This activity gives children the opportunity to calculate using distance and time and is aimed at primary school pupils at Key Stage 2. Detailed teachers' notes for this activity are available on our NRICH website.

Lengthy Journeys

Here is a simple map showing the positions of 5 cities. You have been put in charge of planning the route of the Olympic Torch between them:

Here is a chart giving us some information about distances and times.

These numbers show us direct routes. But the Olympic Torch journey will involve three or four cities.

For example, the Torch could go from Norwich to Oxford but go through Cambridge on the way.
Or, the Torch could go from London to Leicester but go through Oxford on the way.

What other routes involving three or four cities can you find?
When you have some of these answer these questions:

1. What is the total distance of your route in kilometres?
2. How many minutes long is the route?
3. How much longer (in terms of time) is the route when passing through another city or other cities along the way compared with the direct journey between the starting city and the final destination?

Now you could try and find the longest route (in terms of distance) for visiting all five cities.(We might decide that we will only visit each city once.)
What about the shortest route for visiting all five cities?
How much longer does it take to travel the longest route compared with the shortest route?

Further information

If you're finding it hard to get started try looking at this hint.

Detailed teachers' notes for this activity are available on our NRICH website.