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17 Apr 2013

Where to watch the Virgin London Marathon



26 miles is almost the entire length of London from North to South and every year runners from around the world flock to London to beat world records and raise thousands of pounds for charity by running this distance across the city.

Whether they are elite professionals, keen joggers or charity supporters in fancy dress, the Virgin Marathon runners will have (hopefully!) studied the route beforehand. But as a spectator, your whereabouts on the day may not have crossed your mind. London comes alive during this monumental event to support, encourage and entertain both runners and spectators and if you’re planning to cheer on the participants and are wondering where’s best to plant yourself along the route, look no further.

We’ve compiled a few recommended places to get a winning view of the hoards as they fly (or indeed crawl) past you:
Canary Wharf



Mile 14 to 20: The Canary Wharf area is the single most circular and winding part of the route. As the runners fly into the second half of the route here, this is where you’ll start to see the real blood, sweat and tears. Many spectators will be crowded around marker 14 as the route overlaps and circles back on itself, allowing viewers to see the elite runners as well as those a few miles behind. Guests staying in our serviced apartments will be seconds away from getting a great view of the route. Byng Street Apartments lie right by Westferry Road (over a mile long stretch of the route), and Discovery Dock Apartments and Canary Riverside Apartments are situated on the East Ferry Road (stretching 0.8 miles of the route). For those that arrive too late to get a roadside view, the DLR tram stops in Canary Wharf are also perfect for a towering view over the marathon’s route below.


Tower Bridge

Mile 23: Take the DLR from Canary Wharf to Tower Gateway, located only a 2 minute walk from Tower Bridge. Tower Bridge is the only bridge that the runners cross and therefore is a big contender for the best spot on the route to take an atmospheric photo. It covers the 23rd mile of the marathon and, as it marks the beginning of the home straight, is a popular spot for views. With only 3 miles to go, even spectators are bound to need their thirst quenching by this point. Escape the hive of music, entertainment and refreshments, and refuel at the historic pubs, restaurants and Good Food market at St Katherine Docks. Pepys Street Apartments and River House Apartments are moments from the action, while Monument Street Apartments are nicely sandwiched between the route and the river.


St James Park


Mile 26: Journey down to St James Park and join the route’s largest crowd for the marathon finale. Whether you’re witnessing tears of joy or tears of pain, those final strides of a friend or loved one is what all proud spectators will want to capture. The park will be encompassed with millions of people and the majestic sights of Buckingham Palace make the perfect backdrop for the celebratory photo finish. The conveniently-situated Arlington House Apartments and Westminster Bridge Apartments are both within a 10 minute walk to the finish line and are ideal for those aching to take a bath and put their feet up as soon as possible.