Olympic torch relay organisers have reassured tourism bosses that the Olympic flame will visit the iconic backdrop of Stonehenge, after it was left off the official relay route through the West.
Instead of forming part of the public route through Wiltshire in July, the Olympic flame will be taken at dawn to the stones for a closed photo opportunity the morning after its overnight stop in nearby Salisbury.
The Olympic torch will now visit Stonehenge and Glastonbury Tor
The decision does mean, however, the public will not be able to descend on Stonehenge to see the once-in-a-lifetime moment it is carried around the Neolithic monument.
English Heritage, which manages the stones, and Olympic Torch Relay bosses confirmed the early morning visit after publishing a route which did not include Stonehenge or Avebury.
Western Daily Press reader Margaret Scott said: “Obviously Stonehenge is one of the major tourist attractions in Britain and it just seemed ridiculous if the torch relay is going to Amesbury but not going a mile to the west to be run around Stonehenge. They surely are not missing it out?”
A spokesman for English Heritage said that they had been informed by the Olympic organisers that the torch would be driven to Stonehenge and back again early on July 12, before it is scheduled to leave Salisbury Cathedral, for a photocall.
“Rest assured the opportunity to have the Olympic torch at Stonehenge is not going to be missed,” said a spokesman.
The National Trust has also confirmed that the torch is due to be carried up to the top of Glastonbury Tor on Tuesday May 22 – again not as part of the published route, which merely suggests the relay will pound the streets of the town. But it appears there is not such good news for another of the West’s historic sites.
The next day, on Wednesday, May 23, the torch is travelling from Bristol to Gloucester via Wiltshire, but it appears there are no plans to stop at the Avebury stone circle.
Merlin says “Great news for Wiltshire Tourism”
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