Queen’s Baton Relay: 20 – 23 June

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After almost a week of travelling around Scotland’s southern parts, the Queen’s Baton is well on its way home to Glasgow for the XX Commonwealth Games. Over days 7 – 10, it will be moving along Ayrshire’s stunning coast, weaving through the region’s towns and villages before heading to Scotland’s heartlands through Lanarkshire.

Discover a bit more about the baton route and the celebratory festivities. If you are planning on following it around this leg of its journey, we’ve got some suggestions on what you can see and do, too!


THE ROUTE
Day seven of the baton’s Scottish route starts in Stranraer and heads along the coastal road into the area of Ayrshire known as Burns’ Country. Over the next two days, it will make its way through the beautiful pastoral countryside and pass through the likes of Girvan, Maybole, Troon, Ayr, Dalmellington, Cumnock and Kilmarnock with the help of over a hundred baton bearers.

Days nine and ten see the baton cross over into Lanarkshire, taking in Scotland’s central belt and passing through some former centres of heavy industry which have fascinating histories. Towns including East Kilbride, Rutherglen, Hamilton, Wishaw, Coatbridge and Cumbernauld will feature on this part of the route.

EVENING CELEBRATIONS
In the early evening of 20 June, join in with the family-friendly celebrations at Low Green in Ayr. The next day, Kilmarnock will host an afternoon of celebration at the Commonwealth Carnival which is set to close with an epic performance from the fearsome Clanadonia, a tribal drum and pipe band.

The baton’s journey on 22 June will culminate in a spectacular finale of fireworks, music, song, dance and celebration at the Grand Avenue of Hamilton Palace Grounds, set against the iconic background of the Hamilton Mausoleum, while the following day will be brought to close with an evening celebration featuring top Scottish band Skerryvore and performances by members of the Commonwealth Youth Circus at Strathclyde Country Park.


THINGS TO SEE AND DO
This part of Scotland has a rich heritage, with plenty of places to visit where you can get glimpse into the past. Here are a few suggestions of some things to see and do in between watching the Queen’s Baton Relay and joining in with the celebrations.

  1. Castles – Take in the Culzean Castle, dramatically set on a clifftop on the Ayrshire coast, or visit Bothwell Castle in South Lanarkshire, a 13th century stone castle which was fought over during the Wars of Independence.
  2. Fascinating history – Head to the Robert Burns Birthplace Museum in Ayrshire to see the 18th century traditional cottage where Scotland’s bard was born, or plan some time to see the Summerlee Museum of Scottish Industrial Life in North Lanarkshire.
  3. Relax and unwind – Discover Turnberry, a stunning world-class resort which offers exceptional sea vistas over the Ayrshire coastline. Pop in for afternoon tea in the Grand Tea Lounge, enjoy the spa or play a round of golf on one of the stunning courses.
  4. MuseumsThe Dick Institute in Kilmarnock is a treasure trove of exhibits with displays covering local and industrial history, fine art and natural science.
  5. Go outdoors – enjoy this area’s many parks and green spaces, including the Dean Castle Country Park in Kilmarnock with its urban farm, or the nature reserves and woodlands of the Seven Lochs Wetland Park in North Lanarkshire.

If that’s whet your appetite, why not discover more great things to see and do in Ayrshire and the Clyde Valley?

Check out the Distillery blog in the next few days to learn about the next part of the baton’s journey as it travels through Falkirk, Clackmannanshire and Fife. And, if you’ve been following the baton, share your pictures with us through social media using the hashtag #batonrelay!

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Amy Robertson

Amy is media executive at VisitScotland. Hailing from the west coast of Scotland, she's rather fond of music festivals, coastal walks, whisky and coal fires.

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