The London Marathon takes place on Sunday 22 April 2018. But where to watch? The Resident reveals the best spectator spots and pubs along the route, as well as busy spots to avoid
The official start times are as follows:
- 08:55 – Elite Wheelchair Races
- 09:00 – World Para Athletics Marathon World Cup ambulant races
- 09:15 – The Elite Women’s Race
- 10:00 – The Elite Men’s Race, British Athletics & England Athletics Marathon Championships and Mass Race
London’s famous marathon starts in Blackheath, so if you want to wish your runner well from the get-go head to Blackheath bright and early. You could then walk down to Greenwich (through the picturesque Greenwich Park) and grab a spot by The Cutty Sark, which is around the six-mile mark. Be warned, this corner gets very busy and expect queues to get back on the DLR to follow the runners on their merry way.
It’s also worth noting that The Cutty Sark will be opening up its decks to spectators for the first time this year for £35pp. Alternatively walk under the Thames using the foot tunnel (likely to have queues, too) and emerge on the north bank of the Thames, by mile 17.
Pubs with events near the start:
Mile 0.5: The Royal Standard, 44 Vanburgh Park, Blackheath Standard SE3 7JQ
Mile 5: The Rose of Denmark, 296 Woolwich Road, Charlton SE7 7AL
Mile 6.5: The Gipsy Moth, 60 Greenwich Church Street, Greenwich SE10 9BL (note this pub will be super crowded as its next to The Cutty Sark)
Mile 7: The Duke, 125 Creek Road, Deptford SE8 3BU
London’s iconic Tower Bridge marks the halfway point (mile 12-13) for London Marathon runners – but expect huge crowds and television crews (it’s common for famous runners to be interviewed mid-race on the bridge).
Over the bridge, near Tower Hill tube station, is where you’ll get double the bang for your buck, with racers doubling back on themselves here between miles between miles 22-23. But again, expect huge crowds.
Pubs with events near the halfway point:
The Kings Arms, 251 Tooley Street SE1 2JX
The Pommeler’s Rest, 196-198 Tower Bridge Road SE1 2UN
The Draft House, 206-208 Tower Bridge Road SE1 2UP
Not keen on being in such a busy spectator spot? Head instead to Canary Wharf. There will still be crowds but spread out more and from here there’ll be the chance to watch the runners double back on themselves (One Canada Square is around mile 19). It’s worth noting though, that with building works at Canary Wharf, the popular viewing spot at Heron Quay roundabout (close to the former City Pride pub) at mile 15 will NOT be available this year. The same goes for spectating around the 18 mile point on Marsh Wall, the section of the route between the Isle of Dogs and Canary Wharf.
Pubs near Miles 15-19:
The Narrow, 44 Narrow Street, Poplar E14 8DP
The Grapes, 76 Narrow Street, Poplar E14 8BP
Mile 16.5: The Ship, 290 Westferry Road, Isle of Dogs E14 3AG
Mile 18.5: Boisedale, 15 Cabot Square, Canary Wharf E14 4QT
Head for Shadwell or Limehouse DLR stations for viewing spots along The Highway, where you should fair a bit better in terms of the crowds than you would near Tower Bridge. At mile 21 on Commercial Road, you’ll usually find urban running collective Run Dem Crew generating a great atmosphere with a soundsystem, dancing and plenty of motivational signage. On Monument Stret, closer to mile 23, The Walrus & Carpenter pub always makes the most of race day, so do check it out.
After completing the loop around Canary Wharf and passing Tower Hill, marathon runners will head down Embankment, a top spot to cheer on the weary participants on the home straight with spectators lining this entire Thames-side stretch making plenty of noise.
If you can bag a good spot on the Golden Jubilee footbridges by Embankment station you’ve got it in the bag. Alternatively, board the Tattershall Castle pub boat. From here the runners will follow the course for the last mile – passing Big Ben and Buckingham Palace before reaching the finish line at The Mall.
Pubs with events on the final stretch of the London Marathon:
Byward Kitchen & Bar, Byward Street, Tower Hill EC3R 5BJ
The Walrus & Carpenter, 45 Monument Street EC3R 8BG
Mile 25: Tattershall Castle, Victoria Embankment SW1A 2HR
For further London Marathon spectator information see virginmoneylondonmarathon.com
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