Queen’s Baton Relay: 14 – 17 June

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The Queen’s Baton is coming home, and you can be one of the first to see it. Making landfall in Scotland for the first time tomorrow (14 June) after nearly a year travelling through communities all over the Commonwealth, the Queen’s Baton Relay is embarking on the home stretch through Scotland to the XX Commonwealth Games opening ceremony at Celtic Park on 23 July.

To mark its arrival and journey through Scotland, we’re bringing you a series of blogs covering everything you need to know about the route and where to see the baton, as well as things to see and do in the area.

Here’s our guide to the first four days.


THE ROUTE
The baton will be travelling directly to Edinburgh from Coldstream as it crosses the border from England on Saturday 14 June, the first day of the relay in Scotland. As it makes its way to Princes Street Gardens, it will pass many places associated with the Games, including the Royal Commonwealth Pool (venue for the diving events) and Meadowbank Stadium, both of which were built for the Edinburgh Commonwealth Games in 1970.

Over the next three days, it will visit towns in West Lothian (including Livingston and Broxburn), Midlothian (including Penicuik and Newtongrange) and East Lothian (including Musselburgh, Dunbar and Haddington).

Find a full run down of the Queen’s Baton Relay route for 14 – 18 June here.

EVENING CELEBRATIONS
Each evening, there will a celebration in the final place of that day’s route.  On 14 June, a free concert will be held at the Ross Bandstand in Princes Street Gardens. Presented by cult comedian Sanjeev Kohli, the concert will see award-winning folk band Rura take to the stage along with local star of the BBC’s The Voice, Anna McLuckie, and alternative Scottish hip hop group Stanley Odd.

Although the event is free, it is ticketed. Tickets can be booked through the Usher Hall box office.

For more details of the other evening celebrations, check out the local authority websites for East Lothian, Midlothian and West Lothian.

THINGS TO SEE AND DO
We would happily be here all day giving tips on all the places to visit and things to do along the route, but here are a few ideas to get you started:

  1. Dining at the Shore – A hotbed of the finest Scottish cuisine, the Shore boasts two of Edinburgh’s 5 Michelin-starred restaurants.
  2. Royal Yacht Britannia – A 5-star visitor attraction, the Royal Yacht Britannia is Her Majesty The Queen’s former floating palace and retains all its former glamour.
  3. Castles – Apart from Edinbugh Castle, there are many fine castle ruins to explore; from Tantallon and Dirleton in East Lothian to Linlithgow Palace in West Lothian.
  4. Silver screen – Hot on the trail of world-renowned directors, producers and actors, discover the many film locations used in the streets of Edinburgh with our movie map before going along to see on of the many screenings at the Edinburgh International Film Festival (starting on 18 June).
  5. Great outdoors – A stone’s throw from Edinburgh are the Pentland Hills. There’s also gems like enigmatic Rosslyn Chapel, featured in the Da Vinci Code and set in a wooded glen.

For more inspiration on what to see and do after watching the Baton Relay, visit our website and find out more about Edinburgh & The Lothians. Don’t forget to share your own videos and pictures of the relay on social media using the hashtag #batonrelay!

Come back on 18 June to read all about the route through the Scottish Borders and Dumfries & Galloway.

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David Walsh

David is a Content Editor at VisitScotland. You'll most likely find him vagabonding around Scotland with a camera in hand; that or a dram of the finest single malt.