Where To Watch The Olympic Torch Relay This Weekend

By Lindsey Last edited 144 months ago

Last Updated 18 July 2012

Where To Watch The Olympic Torch Relay This Weekend

Torchbearer 080 Sally Gunnell carries the Olympic Flame on the Torch Relay leg through Portsmouth.

The Olympic Torch arrives in London on Friday, when it will be abseiled into the Tower of London to spend the night locked up with the Olympic medals before beginning its first leg through London, first lighting a way through the five host boroughs.

Don't get caught out - remember there will be rolling road closures around the route across the weekend and throughout next week as the Torch makes its way through all 33 boroughs. Very large crowds are expected to line the route and advice from LOCOG and TfL is: "If possible, it would be best to stay local and try to view the Flame when it passes through the area nearest to home or place of work".

To help with your planning — whether to watch, cheer or avoid — here's what's happening this weekend:

On Saturday, the Torch Relay route starts in Greenwich and finishes in Waltham Forest passing through Newham, Tower Hamlets and Hackney.

On Sunday, the route starts in Redbridge and ends in Bexley, via Barking and Dagenham and Havering.


The Torch party will be getting up early on Saturday to begin the 33 borough journey at the Observatory from the Meridian Line at 7.20am. They'll then wend their way through Greenwich town, Blackheath, Eltham and Woolwich, where the Torch gets on the ferry.

There will be free entertainment in the Flame's wake in Cutty Sark Gardens from 7.30-8.30am, on Eltham High Street and Passey Place from 9-11am and in General Gordon Square, Woolwich from 10am to 2pm.


Alighting at Pier Parade North Woolwich around 10.20am, the Relay will head for Central Park for an appearance at the Mayor's Newham Show. The Newham Carnival will then follow the Flame from Central Park around the Borough and back to the park for more of the Mayor's show, which will entertain throughout Saturday and from midday on Sunday (free).

Meanwhile, the Torch will be off to East Ham, Westfield Stratford City and Stratford High Street before heading towards the Bow flyover.


Bow Road takes the Torch, its bearer and escorts, into Tower Hamlets where Stepney Green Park will provide a brief resting place and photo opp around 2.20pm and a free community celebration with performances, workshops and family fun from noon till 5pm.

Refreshed, the Torch & co head to Whitechapel Road and Commercial Street, Hackney-bound.

NB. On Friday, there's a street party on Brick Lane to celebrate it being Curry Capital 2012.


This is where things get excitable. Hackney will already have had the One Hackney Festival street parade warming up locals along the route with floats, music and surprise activities up Kingsland Road to Stoke Newington between 10.30am and 1.50pm. The Torch party arrives in the borough around 3.45pm, by which time the streets should be well psyched.

The Torch does the length of Kingsland Road, passing Shoreditch Festival on Regent's Canal. At Dalston, it goes past Dance Nations in Gillett Square — free dance performances from midday with participation encouraged — before arriving in Stoke Newington for a "moment". There was meant to be an event in Clissold Park but it's waterlogged, so activities will take place in Stoke Newington itself. After a loo break the Flame gets back on the street and heads to Hackney Town Hall, where there's a "village" fete at nearby Hackney Central before passing by the family fun day in Mabely Green.


Leaving hectic Hackney behind it, the Torch will pass through Leyton and into Walthamstow. The Rhythm of London Big Busk will have toes tapping in Coronation Gardens between 4-7pm with the Flame passing through around 6.30pm. Up the road, Leyton Cricket Ground hosts the Going for Gold Mini Olympics at the same time, with the Torch arriving about 6.45pm. Half an hour later it arrives at Walthamstow Town Square — a 2012 Live Site — where, after fun activities, performances and games, you'll be able to see the Olympic Flame on stage.

Waltham Forest's evening celebration in Chestnut Fields is sold out but Rizzle Kicks will be performing.


Redbridge Cycle Centre is the start point for Sunday. Setting off at 7.19am the Torch will pass through Fairlop Waters Country Park, take a ride on a sailing boat, then go on to Fullwell Cross, Barkingside High Street, Gants Hill, Valentines Park and Ilford.

There will be public activities along the way themed Rise and Shine Redbridge.


The Torch enters the borough by Barking Park, where there will be a live stage for local performers between 9-10.30am. It winds past Mayesbrook Park and Parsloes Park, where Bethel Church Community Festival will give it a wave, before being joined by the Dagenham Town Show Carnival Parade for the rest of the route into Central Park. Those dancey Diversity boys will be carrying the torch at the Town Show, which goes on from 11am-7pm.


Entering Havering by London Road about 1.15pm the route passes Cottons Park, where there will be a music bus and BMX competition. Drums, trumpets, song and street circus will accompany the Flame through Romford Market Place and The Green in Hornchurch will greet the Torch with lots of people in gold-coloured tops and here it will pause for a photo opportunity. On through South Hornchurch where there's live Zumba in a churchyard and finally to Rainham Village, which promises to be a "roaring hub" of patriotism.

The Torch is then privately 'in transit' across the Thames.


Arriving by Erith Yacht Club about 4.45pm the Torch and its entourage jog through Erith and Bexley Heath to Danson Park, where the sold out evening celebration takes place.

The rest of the Torch relay, in summary:

  • Monday: Lewisham, Bromley, Croydon, Sutton, Merton & Wandsworth
  • Tuesday: Kingston, Richmond, Hounslow, Hillingdon, Ealing
  • Wednesday: Harrow, Brent, Barnet, Enfield, Haringey
  • Thursday: Camden, Islington, City, Southwark, Lambeth, Hammersmith & Fulham, Kensington & Chelsea, Westminster.
  • Friday: On the river from Hampton Court to Tower Bridge, then it's "in transit" off to Stratford to light the Flame at the Opening Ceremony in the Olympic Stadium.

Visit www.london2012.com/torch-relay/route/ for the interactive route map.