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Olympic torch route announced

Olympic torch route including Tunbridge Wells.
Olympic torch route including Tunbridge Wells.

The exact route the Olympic torch will take through Kent on its way to London has been revealed this morning.

The flame will spend longer in the county than any other in the UK - passing through 37 towns and villages. It will arrive on July 17 and leave around four days later.

The precise streets the iconic beacon will travel down and proposed start times can be viewed by clicking here.

Among the places the torch will visit are Canterbury Cathedral, the Channel Tunnel and the Turner Contemporary Gallery in Margate.

People will be able to line the route to cheer as it makes its way to the capital in time for the opening ceremony just over a week later.

There will also be two evening celebration stops in Dover (July 18) and Maidstone (July 19) as well as lunchtime stops at two Kent locations, eight photo stops and two breakfast stops.

The Olympic flame will be carried across the UK by 8,000 torchbearers - each with a story of personal achievement or contribution to their community.

Olympic torchbearers Julie Chilcott and Melwyn Moore
Olympic torchbearers Julie Chilcott and Melwyn Moore

Olympic torchbearers Julie Chilcott and Melwyn Moore

Among them will be Maidstone residents Julia Chilcott and Melwyn Moore.

Julia, from Allington, was selected for her commitment to foster caring.

The 55-year-old said: "I was nominated because I have been fostering for more than 25 years. I wanted to give something back and I have always worked with children so this was the perfect opportunity. I have fostered more than 80 children over the years. It's an honour to have been picked and I'm very excited."

Melwyn, is a 47-year-old detective sergeant for Kent Police from Fant, has run 21 London Marathons over the last 21 consecutive years.

He said: "I'm chuffed to bits. It's a really great opportunity and it all about the involvement."

Sam Jones
Sam Jones

Dover Channel swimmer Sam Jones will carry the torch through Upstreet, near Canterbury.

Her first attempt across the Channel was unsuccessful, but she battled against the odds to make a second attempt in 2008, which she completed in 16 hours 34 minutes.

The 70-day Olympic torch relay will start at Land's End on the morning of May 19, 2012.

On leaving Land's End, the Olympic flame will travel an estimated 8,000 miles around the UK giving thousands of communities and individuals the chance to watch.

On the final day of the Olympic torch relay, it is planned that the flame will travel down the River Thames as it makes its way to the Olympic Stadium for the start of the Games on Friday, July 27.

Mike Hill, KCC cabinet member for customer and communities, said: "This is an exciting time for everyone to see where the torch will visit and to plan how they will celebrate the torch's arrival. We are delighted that Kent will be its host for four days, giving residents and the county the chance to be a real part of Olympic history."

Sandra Matthews-Marsh, chief executive at Visit Kent, said: "We are delighted that so many of the county's iconic attractions will be showcased in the long route being taken by the torch through Kent and Medway in addition to the key events at Dover and Leeds Castle, near Maidstone.

"2012 is a marvellous opportunity for Kent and the torch procession will be a truly memorable occasion not only for local residents but for all the visitors from across the South East and across the Channel who are planning to join us for our celebrations."

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