As we approach day 18 of the Queen’s Baton Relay, the baton has already been carried by approximately 2,000 batonbearers and has travelled countless miles, weaving through southern and central Scotland to the eastern parts of the country.
Over the next six days, we’ll see the Queen’s Baton set off from the Granite City of Aberdeen and travel over 800 miles. In this time, it will take to the sky and tour Shetland over the course of a day. Once it’s back on mainland Scotland, the baton will then travel by sea, cross through some remarkable landscapes and make its way through towns and villages before reaching one of Scotland’s most historic cities, Stirling.
Read about the route and see if the baton will be passing near you, and find out about the evening celebrations that you can join in with. Check out our top tips for what to see and do in each area it travels through, too.
Lerwick, Shetland Mainland
From Aberdeen, the baton will travel by air to Sumburgh on the Shetland Mainland on Tuesday 1 July. Over the course of the day, it will venture to all of the Shetland isles, past prehistoric sites and museums, and will even enjoy a stint on a Viking boat.
Then on Wednesday 2 July, it’s back to Aberdeen, and during this transition day it will make its way to Elgin. The following day, the baton will travel through Moray, taking in Buckie, Fochabers, Lossiemouth, Hopeman and Forres.
The first stop of day 21, Friday 4 July, is Rothes, before continuing south through the Cairngorms National Park and Highland Perthshire through the likes of Aviemore, Pitlochry and Scone Palace before reaching Perth. On day 22, the baton will have another transition day to Stirling University and then on day 23, Sunday 6 July, the baton will work its way through Stirling and the Trossachs area before returning to the city in the early evening.
In Shetland, you can welcome the baton to Lerwick at the open air event at Clickimin Athletics Track and listen to live music on the evening of Tuesday 1 July, while Moray’s celebration will take place at Elgin’s Cooper Park on Thursday 3 July. In the late afternoon, you can come and try Commonwealth Games sports sessions, and after the baton has arrived there will be dance and musical performances from YDance, Commonwealth Youth Circus and the Big Relay Choir.
Perth’s North Inch will be a hive of festivity from 13:00 on Friday 4 July, with samba bands, storytelling, pipe bands, performers and entertainers. At 18:00, a free concert kicks off featuring pop stars Gareth Gates and Stooshe, top Queen tribute act Killer Queen, and local band Anderson, McGinty, Ward, Webster and Fisher.
And on Sunday 6 July, The PEAK at Stirling Sports Village will host taster games’ activities from 14:00 onwards, and the evening will culminate in a ceremony featuring performances from Commonwealth Youth Circus and Stirling’s Big Big Sing Community Choir.
THINGS TO SEE AND DO
If you’re in any of these regions while the baton is passing, here are a few ideas on what else you can see and do.
- Ancient discoveries – see the remarkably intact prehistoric and Norse settlement at Jarlshof in Shetland, a complex site which is steeped in more than 4,000 years of human history.
- Wonderful wildlife – explore the waters of the Moray Firth and you might just spot the resident pod of bottlenose dolphins, or head into the Cairngorms National Park to try catch a glimpse of rare species like capercallie or wildcats.
- Regal residences – at Scone Palace in Perth, admire lavish interiors and explore acres of beautiful grounds, or plan a visit to Stirling Castle and discover centuries of turbulent Scottish history and see The Palace, one of the best examples of Renaissance architecture in Great Britain.
- Local flavours – head to Edradour Distillery in Pitlochry, the smallest distillery in Scotland, and sample whisky, the water of life, or pick your own delicious berries at fruit farms around Blairgowrie and Perth.
- Wild adventures – experience the thrills of white water rafting on the rivers Tummel or Tay, or negotiate your way through a tree top challenge at Go Ape! in Aberfoyle.
Keep following the baton as it makes the final half of its journey through Scotland – check back on The Distillery blog and find out more about the route as it travels to the Western Isles and Orkney next. If you happen to see the baton for yourself, take a picture and share it with us on social media using #batonrelay.