Olympic torch gets Tower welcome to London

Tower Hamlets will welcome the Olympic flame to London when it spends a night in the Tower of London next July.

Before visiting all the London boroughs as part of the torch relay, the flame will be greeted at the Tower by its beefeaters during a welcome ceremony on July 20.

It will then be handed over to the Constable of the Tower for safekeeping overnight.

The following day it will head to the Prime Meridian Line in Greenwich for the official start of the London relay before visiting the other Olympic host boroughs.

Torchbearers will carry it to Newham before a return visit to Tower Hamlets and then Hackney and Waltham Forest.

Tower Hamlets mayor Lutfur Rahman said: “I hope that our residents will get involved in the excitement surrounding London 2012.

“The relay will also provide a fantastic opportunity to showcase the unique character of Tower Hamlets.”

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On July 27, the torch will make the final leg of its UK journey, travelling along the River Thames to the Olympic Stadium in Stratford.

The London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) says the UK route, which will take in 1,018 communities, allows 95 per cent of the population to be within 10 miles of the relay.

It will be carried across the UK by 8,000 torchbearers.

LOCOG chair Sebastian Coe said: “I’m delighted that the relay will take the Olympic flame into every London borough and shine a light on the capital’s people and places.”