Olympic torch: all you need to know

The torch will be carried through our district on Tuesday, June 19. Here, boxers Wayne McCullough and Michael Carruth kiss torches on the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.
The torch will be carried through our district on Tuesday, June 19. Here, boxers Wayne McCullough and Michael Carruth kiss torches on the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

The Olympic torch relay arrives in the district on Tuesday, June 19.

As it has elsewhere, the relay is expected to draw huge crowds to see it pass and organisers have planned plenty of entertainments.

This is your essential guide to the day, vital for anyone who wants to get the best view and enjoy all the events, as well as anyone who wants to avoid the traffic.


The torch arrives in Harewood at 12.02pm where it will complete a route through the village and onto the Harewood House estate.

From there, it travels to Knaresborough for a 1.33pm start by the Toyota garage outside Knaresborough. It reaches the High Street at 1.51pm and will be at the entrance to Mother Shipton’s Cave at 2.03pm. From there, it travels by convoy to Starbeck, where it will be carried along the High Street at 2.07pm.

It will reach the Empress roundabout at 2.28pm and the Prince of Wales roundabout at 2.39pm, before travelling north to the war memorial at 2.48pm.

It will then be carried along Ripon Road to the end of Duchy Road where, at 2.52pm, it will return to the convoy and travel to Ripon.

There will be a break at Fountains Abbey, with a chance to make up any lost time, before the relay begins again at the junction of Studley Road and Mallorie Park Drive at 4.11pm.

The flame will reach the Market Square in Ripon city centre at 4.25pm and will be in front of Ripon Cathedral at 4.30pm.

It leaves the city at 4.36pm.


In Knaresborough:

With Knaresborough High Street closed to traffic, street performers will entertain the crowds from noon onwards, including morris dancers, Knaresborough Silver Band and a display of decorated beds from last weekend’s bed race.

In Starbeck, students from Henshaws College will gather on the corner of Forest Lane and Knaresborough Road to watch the relay, while children from local schools will line the south side of the road between Forest Lane and the bottom of Belmont Park.

Starbeck Primary School pupils will be along the road outside their school. After the relay has passed, from around 2.15pm, Belmont Park will be filled with activities including bouncy castles, mini-roundabouts and a hog roast, until 5pm. At the top of Knaresborough Road, Dr B’s restaurant will be serving refreshments.

In Harrogate:

More than 8,000 schoolchildren are expected to line the Stray when the Olympic torch relay reaches central Harrogate.

There will be entertainment including Rossett School Samba Band, the Circus of the Absurd, Harrogate Hornets Cheerleading Club, Harrogate Sjotokan Karate Club and Lynton Academy of Dance.

In front of the war memorial, there will be a colour guard with around 40 representatives from Menwith Hill and the Army Foundation College.

Opposite that, there will be a small VIP area for guests including the Mayor of the Borough of Harrogate, Coun Robert Windass, and Harrogate and Knaresborough MP Andrew Jones. The Rock Up and Sing Choir will be performing nearby.

As the torch passes the Turkish Baths on Parliament Street, ticker tape will be released, and in front of the Royal Hall there will be a short Olympics drama performed by Harrogate Youth Theatre.

Schoolchildren will also gather near the end of the relay at Duchy Road, where pupils from Harrogate Ladies’ College have been working on a display.

The torch then leaves Harrogate in the convoy to travel to Ripon.

In Ripon:

In Ripon city centre, events will take place on the Market Square from noon until 3pm, including a mini-decathlon, stalls, hog roast and music.

After 3pm, the area will be cleared so spectators can get a good view of the torch.

There will also be refreshments served in the south-west area of Ripon Cathedral’s churchyard by the Water Rat pub and Lockwoods restaurant from 2-4pm with toilets provided in the cathedral’s deer park.

At Mallorie Park, there will be refreshments on sale and the Cheeky Monkeys will be performing from 3pm, before the relay passes at 4.15pm. At 4.30pm, the torch will pass in front of Ripon Cathedral, where dignitaries will be gathered in a special VIP area.

Extra information

Disabled access:

Four areas have been designated as disabled viewing points. They are Knaresborough Bus Station, opposite the Peugeot Garage in Starbeck, opposite Weeton’s on West Park Stray in Harrogate and outside Wetherspoons on Fishergate, Ripon.

Road closures:

Two roads will be closed during the relay, between noon and 3pm, to ensure the torch passes through the district safely.

They are Knaresborough High Street, from Gracious Street to Bond End, and Oatlands Drive in Harrogate, between Knaresborough Road and St Winifred’s Road.

The police will manage a rolling roadblock on the route itself and traffic will be stopped as the torch passes. Harrogate Council has warned that delays are inevitable and asked people to avoid driving near the torch route if possible.