For the first time since Manchester 2002, the Commonwealth Games are being held in England this year.
The games are a celebration of sporting achievement from countries within the Commonwealth, and they come around once every four years.
An integral part of the build up to the games is the Queen’s Baton Relay which sees the baton visit countries across the Commonwealth.
Here’s all you need to know about the relay, including when it is due to pass through Manchester and when it will arrive in host city Birmingham.
When does the relay start?
The relay around England is set to begin on 2 June with a special five day tour of London. This is to commemorate Queen Elizabeth’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations.
The baton will then resume an international tour, calling at commonwealth nations visiting the Falkland Islands, Jersey, Guernsey, and the Isle of Man, before touring home nations of Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales.
Where will the baton relay visit in England?
The relay around England will last 25 days, and it will start on 4 July following an international tour.
- Monday 4 July (South West) - St Austell, Plymouth, Exeter, Portland & Weymouth, Poole, and Bournemouth
- Tuesday 5 July (South West) Devizes, Bath, Bristol, Easter Compton, Hereford, Gloucester, and Cheltenham
- Wednesday 6 July (South East) Stoke Mandeville, Maidenhead, Eton & Windsor, Aldershot, Winchester, Hambledon, Southampton, and Portsmouth
- Thursday 7 July (South East) – Guildford, Tonbridge, Canterbury, Folkestone, Deal, and Dover
- Friday 8 July (East of England) – Gravesend, Tilbury, Basildon, Southend-on-Sea, Maldon, Waltham Cross, Luton and Hemel Hempstead
- Saturday 9 July (East of England) - King’s Lynn, Great Yarmouth, Bury St Edmunds, Hinxton, and Cambridge
- Sunday 10 July (East Midlands) - Northampton, Corby, Rutland, Leicester, Nottingham, Lincoln
- Monday 11 July (East Midlands) - Skegness, Boston, Grantham, Loughborough, Derby, Bakewell, Matlock, and Buxton
- Tuesday 12 July (Yorkshire & The Humber) - Sheffield, Rotherham, Huddersfield, Bradford, and Leeds
- Wednesday 13 July (Yorkshire & The Humber) – Hull, Beverley, Market Weighton, York, Malton, Scarborough, Robin Hood’s Bay, and Whitby
- Thursday 14 July (North East) - Saltburn-by-the-Sea, Redcar, Middlesbrough, Stockton-on-Tees, Darlington, Durham, Seaham, and Sunderland
- Friday 15 July (North East) - South Shields, Whitley Bay, Blyth, Alnwick, Gateshead, and Newcastle-upon-Tyne
- Saturday 16 July (North West) – Carlisle, Lake District, Blackpool, Preston, Blackburn, Darwen, and Bolton
- Sunday 17 July (North West) – Salford, Manchester, Stockport, Northwich, Wigan, and Knowsley
Following a visit to the North West, the final countdown to the Opening Ceremony will see the Baton spend 11 days travelling through the host region of the West Midlands, visiting:
- Monday 18 July – Liverpool, Keele, Newcastle-under-Lyme, Kidsgrove, Stoke-on-Trent, and Shrewsbury
- Tuesday 19 July – Ironbridge, Telford, Newport, Lilleshall, Stafford, Stone, Rudyard, and Leek
- Wednesday 20 July – Uttoxeter, Burton upon Trent, Lichfield, Burntwood, Chasewater, and Tamworth
- Thursday 21 July - Bodymoor Heath, Atherstone, Market Bosworth, Nuneaton, Bedworth, Rugby, and Coventry
- Friday 22 July – Kenilworth, Whitnash, Warwick, Gaydon, Stratford-upon-Avon, Broadway, Pershore, Upton-upon-Severn, Malvern, and Worcester
- Saturday 23 July – Redditch, Bromsgrove, Kidderminster, Bridgnorth, Codsall, Rugeley, Hednesford, Cannock, and Walsall
- Sunday 24 July – Wolverhampton, Halesowen, Stourbridge, Dudley, Brierley Hill
- Monday 25 July – Oldbury, Wednesbury, Tipton, Cradley Heath, Rowley Regis, Blackheath, Bearwood, Smethwick, and West Bromwich
- Tuesday 26 July - Castle Bromwich, Fordbridge, Chelmsley Wood, Marston Green, Hampton in Arden, Meriden, Berkswell, Balsall Common, Knowle, Dorridge, Cheswick Green, Hockley Heath, Dickens Heath, Shirley, and Solihull
When will the baton pass through Manchester?
The baton is due to pass through Manchester and the North West region on Sunday, 17 July.
On this day, the baton will pass through Manchester, Stockport, Northwich, Wigan, and Knowsley.
The baton will come to Manchester from further north having visited Carlisle, Lake District, Blackpool, Preston, Blackburn, Darwen, and Bolton on 16 July.
One of the highlights for the visit to the Manchester area is that it will pass through Media City in Salford.
In Stockport, the route of the baton will begin at St Peter’s Square outside St Peter’s Church, and continues around the Market Place before heading up the High Street. It then turns right down Wellington Street before looping around, before ending at Stockport Town Hall.
In Stockport, the baton is expected to arrive at around 10am.