Flames unite at spiritual home

The Paralympic flame will begin its final journey to London today.

The Paralympic flame will begin its final journey to London today.

Cauldrons have been lit in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales over the past week, and tonight the four fires will be united at the “spiritual home” of the Paralympics – Stoke Mandeville in Buckinghamshire.

From there, a 24-hour torch relay will take the flame to the Opening Ceremony in Stratford to mark the start of the London 2012 Paralympic Games.

The Paralympic Flame will be carried 92 miles by 580 torchbearers, working in teams of five.

Inspirational people, including some nominated by Prince Harry and Lord Coe, will help carry the torch through the night and day towards the Olympic Stadium in east London.

It will travel through communities in Buckinghamshire and Hertfordshire before visiting a number of iconic London landmarks, including Piccadilly Circus, Westminster Abbey, Downing Street and Trafalgar Square.

Last Wednesday four Paralympic flames were kindled at the top of the highest peaks of Northern Ireland, Wales, Scotland and England – Slieve Donard, Snowdon, Ben Nevis and Scafell Pike.

There were flame festivals at Trafalgar Square in London on August 24, City Hall and Stormont in Belfast on August 25 The Mound and Meadowbank Sports Centre in Edinburgh on August 26 and City Hall and Roald Dahl Place in Cardiff yesterday.

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