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Baton to tour Scots landmarks on last leg of relay

The Queen's baton relay will visit more than 400 communities and pass landmarks such as Loch Ness and the Glenfinnan Viaduct as it tours Scotland.

RELAY CONTINUES: Shimano Bailey, centre, from the St Vincent and the Grenadines Cycling Union, rides with the Queen's Baton in Kingstown.
RELAY CONTINUES: Shimano Bailey, centre, from the St Vincent and the Grenadines Cycling Union, rides with the Queen's Baton in Kingstown.

Organisers have unveiled the list of places it will visit on the final stage of its journey around the globe ahead of the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.

It will cover 8000km (4970 miles) on its 40-day journey, which will take it as far north as Brae in the Shetland Islands and as far south as Kirkcudbright in Dumfries and Galloway, and also to the Outer Hebrides.

Organisers said the route would showcase the nation's most iconic landmarks and culture, including Skara Brae in Orkney, the Kelpies sculptures in Falkirk and Glenfinnan Viaduct in the Highlands which featured in some of the Harry Potter films.

Sporting highlights on the route include visits to Melrose, the home of Rugby Sevens, a visit to Team Scotland's training camp at the University of Stirling and a stop at the Old Course in St Andrews, dubbed the home of golf.

Up to 4000 baton bearers will take part in the Scotland route, which will cover all 32 councils, culminating in Glasgow for the opening ceremony on July 23.

When it arrives in Scotland on June 14 the baton will have been on a 248-day journey through all the other 69 nations and territories of the Commonwealth.

Commonwealth Games ­Scotland chairman Michael Cavanagh said: "The Queen's Baton Relay is the ultimate symbol of the Commonwealth Games and its arrival in Scotland will be an important signal to both the athletes and the public that the Games are just around the corner.

"The baton's journey through the country is the ideal opportunity for people to celebrate community sport and show support for their local athletes selected to represent Team Scotland at Glasgow 2014. We hope everyone the length and breadth of the country will get behind the team and play their part."

The baton will visit schools, sporting facilities and leisure centres on its journey, and will take part in a ceilidh in Dundee.

On July 23 the message the Queen placed in the baton will be read at the opening ceremony.

David Grevemberg, chief ­executive of Glasgow 2014, said: "The Queen's Baton Relay is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for people across Scotland to celebrate what's extraordinary and unique about their communities, and honour those locals who make a difference to others."

Thousands of people will find out on March 31 whether their nominations to become baton bearers have been successful.

Commonwealth Games and Sport Minister Shona Robison said it would be an exciting and dramatic countdown to the Games, which take place from July 23 to August 3 and will feature 17 sports.

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