Day 31 of the Scottish leg of the Queen’s Baton Relay marks the beginning of the end; there are just days until the baton reaches Glasgow and the Opening Ceremony at Celtic Park on 23 July.
Having travelled across the border from England to Edinburgh back in June, it has been carried around all four corners of the country; from Shetland in the north to Dumfries & Galloway in the south, to Aberdeenshire in the east and the Outer Hebrides in the west. Over the coming three days, the baton will be passed on from person to person around Inverclyde, North Ayrshire and Renfrewshire – within touching distance of Glasgow itself.
Here’s our guide to days 31 – 33.
Continuing on from the evening celebrations across the Firth of Clyde in Dunoon on day 30 of the relay, the baton will arrive in Inverkip first on Monday 14 July before travelling on to Gourock, Port of Glasgow and Greenock.
On Tuesday 15 July (day 32), the baton arrives in the north of Ayrshire, passing south down along its coastline through Wemyss Bay and towns like Dalry, Kilwinning, Irvine and Ardrossan, but not before island-hopping to Millport on the Isle of Cumbrae in the Firth of Clyde.
Wednesday 16 July starts out from Uplawmoor in East Renfrewshire, meandering through the area’s main towns like Newton Mearns, Giffnock and Barrhead. Be there to show your support as the baton continues to wind its way through Scotland towards Glasgow.
On day 34 (Thursday 17 July) of the baton’s trek across the country, cheer the baton and its bearers as they journey through the likes of Erskine, Bishoptown and Renfrew among the area’s other towns and villages, before stopping in Paisley for the evening celebrations.
There are celebrations each evening at the final stop of the day for the baton. These events are usually free but sometimes ticketed, so please check the details for evening celebrations carefully.
On Monday evening (day 31), X Factor’s Nicholas Macdonald will be performing at the celebrations in Greenock’s Battery Park overlooking the Firth of Clyde.
After a packed programme of sporting and cultural activities for children and adults along the route, the day’s relay action on Tuesday will culminate with a rousing, foot-stomping performance by the incredible Red Hot Chilli Pipers at the evening celebrations in Ardrossan.
The celebrations for day 33 on Wednesday are free but attendees need to first collect wrist bands from local libraries and the East Renfrewshire Council offices to be permitted to enter the day’s grand finale at Cowan Park in Barrhead. Entertainment includes performances by solo singer Melissa Kelly, singer/guitarist Emma Bryceland, the Gillian Anderson School of Dance, solo singer Jono and traditional ‘Duffy’s Gypsy Band’.
Performances by Commonwealth Youth Circus at Paisley Abbey will draw this leg of the baton relay to a close in Paisley on Thursday 17 July, featuring street theatres, live music entertainment and more.
THINGS TO SEE AND DO
Here are just a few of our suggestions of what you could try out over the course of this three-day leg:
- Scottish ice cream – As it’s summer, there has never been a better excuse to enjoy an ice cream from renowned Nardini’s ice cream parlour in the Ayrshire seaside town of Largs. Be sure to try a scoop of Irn Bru flavour!
- Island life – A short ferry ride from Ardrossan brings you to the Isle of Arran. Renowned for having all that Scotland has to offer in one place, you’ll find plenty of opportunities to enjoy mountain biking, hiking, canyoning and more. Don’t forget the island’s famous produce, from the Isle of Arran Distillery to its wonderful local cheeses.
- Like a duck to water – The Isle of Cumbrae meanwhile is a hotspot for watersports. Is there anything better than being in the water on a hot summers’ day? Try kayaking and more at the sportscotland centre at Millport.
- Culture vulture – For the art lovers among you, pay a visit to Greenock’s latest art space at the striking Beacon Arts Centre and catch the latest theatre and art productions. In the past, it has welcomed international violinist sensation Nicola Benedetti and the National Theatre of Scotland.
- Heroes – Paisley Abbey is a magnificent medieval building. It also has the distinction of being where Scottish hero William Wallace was believed to have been schooled.
Check back here on our blog on Wednesday 16 July to find out more about the route of the Queen’s Baton Relay as it continues on through East and West Dunbartonshire. And as always, don’t forget to keep sharing all your images and videos on social media channels, tagging them with the hashtag #batonrelay. We’ve seen some fantastic images.