Queen’s Baton visits legendary locations on last leg of Welsh tour

The final day of the Queen’s Baton Relay in Wales on Friday (8th of September) features some of North West Wales’ legendary places, people and attractions.

Coinciding with Visit Wales’ Year of Legends campaign, the Baton is spending 4 days in Wales as part of a 388 day tour of all Commonwealth nations. The last day of the Relay’s Welsh leg will start at the iconic 13th century castle at Dolwyddelan. It will then go on to the world’s largest zip zone in Blaenau Ffestiniog, where it will be taken down Zip World Titan’s three zip lines, covering over 8,000 metres in total. 

The third stop of the day will be at Yr Ysgwrn in Trawsfynydd, home of famous Welsh World War I poet, Hedd Wyn, which has been fully restored and officially opened to the public only this week. During what is the centenary year of his tragic death in battle, the Baton will be handed over to Hedd Wyn’s nephew, Gerald Williams, who will take it into the farmhouse and place it on the poet’s symbolic ‘Black Chair’ from the 1917 Birkenhead Eisteddfod. 

Following a lively community procession in Dolgellau, the Relay will move on to Portmeirion. Here, The Alarm lead singer and charity fundraiser, Mike Peters, will lead a carnival parade alongside his wife Jules during the award-winning Festival No. 6. The Baton will then travel by train from Minffordd to Boston Lodge, before local runners carry it by foot alongside the Welsh Highland Railway to Porthmadog station in time for a welcome reception and celebration in the town. 

The penultimate destination will be Criccieth Lifeboat Station where the Baton will be greeted by the grandson and great great grandson of former UK Prime Minister David Lloyd George, who was brought up in Llanystumdwy. They will hand the Baton over to sailor Steve Thomas who will take it out to sea, and later pass it to fellow sailor Dan Whiteley who will travel by boat to Plas Heli, the Welsh National Sailing Academy and Events Centre in Pwllheli. This is where the Queen’s Baton Relay will conclude its tour of Wales with a final farewell to the Baton before it sets off to Guernsey. 

Commonwealth Games Wales Chair, Helen Phillips said: “The final day of the Queen’s Baton Relay here in Wales really showcases some of our greatest national legends – from sport and adventure, to culture, language, history, and our outstanding natural environment.  

“The festivities that have been held across Wales are a true reflection of what the Queen’s Baton Relay is all about – bringing communities together with pride to celebrate the Commonwealth’s diversity and create excitement ahead of the Gold Coast Games next year. We thank everyone who have helped make the Welsh leg of the Relay such a memorable event.”

The Queen’s Baton Relay started at Buckingham Palace on 13 March this year, and is travelling through Wales between 5-8 September.

The Baton will then work its way to Australia via Asia and Oceania in time for the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games’ opening ceremony on 4 April.