The Queen’s Baton Relay has made an emphatic arrival in Scotland, and so far it has been warmly welcomed with a fantastic reception from crowds in Edinburgh & The Lothians. Embrace the spirit of the XX Commonwealth Games (and cheer as loud as you can!) as the baton makes it way from East Lothian to the stunning south west corner of Scotland.
The next two days of its epic journey will be spent in the lowland landscapes of the Scottish Borders and Dumfries & Galloway, as we get closer and closer to the Games’ Opening Ceremony in Glasgow on 23 July.
Here’s our guide to day five and six.
The baton will be Borders’ bound on Wednesday 18 June, passing by the Melrose Rugby Stadium (where the world famous Rugby 7’s tournament is played) and through the historic town of Jedburgh. The baton will finish off the day in Hawick, before heading west.
The following day, the baton will continue its journey along the length of Dumfries & Galloway from Langholm to Stranraer, passing through the charming rural towns of Gretna, Castle Douglas and Kirkcudbright.
For more details about this section of the Queen’s Baton Relay route, check out the Glasgow 2014 website.
Every evening, crowds will gather to congratulate the batonbearers at the final destination of the day. Head to Hawick on 19 June, as former Scottish national rugby captain Rory Lawson brings day five to a close. On 20 June, join in the lively evening festivities at the stunning Stranraer Castle of St John in the beautiful setting of Agnew Park.
THINGS TO SEE AND DO
You’ll be spoiled for choice in these two spectacular regions so here’s some inspiration for things to do while you’re in the south of Scotland.
1. Castles and Abbeys – Steeped in history, the Scottish Borders has lived through generations of bloody battles and fierce border wars. Admire the Gothic architecture of ruined Jedburgh Abbey or visit the largest inhabited castle in Scotland, Floors Castle.
2. The Food Town – For the ultimate foodie experience, take a wander around Castle Douglas, Scotland’s only designated Food Town. The town is a thriving centre for farm produce and there’s over 50 local businesses selling everything from jams and chocolate to meat and fish.
3. Gretna Green – Embrace the romantic atmosphere of Dumfries & Galloway, with a little trip to the Gretna Green Famous Blacksmith Shop, where runaway couples have come to marry since 1754.
4. Great cycles – Grab your bike and experience some of the best cycling Scotland has to offer. You can cover a great distance on two wheels, so why not absorb the region’s history along the Four Abbeys Cycle Route or follow the winding paths along the River Tweed?
5. Get creative – Dumfries & Galloway is a region known for its artistic side, so be inspired by a friendly community of local artists. Admire works of art in the Tolbooth Art Centre in Kirkcudbright or the Gracefields Art Centre in Dumfries.
Are you cheering on the baton somewhere in Scotland? Let us know on social media by using the hashtag #batonrelay! And don’t forget to plan some more exciting activities in The Scottish Borders and Dumfries & Galloway.