Whisper it quietly (we don’t want to make the competing runners nervous) but it’s London Marathon week!
This year’s race hits the streets of London on Sunday 24 April, as the world’s elite runners do battle at the front of the pack, while tens of thousands of fun runners follow behind (admittedly some distance behind…) as they raise money for charity by pounding the pavement – many in novelty fancy dress.
The 26.2mile route is a largely flat course around the River Thames, taking in many of London’s iconic landmarks. Whether you’re supporting someone you know or just want to cheer the masses who are hitting the wall along the route, here’s our top five pick of locations to look out for as you do your own spectating mini-marathon…
Acting as the starting point for many of the 36,000 running, Greenwich Park is one of eight Royal Parks in the capital and visited by millions each year, who all fall in love with its vast green spaces and spectacular views. Head towards the General Wolfe Statue next to the Greenwich Observatory and you’ll see the Thames winding through the capital and numerous landmarks.
Once you’re finished in the Park, head down towards Greenwich town centre to cheer on the runners as they snake past the iconic Cutty Sark, which was one of the last tea clippers to be built and has lived in the borough’s dry dock since 1954. We’d suggest here would be a good time to pick up some brunch before heading up town… on a boat, of course!
Hop off at Tower Millennium Pier, as the halfway point of the race comes at one of the most well-known locations not only on the River Thames, but in London as a whole: Tower Bridge. Many vessels on the Thames are full of spectators, who’ll be treated to superb views of local landmarks nearby to Tower Bridge, including the Tower Of London and City Hall.
Westminster (London Eye and Houses Of Parliament)
It’s safe to say the runners could do with your support as their legs tire on the penultimate mile, so get a viewpoint as soon as possible and take in your own riverside views along the Embankment, including the London Eye, Big Ben and the Houses Of Parliament. They’re three of the most recognisable places on the London map and let runners know they’re nearing the finish line.
The final 400metres take in arguably the most iconic landmark in London – Buckingham Palace – as those taking part push their legs up The Mall and over the finishing line. And once you’ve located your brave acquaintance who’s taking part, why not treat them to lunch at a riverside restaurant and drink in the views – along with a well-earned drink. Assuming the weather behaves, anyway!