"Where will you be catching a glimpse of the famous Flame?"

As is tradition in the run-up to an Olympic Games, the Olympic Torch will be lit in Greece before travelling to the Games' latest host country, arriving in Great Britain on 18 May where it will begin its estimated 8,000-mile tour of the UK. The first spot on the First TransPennine Express network to be visited by the Torch will be Bolton on 31 May. Lucky torchbearers will carry the Olympic Flame to Queens Park in the town centre, where an evening celebration is planned.

From there, the Torch moves on to Liverpool, arriving on 1 June. Liverpool is no stranger to hosting world-class sporting events, having held major tournaments for tennis, badminton, netball, golf and sailing in the past, as well as being home to Premier League giants Liverpool and Everton. As in Bolton, a huge evening celebration is planned, which will take place at the Pier Head in true Liverpudlian style.

Heading northward

Glasgow, whose Hampden Park stadium will be hosting official football events during the Games, gets in on the Torch action on 8 June. The city will provide the first overnight stop for the Torch in Scotland, and there will be both daytime and evening entertainment around the city centre. The event will also serve as a good warm-up for the upcoming Commonwealth Games, which Glasgow will host in 2014. As well as visiting large towns and cities, the Torch Relay will take in many famous landmarks during its stint in Scotland, including Loch Ness, St Andrew's Golf Club, John O'Groats and the Forth Rail Bridge.

No trip north of the border would be complete without dropping in on the culture capital Edinburgh, and the Flame will hit the city on 13 June. Well-known for its full-on festivities, organisers are promising the evening celebration will 'showcase the best Edinburgh has to offer' . That most famous of Scottish exports, whisky, may well be on the menu…

Many an iconic landmark will be passed as the Torch makes its journey south. In the north east, the flame will travel down a spectacular zip wire from the Tyne Bridge to the quayside when it visits Newcastle on 15 June. Torchbearers will pass other local famous sites including the Angel of the North, St Mary's Lighthouse at Whitley Bay, Penshaw Monument and Hadrian's Wall at Housesteads Roman Fort. Another famous local landmark - the Sports Direct Stadium in Newcastle - will also play host to football matches during the Olympics.

Durham has a full programme of Olympic-themed activities linked to its visit by the Torch on 16 June. A host of community events will take place throughout the year. These include a road show of Urban Games and the Linguistic Olympics - an education programme in which children use video conferencing to compete against one another. There'll also be quizzes and a series of themed sports weeks to encourage participation, including Big Durham Bike Week, Big Durham Jog Week and the Big Splash.

Sports for all

There's a similar participation theme in Middlesbrough, next to host the Torch on 17 June. The Big Screen in Centre Square, adjacent to MIMA (Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art) is one of 22 'community screens' around the country where spectators will be able to follow the Torch Relay and, of course, the Olympic Games action when it gets under way on 27 July. 'Middlesbrough in 2012: 100 Days of Sport', meanwhile, is a programme of activities that will take place from 13 May to 9 September in the town. The project will use the high profile of the Games to inspire locals to be active, either by taking up a new sport or returning to one they used to play.

The Torch will then spend a night in the historic city of York, arriving on 19 June and departing on 20 June. Travelling through the city's famous cobbled streets and carried by local bearers, York's celebrations will include an evening event at York Racecourse. To recognise York's railway heritage, the Olympic Torch will also be carried by the iconic steam engine, the Flying Scotsman.

A Global Welcome to Carlisle is planned as part of the Carlisle stage of the Olympic Torch Relay on 20 June. Evening celebrations will be held in Bitts Park between 6pm and 8pm and more than 30 groups have already pledged their support to 'animate' the route as the Torch makes its way through Carlisle, which will include creative displays, performing arts and street decoration.

Blackpool will be the next destination to host an evening celebration, and will be hosting an event around the newly opened Tower Festival Headland on 22 June. The night will culminate with a 'celebration cauldron' being lit on stage to mark the Olympic Flame's arrival.

The home run

Manchester is another football venue for the Games, with matches taking place at United's Old Trafford stadium. The city welcomes the Olympic Torch on 23 June, and the planned evening celebration will be a true Mancunian spectacular.

The Torch will then head over the Pennines to Leeds on 24 June, and Sheffield on 25 June. Leeds' Victorian Quarter will see the Torch pass along its gorgeous marble floors, while steel city Sheffield, with its strong historic sporting ties, including being where Seb Coe first started running at school, will host the Torch Relay across its city centre.

Hull (18 June) and Bowness-on-Windermere (21 June) will also be hosting the Torch, while Cleethorpes (26 June) will be the last FTPE spot to welcome it on its 70-day journey to London's Olympic Stadium. So, now's the time to make your plans. It's a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity - where will you be catching a glimpse of the famous Flame and celebrating the biggest sporting event the country has ever seen?

Info: london2012.com

Golden region

From past legends to modern-day superstars, the north is home to plenty of well-known Olympians and Paralympians…

Edinburgh's Sir Chris Hoy MBE is the most successful cyclist in Olympic history. In 2008, he became the first Briton since Henry Taylor in 1908 to win three gold medals at one Olympics.

Jonathan Edwards, who once read physics at Durham University and nowadays lives in Newcastle, is known for his Olympic triple jump silver in 1996 and gold in the event in 2000.

Previous medal successes have come in the shape of Bolton's Amir Khan (boxing - silver, 2004) and Manchester's Darren Campbell (4x100m - gold, 2004 and 200m - silver, 2000).

Leading hopes at London 2012 include Jessica Ennis (Sheffield), gymnastics star Beth Tweddle (Liverpool), 5,000m wheelchair athlete Shelly Woods (Blackpool) and Manchester-based swimmer Keri-Anne Payne. Let's hope they do the country proud!


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