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London Olympics: 8,000-mile torch relay around UK

Updated at 12:11 p.m. ET on July 26: LONDON - The Olympic flame has been carried past famous British landmarks and tourist spots including Queen Elizabeth II's home at Windsor Castle, the Scottish Highlands and the castle in north-east England where the "Harry Potter" movies were filmed.

The torch is nearing the end of a winding, U.K.-wide 8,000-mile itinerary that culminates in its arrival at the Olympic Park in Stratford, East London, on July 27 for the ceremony at which the queen will declare the Games open.

You can watch NBC video of its progress on the interactive map above. It has already been carried from Land’s End, at the far south-western tip of England, to Wales, Northern Ireland and across to Scotland.

More Olympic coverage from NBC News

It even briefly crossed the border into the Republic of Ireland on its route, which was designed to take it within an hour's journey of 95 percent of Britain's population.

Jeff J Mitchell / Getty Images

Lit by the sun's rays in Greece, the Olympic torch takes a 70-day, 8,000 mile trip to London for the 2012 summer games.

However, some didn’t have to travel anywhere to see it: The queen carried an unopened umbrella as rain-sodden runner Gina Macgregor, 74, took the torch directly to her front door at Windsor Castle, in Berkshire on Day 53 of the relay.

Earlier that day, it was held aloft by Roger Bannister, the first runner to smash the four-minute mile in 1954. Bannister, 83, walked 30 yards along the same track in Oxford where he ran the mile in three minutes, 59.4 seconds on May 6, 1954.

Read more coverage of the Olympic torch relay at ITV News

The torch has seen its fair share of human drama, including a torchbearer in Yorkshire who paused to propose to his girlfriend.

If you're heading to the Olympics you'll find yourself in Cockney country, where the accent and slang may not make much sense to the untrained ear. NBC's Chapman Bell reports.

And in emotional scenes last month, Lance Bombardier Ben Parkinson -- the most seriously wounded British soldier to survive the war in Afghanistan -- was cheered and applauded by crowds as he bravely carried the flame 300 meters despite his crippling injuries.

American stuntman Nick Macomber carried the torch in a special hands-free carrier while using his free hands to control a jet pack on his back when the relay passed Britain’s National Space Centre in Leicester, central England.

Diana Gould, the oldest person to carry the Olympic torch, told ITV's Nina Nannar she ready to carry the Olympic flame by walking around her retirement home carrying a two pound weight.

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