We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

The day of the London Marathon

New Zealand
Level Contributor
57 posts
9 reviews
Save Topic
The day of the London Marathon

Hi all

Our plans for our London trip includes spending a day at the Spitalfields Market/Brick Lane/Columbia Rd area returning to central London later in the day (to Hamley's - the carrot for the kids!). We intend to do this on Sunday 13th April which happens to be the London Marathon day - I think- and we are wondering how the marathon affects the city. Will transport (tube particularly) be a nightmare? We will need to travel from Hammersmith station to there. Any suggestions/tips or is it something we won't even notice? (She says hopefully...) Thanks.

Oxfordshire
Level Contributor
2,626 posts
Save Reply
1. Re: The day of the London Marathon

"Will transport (tube particularly) be a nightmare? "

Of course not. The tube, by definition, goes underground, the marathon doesn't and the "crowds" the event generates are trivial compared to the number of people moving into and out of London on a normal weekday.

If you're involved with the event, expect normal (for a weekday) crowding round a few stations: if you're not, the event is a non-event for tube travelling. What the marathon does do, though, is disrupt buses, and in a few cases pedestrians or cyclists along its route - and that has messy knock-on effects on bus routings throughout a lot of central and east London from early in the morning to about 1300. Check the TfL site nearer the day

London
Destination Expert
for Thirassia, Fira
Level Contributor
13,960 posts
16 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: The day of the London Marathon

Actually, parts of transport will be very heavy in the lead up to the start as competitors who haven't been able to secure accommodation nearby have to travel and spectators try to get to their preferred viewing spots.

I was on a train coming into Waterloo a couple of years ago at 7.00am and we had to stand the entire journey. Lots of competitors and their supporters.

www.virginmoneylondonmarathon.com

Take a look at the map on the link and you'll see the areas to avoid. The Mall won't be able to be crossed, the same for the Embankment. You'll be able to get to Spitalfields, etc.,probably from Liverpool Street Station.

The Marathon has been running for years and plans are in place to keep the London moving.

Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
5,628 posts
3 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: The day of the London Marathon

We have the TdF going through London on a busy week day this year, a few joggers on a Sunday won't disrupt anything

Bingley, United...
Destination Expert
for Edinburgh
Level Contributor
32,283 posts
Save Reply
4. Re: The day of the London Marathon

It is rare for ANY event to cause more than local disruption in London - even the Olympics didn't cause much disruption except around Stratford

New Zealand
Level Contributor
57 posts
9 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: The day of the London Marathon

Thank you very much everyone!

As someone who has never been to London and lives in a small 'village' it is hard to work out the impact of an event such as the marathon. At this stage the thought of navigating London on a 'normal' day is a little daunting so it is reassuring to know that we shouldn't be encountering anything too much harder on the 13th of April!

Kennydon - The map is fantastic, thank you. Have had a good play - and see we may be able to time it so we can see some of the event!

Amos H - The TdF! Wow! That would be amazing to see... however I am a little bit pleased we miss that!

Plymouth
Level Contributor
2,778 posts
45 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: The day of the London Marathon

The marathon draws huge crowds and is highly disruptive (impossible to cross tbe road for hours in some places) but only on the 26 mile ribbon of its route. The Tower Hill and Westminster areas are particularly congested. But as you are lucky enough to be here that day, why not acrub any other plans and join in the fun? Make sure you spend at least some time in the Westminster area so you combine it with sightseeing, and have the rare opportunity to walk around without the constant noise of traffic

London
Destination Expert
for Thirassia, Fira
Level Contributor
13,960 posts
16 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: The day of the London Marathon

Think Auckland 'Round the Bays Run' - the route will be off limits and roads leading to it will be busy at times. All other areas will be unaffected.

So, Blackheath will be heaving before the race, but there's a well-oiled machine that kicks into place the moment the runners set off with clean-up and transporting the participants' personal belongings to the race finish.

The Mall will be quieter at the beginning of the race, but teeming at the end.

On Oxford Street, you probably wouldn't even know its taking place.

Solihull
Level Contributor
4,052 posts
13 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: The day of the London Marathon

If you are in London for the marathon then do try to watch part of it as it is a wonderful atmosphere.

I have been to London twice on Marathon day and the memory lives long in your head. While there are lots of serious runners there are also thousands of people dressed up in all sorts of strange outfits who run it for fun and to raise money for charity.

I watched the start from Greenwich which is so emotional as it takes over 25 minutes for all the runners to pass you.

I then walked through Greenwich park (great views of London) and watched them come "back" from the first loop that takes them away from Greenwich. This is near the Cutty Sark.

I then crossed to the North of the river and saw them run through the Isle of Dogs, then I saw them run across Tower Bridge..

I then went into central London and watched them a various places, finishing up in the Mall (in front of Buckingham palace) where the race finishes.

At every spot where I watched the race I sensed such a great atmosphere, from both the runners and spectators.

The main problem I found was trying to cross the road. If you are standing one side of the road watching the race and you want to get to the other side of the road, perhaps to walk to a different area, it can take you 20 minutes or more to just cross the road.

They cant just stop the runners so they have defined crossing points where they first block off one side of the road to allow people to cross to the centre, then they block off the other side of the road and allow people to get to the other side.

But they can only allow so many to cross at a time, and there are so many who want to cross it can take quite a while.

However that is only a minor thing, and if you can get to watch the race at a couple of points you wont regret it.

Tower Bridge is a good spot as they often have cameras and news reporters on the bridge so they stop people to interview them and people dressed in "silly" clothes often wave to the cameras making for a nice friendly atmosphere.

London
Level Contributor
2,083 posts
4 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: The day of the London Marathon

If you are staying in Hammersmith, then go into London on the Hammersmith & City line or Circle line. These stay away from the Marathon route so won't be crowded and you'll be able to sit down.

Coming back shouldn't be a problem on any route.

New Zealand
Level Contributor
57 posts
9 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: The day of the London Marathon

Thank you all for the information and advice!

My husband is cursing the fact that we hadn't made the connection re us being there/marathon earlier as he would have liked to have entered- (easy to say at this stage!). I can imagine it will be a great event and we will try to see something of it...