the film Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets.

The baton will travel 170 miles through Argyll between Appin to Dunoon on day 30. First passing Dunstaffnage Castle on its way in to Oban, it will then scale the town’s hilltop monument McCaig’s Tower and also stop by Oban Distillery. The route will then head onwards to Kilmartin, past Dunadd Fort and down in to Inveraray. Following a pitstop at Inveraray Jail it will then travel on to Dunoon where it will pass Castle House Museum before arriving for the celebrations at Dunoon Stadium.

CELEBRATIONS
Festivities can be enjoyed for free along the route during the days in the Highlands and Argyll. This will include sporting and storytelling events in Bignold Park in Wick, the themed Commonwealth window displays in Dingwall’s shops, a ceilidh in Appin and a mini Highland Games at Inveraray Castle.

What’s more, the fun will continue into the early evening at special baton events. The fun begins at 4pm on Friday 11 July at The Highland Celebration in Jubilee Park, Dingwall with plenty to keep the family entertained until the baton’s arrival. There will be arts and craft activities, music from Dingwall Pipe Band, African drumming, a performance from the Commonwealth Youth Circus Skills Group and more.

Then on Sunday 13 July the celebrations will take place at Dunoon Stadium as the baton tours the area and arrives in the evening. From 2pm onwards the excitement will build with help from drumming workshops, choir and dance performances, carnival rides, storytelling, live music and much more.


THINGS TO SEE AND DO

  1. Old Pulteney Distillery - Stop by the most northerly distillery on Scotland’s mainland in Wick to take a tour and sample the Single Malt. Experience more of the excellent food and drink of the Highlands at restaurants, cafes, markets and attractions across the region.
  2. North Sea Hitch  - See this free exhibition at Timespan’s Gallery in Helmsdale by artist Stephan Hurrel, who has created original artwork inspired by a hitch-hiking boat trip around Scotland’s north shores. It’s one of hundreds of contemporary art exhibitions that are taking part across Scotland this year as part of GENERATION.
  3. Great Glen Way –  Whether you want to complete all of this long-distance route, or experience just a section, you’ll enjoy breathtaking views of lochs and mountains along the Great Glen Way, which is one of Scotland’s Great Trails.
  4. Island hopping – Oban is known as the gateway to the islands. Board a ferry and discover the delights of white sandy beaches, rare wildlife and the strong character of islands including Mull, Rhum, Tiree and Iona.
  5. Kilmartin Glen – a must for fans of ancient history, Kilmartin Glen is home to hundreds of relics from Argyll’s past, including Neolithic and Bronze Age burial sites, rock carvings, standing stones and more.

For more inspiration on what to see and do after watching the relay, visit our website pages on the Highlands and Argyll & The Isles.

Don’t forget to share your own videos and pictures of the relay on social media using the hashtag #batonrelay!

The next stop is Inverclyde, check back to read all about it here.

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Miriam Evans

Miriam likes baking, sewing, BBC Radio 4, living in Scotland and promoting it with VisitScotland!

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