London marathon spectating spots

Will be travelling down to support family and friends and was after some recommendations for quiet viewing spots (which are accessible) as I will have a toddler and a baby in tow! Thinking of one of the quieter spots in docklands, but wondered if anyone else had some good recommendations / local knowledge?


  • The main problem I have with being a specator is how hard it is to move around London, especially when you want to get from your viewing point to the finish to meet your runner/s.

    Access to some stations is difficult because you can't cross the marathon course (or not easily, anyway), and underground stations near the course are often closed, as they would get too crowded for safety.

    Even though you can get the DLR to Tower Hill, getting on the underground there to get to the finish can mean waiting in a queue to be allowed to enter the station.

    Personally, I hate it - but do it to see my friends run.  I would not take small children.

  • Nowhere is really quiet.

    There are some areas with grass verges that you could sit down with the kids to watch but really there's too many runners and you'll probably miss your friend if you're watching the children. I'd not want a toddler and a baby to look after on race day.

    Good luck anyway.
  • E mmyE mmy ✭✭✭

    Does anyone have any recommendations for places to watch when you're disabled? My aunt is confined to a wheelchair but wants to come and watch me on the day. Does anyone have a recommendations?

  • Emmy,  from my experience as a spectator it will be difficult to find somewhere.

    There are barriers along the route, to keep people off the road.  This means restricted visibility for anyone not able to see over the barriers.

    There may be parts without barriers, but I don't know where.  Hopefully someone else will have some info.

    Using public transport will also be much harder than normal - the DLR and underground trains get absolutely packed, and not all of the underground stations are open.  Those closes to the route are usually closed.

  • last year Calf managed to run from Mudchute to the finish quicker than I was on public transport.  LOL
  • we are the champions of the world...................imageimageimageimageimageimageimage
  • Nam wrote (see)
    last year Calf managed to run from Mudchute to the finish quicker than I was on public transport.  LOL

    My Squeeze has beaten me to the finish twice - once from mile 17, and also from mile 21!

  • The quieter patches tend to be the really anonymous ones - so running past a housing estate or something. Any landmarks are heaving.
  • I seem to remember that the crowd was only one person deep for most of the course south of the river.  If you got there early you could find a good space at the front without too much crowding.

    But as others have said, getting to the finish will be difficult all day.  Even if your runner takes longer than 6 hours to complete the course.

  • There is a part (Canary Wharf area I think - the part with cafes) where spectators can watch people go past at one point, walk 200 yards through the buildings and then see runners going past again, about 3 or 4 miles later.
  • It depends as well how fast your runner is, if they are slower than average it's easier to find a quiet patch as a lot of other people will have started heading towards the finish. 

    Anyway, for quieter areas in Docklands I would head towards Poplar High Street. 

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