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Uncovering the hidden heritage gems across the UK!


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Tiles at Gladstone Pottery Museum, Stoke on Trent. Photography by Diane Jones via Flickr.comTiles at Gladstone Pottery Museum, Stoke on Trent. Photography by Diane Jones via Flickr.com

The Flame and its Torch Bearers have travelled an incredible distance in the past few weeks, crossing the South West, Wales and much of the West Midlands – though it still has a long way to travel. The next few days of the Torch Relay show the degree of determination and organisation needed to carry out the London 2012 Olympic Torch Relay, as it travels across four very distinct regions of the UK. We will be helping you deal with the culture-shock of crossing numerous borders and island-hopping by giving you a taste of the best sights and sounds that these different regions have to offer.

Read more about Days 13-16: West Midlands, North West, the Isle of Man & Northern Ireland»


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Centre for Alternative Technology, Wales. Photography by Penny MayesCentre for Alternative Technology, Wales. Photography by Penny Mayes

Over the next 60 days we will be devoting our blog to uncovering the Torch Relay Route. Day 10 starts out in the attractive, mid-Wales, seaside town of Aberystwyth. Well known for its beaches and beautiful scenery, such as the Cambrian Mountains and Cardigan Bay, Aberystwyth is also renowned for its university and for being the cultural capital of Wales.

Read more about Days 10-12: Wales & the West Midlands»


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Bacton Church, Herefordshire. Copyright © Terry RichardsonBacton Church, Herefordshire. Copyright © Terry Richardson

Over the next 64 days we will be devoting our blog to uncovering the Torch Relay Route. This week we are in the West Midlands and Wales. Day 6 begins in the South West in Gloucester, a city strategically positioned near the River Severn and with a past dating back to Roman times. Following the Torch after it has travelled to this historic city, the flame will wind its way through the other cities, towns and countryside of the West Midlands.

Read more about Days 6-9: West Midlands and Wales»


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The colourful interior of St Nicholas Priory (the parlour), Exeter. Photography by Graham Tait via Flickr.comThe colourful interior of St Nicholas Priory (the parlour), Exeter. Photography by Graham Tait via Flickr.com

Over the next 67 days we will be devoting our blog to uncovering the Torch Relay Route. We’ll be in front, behind, neck and neck and at times running along either side of the torch as it makes it ways across the country, celebrating the sights, sounds and smells that the UK has to offer. We will blog every 3-4 days during the Torch Relay, highlighting places of interest in the area through which the Torch is about to pass or get close to and flagging up interesting stories and local sites for you to discover. On Day 3 of the Torch Relay route, we continue our journey through the South West.

Read more about Days 3-5: More of the South West»


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Jubilee Bathing Pool, Penzance, Cornwall. Photography by mpjashby via Flickr.comJubilee Bathing Pool, Penzance, Cornwall. Photography by mpjashby via Flickr.com

And we’re off! Over the next 70 days we will be devoting our blog to uncovering the Torch Relay Route. We’ll be in front, behind, neck and neck and at times running along either side of the torch as it makes it ways across the country, celebrating the sights, sounds and smells that the UK has to offer. We will blog every 3-4 days during the Torch Relay, highlighting places of interest in the area through which the Torch is about to pass and flagging up interesting stories and local sites for you to discover.

Read more about Days 1-2: Cornwall & Devon»


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Signpost at Land's End, Cornwall - the starting point for the London 2012 Olympic Torch Relay. Photography by Bruce Stokes (via Flickr.com)Signpost at Land's End, Cornwall - the starting point for the London 2012 Olympic Torch Relay. Photography by Bruce Stokes (via Flickr.com)

Every modern Olympic Games is preceded by a torch relay, and London 2012’s starts on 19th May. The flame arrives in the UK having been lit in at a ceremony in Greece, and starts its journey at Land’s End, before wending its way around the whole country, arriving at the Olympic Stadium for the Opening Ceremony on Friday 27 July. The Olympic Torch Relay will travel approximately 8,000 miles around the UK and come within 10 miles of 95% of the population, and Discovering Places will be following its progress across the country. Throughout the period of the Relay we will be blogging every few days to suggest some places you might want to visit along the Torch route.

Read more about London 2012 Olympic Torch Relay»

14 May 2012

Suffolk Shines


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Trial lighting at St Mary's Church, Pakenham.Trial lighting at St Mary's Church, Pakenham.

The Suffolk Shines project will illuminate buildings of historic and archaeological interest to celebrate Suffolk’s rich culture. The buildings will be illuminated to reflect the Olympic colours from the day the torch arrives in Suffolk on the 5th July, through to the closing of the Paralympic Games on the 9th September.

Read more about Suffolk Shines»

11 May 2012

Talacharn Trails


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Copyright © Prue ThimblebyCopyright © Prue Thimbleby

Talacharn Trails and Tales is a storybased installation running everyday from June 16th – July 15th at Laugharne Castle in South Wales.

Enter the enchanted castle and find yourself is a world of stories. Peep through the gatehouse at ghosts from the civil war. Be surprised by voices from the past sharing their memories of what was Dylan Thomas’ Undermilkwood. Follow riddles and find the trails. Discover the stories of medieval plants and the children who are playing hide and seek. Above all beware the giant hiding in the tower!

Read more about Talacharn Trails»

09 May 2012

Team Hadleigh


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Team Hadleigh

Team Hadleigh is an Essex County Council led, Heritage Lottery Funded project which has been working with local schools and community groups to research and celebrate their heritage in the build up to the 2012 Olympic Mountain Bike Event, which takes place in Hadleigh this August.

Read more about Team Hadleigh»


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Urquhart Castle, Scotland - one of the historic locations for our Discover Explore project, part of the Cultural Olympiad. Learn more at www.discoverexplore.co.ukUrquhart Castle, Scotland - one of the historic locations for our Discover Explore project, part of the Cultural Olympiad. Learn more at www.discoverexplore.co.uk

We hope you’ve enjoyed your Bank Holiday weekend and all the weird and wonderful Cultural Olympiad projects we featured last week on the blog. We discovered a forest pitch deep in the woods of the Scottish borders, the bright spectaculars of Lakes Alive, artworks travelling along the waterways of the East Midlands, and theatrical gnomes in Hampshire gardens. This is just a taste of the creative energy that is sweeping across the country in the run up to the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, with inspirational projects in all parts of the UK telling local stories in new ways and engaging audiences of all ages and backgrounds.

Read more about Call to action: Cultural Olympiad and the Historic Environment»

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