Credit: Virgin Money London Marathon

How to make the most of the London Marathon 

The London Marathon is a great day out for spectators but to make the most of it – and to be sure of seeing the runner you've come to support – you need to choose the best vantage points.

Most people tend to gravitate towards central London and it can be difficult to spot runners through the crowds. However, having worked in Canary Wharf for over a decade and as a keen spectator myself, I have devised a route that allows you to see your runner at least five times, as well enjoy the atmosphere and some refreshments along the way.

Start line & mile 7

The mood is always electric at the beginning of the race in Greenwich. Although the area tends to be very crowded, hearing the starting klaxon and waving off the runners is good fun. From the start line the route loops off towards Woolwich, so I recommend taking the short walk across Greenwich Park to the Maritime Museum where, weather permitting, you can sit on the terrace and have a coffee. From here, amble down to the historic Cutty Sark and catch the runners at mile 7.

Miles 14/15

Next, jump on the DLR for the 11-minute journey to West India Quay. From here, stroll over to Limehouse and have a drink at The Narrow, Gordon Ramsey’s pub in Narrow Street. From the terrace you'll have a ringside view of the runners as they complete miles 14 and 15.

Mile 18

Doubling back on yourself to Canary Wharf takes just eight minutes on the DLR, but gives you another chance to see the race at the 18.5-mile mark. To accommodate for building work the route has changed this year, so make sure you take the North exit from the station. Canary Wharf is always vibrant and busy on marathon day and is one of my favourite spots for watching the race.

Mile 22

The longest leg of your journey will bring you back towards central London, with a 17-minute ride on the DLR to Tower Gateway (you have to make a quick change at Shadwell by crossing the platform). When you emerge from the station, mile 22 will be visible but you will also have a view of the most iconic leg of the route, Tower Bridge, which is mile 12. There’s a real buzz in the air and it’s a fantastic place to soak up ‘marathon fever’ and cheer on the runners.

Mile 25 to the finish line

Finally, it’s time to head to the finish. Take a walk to Tower Hill Tube and hop on the Circle or District Line to Embankment. This avoids the crowds at Westminster and means you can either stroll into St James's Park to enjoy the entertainment or head to The Mall to applaud the runners as they cross the finish line.


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