Olympic torch travels from Plymouth to Exeter today

Olympic torch travels from Plymouth to Exeter todayAP


The Olympic flame is being carried from Plymouth to Exeter today, on the second day of the torch relay ahead of the London 2012 Games.

During the day, the torch will be carried by 121 people, before an evening celebration at Exeter Cathedral.

Today's relay started in Plymouth just before 8am, before heading up the coast to towns including Modbury and Dartmouth.

The flame also makes a return to Torre Abbey, which it visited in 1948 when Torquay was the Olympic sailing venue.

The flame is being carried by members of the public who were nominated for their achievements, sporting contributions and community work. Olympians and other VIPs are also carrying the torch.

Each of the torchbearers runs with the flame for about 300m, before lighting the next bearer's torch.

Yesterday, large crowds gathered to see the first day's relay through Cornwall. It passed through towns and countryside and visited the Eden Project.

The day ended with an evening celebration on Plymouth Hoe.

The Daily Express reports that there was some controversy yesterday when police threw a spectator to the ground as he tried to take a photograph.

The middle aged man had been jogging behind torchbearer Eric Smith, 76, carrying a camera. Three officers surrounded him and one bundled him to the floor.

Mr Smith, a veteran airman and winner of the George medal, managed to keep the torch alight throughout.

He said: "I'd only just received the torch but suddenly became aware a gentleman was approaching from my left.

"He got quite close until a well-build policeman sort of rugby-tackled him and sent him sprawling.

"I heard the man saying, 'I was just trying to take a picture'. The man was quite tall and with me only being 5ft 7ins, he could have done me some harm had he wanted to.

"He had a camera in his hands but for all the police knew it could have been a knife or some other weapon.

"The police reacted in exactly the right way. I did hear afterwards that the police had apologised to him."

The torch will visit the four nations of the UK before being taken to the Olympic Stadium in Stratford on July 27 for the opening ceremony of the games.

It will travel through 1,019 cities, towns and villages and will pass landmarks like the Giant's Causeway and Stonehenge.

It will be carried by bearers, or taken in a convoy and will also be transported by boat, bicycle, tram and train.

Click on the image below for 10 of the best UK Olympic holidays...

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Ten of the best: active UK holidays
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Olympic torch travels from Plymouth to Exeter today

Where better to try your hand at archery than in the heart of 1066 country? Self catering holiday village, Crowhurst Park in East Sussex has teamed up with an archery company to offer both Field Archery (in which archers move from target to target through wooded terrain, shooting 3D foam prey, including bears, deer and er, giant mosquitoes) and Target Archery (one of the Olympic sports).

Weekend breaks in a small lodge from £99, www.crowhurstpark.co.uk

You could try your hand at kayaking the man made rapids at the brand new Lee Valley White Water Centre (where the Olympic kayaking events are being held), but for a chance to paddle alongside porpoises, seals and even whales, head up to the Outer Hebrides for five days kayaking and camping among uninhabited islands and skerries.

Five day sea kayaking trip costs £725. NB, not for beginners. //www.responsibletravel.com/holiday/2243/sea-kayaking-holiday-in-scotland.

While the Olympic cyclists whizz round and round the London velodrome, enjoy a rather more scenic view from your saddle on a Welsh biking holiday. The seven day 'Snowdonia Beano', cycling around Snowdonia National Park and the Lleyn Peninsula in July costs from £640 per person, which includes accommodation and yummy vegetarian meals. For more details on this and other cycling holidays, visit www.bicycle-beano.co.uk.

Stage your own mini Olympics at Siblyback Lake Campsite, on the edge of Bodmin Moor in Cornwall, which offers three Olympic watersports - kayaking, sailing and canoeing. Instructors are on hand to help train your junior athletes - perhaps for the 2020 Games?

Pitches from £11 per night. www.pitchup.com

Make like a minor royal and buff up your riding skills at Lucknam Park's outstanding equestrian centre, which includes 500 acres of parkland, an all weather arena, cross country course and riding clinics with equestrian experts Stephen Hadley and Richard Waygood. Non-riders can make the most of the hotel's Michelin-starred food and lush spa.

Rooms from £330 per night. www.lucknampark.com

Spend a day clay pigeon shooting in scenic fields, gullies and among the trees with local farmer Jonty and his sons on a farm on the outskirts of the Lake District. Then retire to the cozy Plough Inn opposite for a soak in the freestanding bath, followed by local ale and lamb for dinner. Clay pigeon shooting available on Wednesdays and Saturdays, from £135 per room per night (beginners package from £150), www.theploughatlupton.co.uk 

What with Wimbledon and the Olympics, its easy to get carried away by Pimms-fuelled fantasies about tennis whites and volleying. Indulge the dream at the Four Seasons' grand Georgian pile in Hampshire, which has two outdoor, all-weather, floodlit tennis courts and tennis pros on hand to polish up your backhand. Doubles from £258, www.four seasons.com/Hampshire

Find out for yourself why beach volleyball is the most popular Olympic spectator sport (nothing to do with the barely there bikinis the ladies play in, obv) on Brighton's answer to Copacabana, Yellowave Beach Sports Venue. (www.yellowave.co.uk). After a hard day on the beach, retire to the supremely classy surroundings of the Kemp Townhouse boutique b&b. Doubles from £95, www.kemptownhousebrighton.com

Crawling up and down an Olympic size swimming pool's all very well, but there's nothing like swimming in the wild to make you feel truly alive. Based at the snazzy Scarlet hotel, guests can enjoy a wild swimming tour of Cornwall's water, with professional instructors equipped with towels, rescue boards - and hot toddies! A 2-night package costs from £515 per person, including a private Wild Sea Swimming Lesson, with instructor and all equipment (including heated wetsuits!) and a ‘Short Journey’ in the Ayurvedic Spa. www.scarlethotel.co.uk

Learn to tell a flying jib from a gaff topsail on board the beautiful traditional wooden pilot cutter, Eve of St Mawes.  A 6 day hands-on, island hopping voyage in the Isles of Scilly, departing from St Mawes, Cornwall, costs £720 per person. For details of this and other voyages, visit www.classic-sailing.co.uk.

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