As the Olympic torch begins its journey across the UK, Amy Watkins looks at the iconic holiday hotspots along the way.
It’s going to be a spectacular start on day one as a torchbearer, carrying the flame in a lantern, takes a balloon ride inside the Eden Project’s rainforest biodome. The Eden Project is a big attraction for nature-loving visitors to Cornwall, as is the nearby National Seal Sanctuary in Gweek and the botanical Lost Gardens of Heligan. Haven’s Perran Sands Holiday Park, near the surfing hotspot of Newquay, offers a treat for those who love to be at one with nature, with special safari-style tents and yurts to stay in.
Follow in the footsteps of the flame and take a train ride up England and Wales’ highest mountain, Snowdonia. The Snowdon Mountain Railway takes visitors – and will take the torch – 3,560ft above sea level for awesome views of the twin lakes and National Park below. Outdoorsy types can enjoy a lakeside Hoseasons lodge and relax in the alfresco hot tubs after a day exploring the area’s glorious scenery.
Fans of the fast-moving TT Races and petrol heads of all ages can watch the flame being carried in a motorcycle sidecar. This rugged island boasts unspoilt beaches and rolling countryside to explore, while history buffs can visit medieval castles and see the village of Cregneash, where people still live in thatched cottages and speak the Manx language.
Here, a torchbearer will pose with the flame at the iconic basalt rocks of the Giant’s Causeway, near Belfast. Northern Ireland’s capital is a buzzing city, rich in maritime history, and from April is home to Titanic Belfast, which tells the story of the tragic ship built right here in the city’s docks.
Whisky-tasting, the famous castle and the new panda residents at Edinburgh Zoo attract couples and families to the UK’s favourite city-break destination, but in June all eyes will be on the flame as it makes its way through the Scottish capital. A range of tour operators can arrange breaks to this great city, from budget guesthouses to romantic, luxurious lodgings.
Prehistoric Stonehenge will host the flame towards the end of its 70-day quest. As well as the world-famous stone circle, the area is home to the Iron Age remains of Old Sarum and the more modern city of Salisbury, where you’ll find its stunning cathedral. There are also plenty of chic boutiques and classy restaurants to keep modern-day visitors happy.
earn membership points everytime you shop
Copyright © Co-operative Group Limited. All rights reserved.