How To Get Around Town During The London Marathon

London Marathon

Everything you need to know about travelling round the city on London Marathon day.

As painful as getting around town during the London Marathon may be for us, just remember it could always be worse: you could have to run 26.2 miles in a heatwave…

DLR

London Marathon
Photo: @mickflorence

The DLR strike has mercifully been cancelled, which is a good thing since most of the race is run around the Docklands. Still, expect the crowds to flock to the DLR this Sunday. Anyone hoping to watch the start of the race will find Greenwich and probably Lewisham to be busy, whilst Woolwich Arsenal and Cutty Sark (stations which cover Miles 3 to 7) will also be in increased demand.

London Marathon
Photo: @londonmarathon

Miles 13 to 22 are served by DLR stations, so you can bet that every station between Shadwell and Island Gardens will be busier than normal, as the race route bends around Limehouse, Canary Wharf, and Poplar. Alternative routes to the Docklands will be rammed; National Rail services around Greenwich, Lewisham, Charlton, and Woolwich will most likely be heaving too. Finally, Overground services running through Shadwell, Wapping,  Rotherhithe, and Canada Water are likely to see more riders.

Tube

London Marathon

Underground stations which serve the marathon route in south and east London will also feel the crush. The big ones to watch out for are Canary Wharf, London Bridge, Bank, and Stratford. As a result, the Northern, Jubilee, and Central lines will be in high demand.

London Marathon
Photo: @londonmarathon

Mile 23 to the finish line will see the Circle and District lines heaving with people. The route runs alongside every station between Tower Hill and St James’ Park on these lines, so these are the spots to avoid. Again, this will have knock-on effects for other lines at Westminster, Waterloo, Embankment, and Green Park, amongst others.

Roads

London Marathon
If you look like this with a mile to go, you’re doing pretty well. Photo: @londonmarathon

Given that more than 40,000 runners and over 800,000 spectators are taking to the streets of London, you might expect road closures all over town. You would be right. Key streets being shut down in central London include Victoria Embankment, Upper Thames, Lower Thames, The Mall, Horse Guards Parade, Birdcage Walk, Constitution Hill, and Whitehall. Tower Bridge and Westminster Bridge will be closed during the day, along with a myriad of streets around the Limehouse and Canary Wharf areas. You can find the full list of road closures on the Virgin Marathon website.

Buses

London Marathon

If you’re hoping to catch any of these buses, expect to see some disruption or diversions: 1, 3, 11, 12, 15, 24, 25, 29, 42, 47, 51, 53, 54, 78, 87, 88, 89, 91, 96, 99, 100, 108, 115, 122, 129, 132, 148, 159, 161, 177, 178, 180, 188, 199, 202, 211, 225, 244, 277, 286, 291, 341, 343, 344, 380, 381, 386, 422, 453, 469, 472, 486, C10, D3, D6, D7, D8, P12, RV1. Damn, that’s a lot of buses.

Free Travel

London Marathon
Photo: @londonmarathon

London Marathon runners, race officials, and St John’s Ambulance volunteers are entitled to use the TfL network for free. On Sunday, show your race number or identification to get free travel on the tube, buses, Overground, DLR, and tram networks. You’ve definitely earned it!

Featured image: @londonmarathon

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