With just a week left to the grand opening of the XX Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, the momentum is building and anticipation is now approaching fever pitch as the symbol of the Games and one of its greatest traditions, the Queenâ€™s baton â€“ the curtain-raiser to every Games – is on its approach to Glasgow.
But first, the Queen’s Baton Relay willÂ stop in East and West Dunbartonshire, arriving to the area on days 35 and 36 of its epic 40-day journey across Scotland, and taking in the regionâ€™s most beautiful landscapes and landmarks.
Make it a day to remember and be part of the countdown for the biggest festival of sport and culture Scotland has ever hosted.
Hereâ€™s our guide to days 35 – 36:
After receiving a rousing reception in Renfrewshire, the baton will be welcomed into West Dunbartonshire on Friday 18 July (day 35), abseiling, rock-climbing, kayaking and sailing through the areaâ€™s towns and villages in the likes of Old Kilpatrick, Alexandria and Balloch, and highlighting its history, heritage and stunning scenery. Taking in Dumbarton Rock and Clydebankâ€™s Titan Crane, the baton will meander down the areaâ€™s landmarks, including Dumbarton Castle, before departing for Loch Lomond Shores and hopping on to a barge at the Forth & Clyde Canal in Clydebank for the final destination of this leg, Three Queens Square.
On Saturday 19 July (day 36), follow the baton as it begins the East Dunbartonshire leg of its journey, a final stop before itâ€™s handed over to Glasgow. Starting off in Bearsden, itâ€™ll wind its way down through Lillie Art Gallery, passing against the backdrop of the stunning Campsie Hills, Lennoxtown, Kirkintilloch and Bishopbriggs, shining a spotlight on the areaâ€™s scenic landscapes, historic sites, fantastic leisure facilities and welcoming communities.
As each day of the relay draws to a close, warm up for the forthcoming games by taking part in the special evening celebrations. Seize this one-in-a-lifetime opportunity with style, and join the royal-worthy programme of evening entertainment.
In Clydebank (18 July) celebrations will be held at Three Queens Square. Expect entertainment from local music acts and dancers for the whole family to enjoy, including circus workshops and experiments with the Science Centre. On 19 July, Bishopbriggs Leisuredrome will host evening events, featuring live music, sport activities, interactive fun with Glasgow Science Centre, performances by Games mascot, Clyde, a theatre company, drummers, choirs and more.
THINGS TO SEE AND DO
- Forth & Clyde Canal â€“ Sail on the Forth & Clyde Canal for some unrivalled views. Set against fantastic landscapes and awesome scenery, the canal provides 35 miles of fully navigable waterway, crossing central Scotland from east to west. Learn more about Glasgowâ€™s canals with this handy leaflet.
- Antonine Wall â€“ Get an insight into the limits of Roman conquest in Britain by exploring parts of the Antonine Wall. Stretching 37 miles from Boâ€™ness to Old Kilpatrick, it was granted a UNESCO World Heritage Site status in 2008. Download the Antonine Wall leaflet to find out more.
- Titan Crane â€“ Fancy exploring the area from a different perspective? Head up to the century-old Titan Crane, one of Scotlandâ€™s most unusual engineering feats, and travel in a lift right up to its 150 ft high jib platform for some truly breathtaking panoramic views. Did you know that this A-listed construction was recently recognised as an International Historic Civic and Mechanical Engineering Landmark?
- Balloch – The enchanting village of Balloch is often referred to as the gateway to the Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park. With excellent road and rail links from Glasgow, itâ€™s a popular place to visit for a day trip, offering fantastic woodland trails, and even canoe, kayak or bike hire to explore further.
- Auchentoshan Distillery â€“ What better way to finish a day than with a warming dram of the golden-coloured spirit? Visit the nearby Auchentoshan Distillery and enjoy its distinctive character, reflective of the lowland malts, with a distillery tour and a tasting session at the end.
Be sure to check out what else is on while youâ€™re in East Dunbartonshire and West Dunbartonshire. With plenty great attractions and activities on offer, perhaps itâ€™s worth extending your stay in the area by turning your visit into a weekend break?
The next and final stop is Glasgow, from 20 â€“ 23 July. Stay tuned and check back with us on Friday for information on the batonâ€™s final route and inspirations on what to see and do while in the area.
In the meantime, share your baton snapshots and experiences with us by using #batonrelay.