With excitement building as the London 2012 Olympics race into focus, the National Parks of Wales are sure the upcoming Olympic Torch Relay will showcase some of Wales’ wonderful winning landscapes.
The Olympic torch’s six-day stay in Wales will see the route take in all three of our beautiful National Parks – Brecon Beacons, Pembrokeshire Coast and Snowdonia – offering some truly inspiring scenery and reaching great heights along the way.
Friday, May 25 will see the torch head towards Abergavenny in the first leg of the Welsh torch relay, making a hop, skip and a jump through the beautiful Brecon Beacons National Park. The Park is known to be the green training ground of gold medal-winning cyclist Nicole Cooke, who’s favourite route is the Gap which takes in the Neuadd Reservoir, up Fan y Big and the Cribyn giving incredible view of the Black Mountain. The 2012 medal hopeful admires the Brecon Beacons so much she even provided a foreword for Brecon Beacons National Park Authority’s ‘mtb Brecon Beacons’ guide championing the best 14 mountain biking routes in the region.
From the Brecon Beacons it’s on to the picture perfect setting of Pembrokeshire Coast National Park on Sunday, May 27 – an ideal arena for Olympic disciplines such as canoeing, kayaking, swimming, cycling and mountain biking, and even beach volleyball! While visiting the Pembrokeshire Coast, four torch bearers will carry the flame through the coastal town of Newport.
Day four of the Welsh relay will see the torch make its way into the stunning Snowdonia National Park, entering first at Dolgellau, before heading further north to Llan Ffestiniog. The highlight of the Welsh visit takes place when the Olympic flame will be used to light a lantern that will take an enormous 3,500 feet high jump above sea level as it climbs aboard the Snowdon Mountain Railway to the summit of Snowdon, the highest peak in Wales.
Cllr Caerwyn Roberts OBE, Chairman of the National Parks of Wales, said: “We’re delighted that the Olympic Torch route will sprint through our three marvellous National Parks and highlight our truly medal-winning landscapes. While running a 26 mile mountain path, high jumping over a hedgerow or synchronised swimming in one of our lakes are not obligatory, I’m sure Olympic visitors will realise that our offering of tracks and fields are absolutely stunning and hopefully come back on another visit.”
Each Welsh National Park has provided on its website a list of 26 walks which feature routes suitable for a variety of abilities over and assortment of distances. Details of the walks, along with a collection of fun National Park Olympic facts can be found at www.eryri-npa.gov.uk; www.pembrokeshirecoast.org.uk and www.breconbeacons.org