Where to watch the London Marathon

With only 7 weeks to go until the Virgin Money London Marathon, my friends have started to ask me when and where the race starts, where to watch and where we’re meeting at the end of the race!  I had NO IDEA, so it took some quick googling to find the answers.  So just in case you are interested in coming along for a day out; to see me off or in fact would like to take part in my great Marathon PUB CRAWL (exact pubs tbc), here are a few details.

Race starts:         9am Wheelchairs

09.20/10 Elite runners

10.10 Everybody else (including Me and fun runners in crazy costumes! Yah!)

Start location is Blackheath for Blue and Greenwich Park for Red (no idea what group I’m in yet)

Finish location is The Mall right in front of Buckingham Palace

The website advises that: “It can take up to 40 minutes from the time the runner has crossed the Finish Line for the runner to collect their medal, finisher’s bag, kitbag and exit the secure area at the Finish.”

I’m currently estimated at finishing this race in 5.5-6 hours… on current running performance but was faster than expected at the Half Marathon this weekend so we will see how it goes…though Yoda has pointed out that she will not take more than 5 hours as a respectable finish time.  Let’s see what the day brings, as if it’s hot and many drink/loo breaks are required I think I might be a little longer.  But as I’ve always said throughout this process, (even before I went crazy and got all competitive with myself) I just want to finish within the allocated 8 hour timeframe in order to finish and get a medal without having a heart attack.  Fortunately BUPA have indicated that my heart, lungs and general cardiovascular health is in very good condition, so I think I may be quietly confident about achieving my goal on that front.

According to the Marathon Spectator guidelines – Places to Avoid are:

  •    Greenwich town centre and the Cutty Sark
  •    Tower Bridge and the Tower Hill area
  •    Anywhere from mile 23 to the Finish in The Mall, especially around Westminster and Parliament Square

Though with this advice how to do you find your friends / family when they have finished if you are supposed to avoid all areas after mile 23?  Not sure about that one… but fear not, I will have my mobile.

Here are my pub crawl suggestions…

My Favourite Pubs nearby the London Marathon route:

Blackheath – The Railway and The Princess of Wales, for coffee & ice-cream; Black Vanilla


Charlton – The Antigallican and The Rose of Denmark (both BIG football pubs)

Greenwich – The Plume of Feathers, The Gipsy Moth and The Trafalgar

Deptford – GIVE IT A MISS

Surrey Quays – The Moby Dick (is a boat), The Yellow House won’t be open(!), The Surrey Docks is a classy Wetherspoons

Rotherhithe – The Ship, The Old Salt Quay, The Mayflower

Bermondsey – St James of Bermondsey, The King’s Arms, The Gregorian (I am reliably informed the latter, has a good outdoor patio and is always packed on race day, so should be fun!)

Wapping – The Prospect of Whitby

Shadwell – GIVE IT A MISS

Canary Wharf – The Gun, Rocket for food or One Canada Square for a lush cocktail

Tower Hill – Bodean’s for fine BBQ food, The Draft House, The Crutched Friar, East India Arms

Monument – The Fine Line, The Folly, The Crosse Keys and The Banker

Blackfriars – The Old Bank of England and on the opposite side of the river The Founders Arms, The Swan Bar at The Globe and Dandelyan at The Mondrian London at Sea Containers

Temple – The Wellington, Temple Walkabout and The Waterfront (old Uni haunts), if you’re peckish pop into Tom’s Kitchen or deli in Somerset House, or there’s a Zizzi, Leon etc on The Strand

Embankment – Gordon’s Wine Bar, The Port House on The Strand

Westminster – St Stephen’s Tavern, The Red Lion

St James’s Park – Two Chairmen Public House, The Old Star, Adam and Eve, The Buckingham Arms



Let me know if you’re planning to come along at any point and I’ll put you in touch with others so you can hang out and eat drink and be merry whilst I’m sweating my nuts off.  There will be FOOD after the Marathon but where and when yet obvs still TBC…

I understand from Lady Catherine that you will be able to track my trainer chip LIVE on marathon day so work out where I am when you’re thinking about which pub would be best for your next pint, very helpful indeed! 😉

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