London Marathon 2018 travel news: DLR, train, Tube and bus routes for runners and spectators - http://travelporn.info | luxury travel sites

April 22, 2018 7:03 am
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Tens of thousands of people will be heading into the capital today to watch the 2018 London Marathon.

Some 47,000 runners will take part in the gruelling 26.2 mile race and huge crowds will cheer them on from the sidelines.

A planned DLR strike that threatened travel chaos on marathon day has been called off but Tube, rail, DLR and bus routes are still expected to be extremely busy.

Transport for London has urged runners and spectators to use the route planner on its website for their journeys.

Here’s our guide to travelling to the marathon for runners and spectators via DLR, Tube, rail and bus.

For competitors, the easiest way to get to the three start areas (Blue Start, Red Start and Green Start) is to travel by train.

Blue Start or Good For Age runners should travel to Blackheath station, Red Start runners should travel to Greenwich station, the Cutty Sark or Maze Hill station, and Green Start runners should travel to Maze Hill station.

1/67 1981

Joint winners of the 1981 London Marathon. Dick Beardsley of USA (left) and Inge Simonsen of Norway, finsish in hand-in-hand to win the first ever race


2/67 1981

Runners passing over Tower Bridge

Neville Mariner

3/67 1981

Winners Dick Beardsley (left) of the United States and Inge Simonsen of Norway crossed the finish line together in 2:11.48. They pose, garlanded with Joyce Smith the first woman home

Daily Mail

4/67 1981

The first ever London Marathon saw 6700 runners running the 26 miles and 385 yards from Greenwich Park to Buckingham Palace

Ted Blackbrow/Associated Newspapers

5/67 1981

Richard Bourban is pictured running during the London Marathon dressed as a waiter and carrying a bottle of water on a tray. The tray and bottle were not stuck together

Daily Mail

6/67 1981

An exhausted runner is carried into an ambulance at the 18 mile stage of the race

Associated Newspapers

7/67 1981

Runners take part in a test event for the first ever London Marathon in Battersea Park

Ted Blackbrow/Associated Newspapers

8/67 1982

General view of the field at the start of the London Marathon

Steve Powell/Allsport/Getty Images

9/67 1982

Comedian Bernie Clifton competes in the London Marathon riding his puppet ostrich ‘Oswald’

Rob Taggart/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

10/67 1983

Grete Waitz of Norway passes Tower Bridge. Waitz finished in first place with a time of 2:25.29

Getty Images

11/67 1984

Race founder Chris Brasher pictured at the start of the 1984 London Marathon in Blackheath, London

Getty Images

12/67 1984

Ingrid Kristiansen of Norway and Mary Cotton of England in action during the London Marathon. Kristiansen finished in first place with a time of 2:24.26

Steve Powell/AllsportGetty Images

13/67 1985

Steve Jones of Great Britain runs past the finishing line to win the London Marathon in London. Jones won in a time of 2:08.15

Mike Powell/Allsport/Getty Images

14/67 1986

A patriotically dressed competitor waves a Union Flag whilst running the London Marathon

Allsport/Getty Images

15/67 1986

Two wheelchair participants compete in the London Marathon

Evening Standard

16/67 1987

Hiromi Taniguchi #8 of Japan and Hugh Jones #5 of Great Britain lead the field. Taniguchi finished in first place with a time of 2:09.50and Jones in third with a time of 2:10.11

Chris Cole/Allsport/Getty Images

17/67 1988

Exhausted competitors rest

Getty Images

18/67 1989

Douglas Wakiihuri of Kenya and Veronique Marot of Great Britain stand on the winners” podium after the London Marathon. Wakiihuri finished in first place with a time of 2:09.03 and Marot finished in first place with a new British record time of 2:25.56

Gray Mortimore/Allsport/Getty Images

19/67 1990

London Marathon medals

Allsport/Getty Images

20/67 1991

A competitor cools off

Allsport/Getty Images

21/67 1992

Genral view of competitors crossing Tower Bridge

Gray Mortimore/Allsport/Getty Images

22/67 1993

Getty ImagesLiz McColgan (left) of Great Britain, Lisa Ondieki (centre) of Australia and Katrin Dorre (right) of Germany in action

Allsport/Getty Images

23/67 1994

A competitor chats on his mobile phone after completing the London Marathon

Clive Brunskill/Allsport/Getty Images

24/67 1994

Runners race past the Cutty Sark

John Gichigi/Allsport/Getty Images

25/67 1995

Mexican Dionicio Ceron raises his arms in victory as he crosses the finish line of the London Marathon to become the first man to win the race two years in a row. Ceron completed the course in 2:08.30

Andrew Winning/AFP/Getty Images

26/67 1996

Liz McColgan of Scotland waves to the crowd after winning the Women’s ‘London Marathon in 2: 27.54

Allsport /Getty Images

27/67 1997

Chuckles the clown enjoys his run in the London Marathon

Getty Images

28/67 1997

Britain’s David Holding looks up in the final push to the finish during the wheelchair race in the London marathon. Holding won the race in 1:42:15 followed by Hakan Ericsson of Sweden and Ivan Newman of Britain and Bogdan Krol of Poland

Adrian Dennis/AFP/Getty Images

29/67 1998

A fun runner puts on his ‘pint of Guinness’ costume

Graham Snook /Getty Images

30/67 1999

Joyce Chepchumba of Kenya and Abdelkader El Mouaziz of Morocco acknowledge the crowd after winning their respective races

Gary M Prior/Allsport/Getty Images

31/67 2000

Antonio Pinto of Portugal takes the tape to win his third London Marathon. Pinto set a new European and Course Record

Clive Mason /Allsport/Getty Images

32/67 2001

Jenny Woodallen of Great Britain who is the oldest Competitor seen during a press conference

Warren Little/Allsport/Getty Images

33/67 2001

The worlds greatest ever track distance runner Haile Gebrselassie of Ethiopia inspects the course

Gerry Penny/AFP/Getty Images

34/67 2002

Lloyd Scott of Essex continues his journey as he attempts to complete the London Marathon dressed in a deep sea diver’s suit

an Walton/Getty Images

35/67 2002

An exhausted runner is helped

Jamie McDonald/Getty Images

36/67 2002

Paula Radcliffe of England after the London Marathon Elite Mens and Womens races London.

Phil Cole/Getty Images

37/67 2003

Paula Radcliffe of Great Britain wins the womens 2003 London Marathon breaking the tape held by British Olympic rowing hero Sir Steve Redgrave at the Mall

Warren Little/Getty Images

38/67 2003

Paula Radcliffe of Great Britain with the womens elite trophy after the 2003 Flora London Marathon on April 13, 2003 at the Mall in London, England.

Getty Images

39/67 2003

Ex-Boxer Michael Watson crosses Tower Bridge on his way to walking the Flora London Marathon. He raised money and awareness for the Brain and Spine Foundation

Paul Gilham/Getty Images

40/67 2004

Thousands of competitors begin their 26.2 mile trek through London from Greenwich Park

Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images

41/67 2004

93 year old Fauja Singh (right), the oldest runner in the 2004 marathon, runs over the Millennium Bridge in London with David Bedford (London Marathon race director), after receiving an award in recognition of his outstanding running achievements and also marking his 93rd birthday. Fauja has earned thousands of pounds for BLISS, the premature baby charity

Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images

42/67 2004

A Fun Runner dressed as Wonder Women in action

Christopher Lee/Getty Images

43/67 2004

A solitary runner passes the London Eye as he competes in the London Marathon. The event attracted particpants from 54 different countries

Alessandro Abbonizio/AFP/Getty Images

44/67 2005

A fun runner dressed as a “Star Wars” Stormtrooper competes in the marathon

Paul Gilham/Getty Images

45/67 2005

Paula Radcliffe of Great Britain celebrates winning the London Marathon with her trophy

Christopher Lee/Getty Images

46/67 2006

Felix Limo of Kenya crosses the line to win the Men’s London Marathon

Clive Rose/Getty Images

47/67 2006

British TV celebrity Jade Goody runs over the Tower Bridge, the half way mark in the London marathon

Odd Anderson/AFP/Getty Images

48/67 2006

Deena Kastor of the United States crosses the line to win the Women’s London Marathon

Clive Rose/Getty Images

49/67 2007

Martin Lel of Kenya celebrates in front of third placed fellow countryman Felix Limo after winning the Mens Race

Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

50/67 2008

David Weir crosses the line to win the men’s wheelchair event

Getty Images

51/67 2009

Runners fill the road after crossing the finish Line near Buckingham Palace

Carl De Souza/AFP/Getty Images

52/67 2010

Princess Beatrice warms up as she prepares to take part in the Virgin London Marathon

Getty Images

53/67 2010

Runners pass by the University of Greenwich

Getty Images

54/67 2011

Nell McAndrew completes the London Marathon

Getty Images

55/67 2011

Emmanuel Mutai crosses the line to win the London Marathon

Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

56/67 2012

Claire Lomas walks the last mile of the London Marathon. Ms Lomas, who is paralysed from the waist down after a riding accident in 2007, has taken 16 days to complete the 26.2 mile route. Starting out with 36,000 other runners she has averaged 2 miles a day with the help of a bionic ReWalk suit

Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images

57/67 2013

Women’s champion Priscah Jeptoo of Kenya (2nd L) and Men’s champion Tsegaye Kebede of Ethiopia (2nd R) with their trophies, pose with Prince Harry (left) and Sir Richard Branson after winning their respective races during the London Marathon

Ben Hoskins/Getty Images

58/67 2014

Runners take part in the London Marathon. World record-holder Wilson Kipsang won the men’s London Marathon in a course record 2:04.25

Carl Court/AFP/Getty Images

59/67 2014

Sadiq Khan takes part

Karwai Tang/Getty Images

60/67 2014

Runners enjoy the atmosphere as they make their way over Tower Bridge

Getty Images

61/67 2014

Mo Farah of Great Britain starts Virgin London Marathon

Getty Images

62/67 2015

Joshua George of the United States competes during the London Marathon

Getty Images

63/67 2015

Romeo Beckham (centre) receives the support of his family, brother Cruz Beckham (left), father David Beckham (2nd left) and mother Victoria Beckham after taking part in the junior marathon

Steve Bardens/Getty Images

64/67 2015

Kenya Men’s winner Eliud Kipchoge poses during a photocall after winning the London Marathon

Ian Gavan/Getty Images

65/67 2016

A runner does a hand stand as they cross the finish line on The Mall during the London Marathon

Jeff Spicer/Getty Images

66/67 2016

Kenya’s Jemima Sumgong crosses the finish line to win the Elite Women’s

Justin Tallis/AFP/Getty Images

67/67 2016

Kenya’s Eliud Kipchoge crosses the finish line to win the elite men’s race

Justin Tallis/AFP/Getty Images

Travel on all of the above trains is free to competitors but you must present your running number to a member of station staff to take advantage of this offer.

The 188 bus – passing through Russell Square, Waterloo and Elephant & Castle – will get you to Cutty Sark and Maze Hill. 

The 386 bus also calls at Blackheath, Maze Hill and Greenwich station. Alternatively, the 129 bus stops at both Greenwich and the Cutty Sark. 

Coaches may also be provided from central London by some running clubs and groups. More information can be found here.

Organisers have released a series of maps online, including key information – such as where the nearest pubs can be found. 

There are dozens of good pubs for supporters to take refuge, alongside tourist hotspots such as Canary Wharf, the Tower of London and Westminster Bridge.

Marathon bosses advise friends and family to avoid crowded areas, such as Greenwich town centre, Cutty Sark and Tower Bridge. 

1/18 Start – Greenwich: The Kings Arms

1 Frances St, SE18 5EF

This plucky pub survived a bombing in 1974, so a marathon isn’t going to put the owners off opening. Situated at around the second mile, the runners should jog right by (although some of the less dedicated may pop in themselves).

Google Maps

2/18 Start – Greenwich: Trafalgar Tavern

Park Row, Greenwich, SE10 9NW, trafalgartavern.co.uk

No humble riverside pub here: this grand, regency-style spot is perfect for a bite to eat after the race has kicked off. It offers beautiful views of the river, and is more than comfortable enough to stay in for a few drinks.

Google Maps

3/18 Start – Greenwich: The Old Brewery

1A Pepys Building Old Royal Naval College, SE10 9LW, oldbrewerygreenwich.com

Formerly a Meantime pub, The Old Brewery has changed hands, but the building has kept its charms. Sat moments from the Cutty Sark in the Old Royal Naval College, they’ve a terrific terrace and a decent dining room serving locally-sourced bites. Either watch the race kick off and stroll over this way, or stay here and wait for the runners to pass by at around the six mile mark.

4/18 Mile 6 – Greenwich: The Gipsy Moth

60 Greenwich Church Street, SE10 9BL, thegipsymothgreenwich.co.uk

This tiny Grade I listed pub sits opposite the Cutty Sark (mile six or so), so once the streams of runners have sweated by, there’ll still be a decent view to enjoy. They’re proud of their Sunday roast, too, so if watching other people has worn you out, you’ve a chance to restore your energy.

Google Maps

5/18 Mile 10/11: The Mayflower

117 Rotherhithe St, SE16 4NF, mayflowerpub.co.uk

One of two pubs in this list alone which claims to be the oldest riverside pub in London, the quaint Mayflower makes an ideal base to wander back and forth from to see who’s training is paying off as runners make their way through Rotherhithe. If you can, get a spot riverside, in their lovely little garden.

Google Maps

6/18 Mile 10/11: The Angel

101 Bermondsey Wall E, SE16 4NB

The large gardens and views over the Thames means the Angel is a beautiful spot to be if the weather is good. It’s a fairly traditional, neighbourhood pub, which fortunately rarely gets too crowded. If you’re simply looking for a decent pint, there are few better choices on the entire route.

Google Maps

7/18 Mile 12 – Tower Bridge: Pont de la Tour

36D Shad Thames, SE1 2YE, lepontdelatour.co.uk

Request a table outdoors at this excellent French spot and you’ll see the runners make their way across Tower Bridge. It’s pricey here, but the food and staff are both marvellous. Consider the runners a nice addition to an indulgent Sunday lunch. They’ve some excellent wines, too.

8/18 Mile 12 – Tower Bridge: The Draft House

206-208 Tower Bridge Rd, SE1 2UP, drafthouse.co.uk

For a more relaxed Tower Bridge experience, head over to the Draft House. Just don’t expect to sit down: Tower Bridge is a highlight of the marathon, so the area takes on something of a street party feel. You’ll have fun here.

Google Maps

9/18 Mile 13 (and 22) – Wapping: The Prospect of Whitby

57 Wapping Wall, E1W 3SH, taylor-walker.co.uk

Another institution claiming to be London’s oldest riverside pub, the Prospect of Whitby certainly feels like it might not have changed much in recent history. That’s part of the appeal, but head to the raised seating at the back for views over the Thames.

Wiki Commons/Edwardx

10/18 Mile 13 (and 22) – Wapping: Turner’s Old Star

14 Watts St, E1W 2QG, turnersoldstar.co.uk

There’s no flash at this pub, and it’s a little walk from the race itself (like many around this point), but Turner’s Old Star fills up every year with race supporters. It’s simply a good old-fashioned boozer. As one might have guessed, it’s named after the artist, who once owned the place. More recently, it was featured in Kray biopic, Legend, which starred Tom Hardy.

Google Maps

11/18 Mile 13 (and 22) – Wapping: The Narrow

44 Narrow Street, E14 8DJ, gordonramsayrestaurants.com

Gordon Ramsay’s gastropub sits directly on the main marathon route, so expect crowds outside on the street side. Pop out to join them before heading to the back, where they’ve soothing views over the Thames.

12/18 Miles 15 (and 18/19) – Boisdale of Canary Wharf

Cabot Place, E14 4QT, boisdale.co.uk

If you fancy making more of a day of it than just whiling away the hours in a pub, head to the upmarket Boisdale. Highlights include the whisky and oyster bar and a cigar terrace, but stick around until the evening, when there’ll be live music to enjoy.

13/18 Mile 17 – Crossharbour and South Quay: The Floating Lotus

9 Oakland Quay, Inner Millwall Dock, E14 9EA, lotusfloating.co.uk

A step back from the Canary Wharf hub at mile 17 is South Quay. The pubs and restaurants here usually have a smaller crowds than those near Canary Wharf and West India Quay. Grab a table by the window at The Floating Lotus, which is located on a huge permanent mooring between Crossharbour and South Quay stations, directly on the Marathon route. From noon until 4.30pm it serves a good value dim sum banquet — the plump, delicately flavoured har gau is delicious.

Google Maps

14/18 Mile 23 – Tower Hill: Hung, Drawn and Quartered

26-27 Great Tower St, EC3R 5AQ, hung-drawn-and-quartered.co.uk

Fuller’s have kitted out this pub near the finish nicely and it’s a good spot to watch the worn-out joggers dig deep into their very final energy reserves. There’s plenty of space here but it’s still worth getting down a little early to grab a seat.

Google Maps

15/18 Mile 24: The Savoy

Strand, WC2R 0EU, fairmont.com

After spending a little time on the Embankment, change the pace dramatically and head to the Savoy to spend an afternoon bathed in utter luxury. Their afternoon tea is possibly the finest in the capital, while the American Bar and Beaufort Bar both serve sterling drinks.

16/18 Mile 25 – Embankment: Gordon’s Wine Bar

47 Villiers Street, WC2N 6NE, gordonswinebar.com

Gordon’s Wine Bar lies slap bang on the route as the runners pass by Embankment and on towards Westminster. Take an outside table in the alleyway next to Victoria Embankment Gardens to catch some sun (and a glimpse of the sweaty masses regretting their life decisions), or head inside to the wine caves, which are always bustling, and always romantic. Gordon’s is almost constantly, and the marathon won’t help, so get down early, and prepare to drink a lot of wine. It’s a hard life, right?

17/18 Mile 25/The End: The Westminster Arms

10 Storey’s Gate, SW1P 3AT, shepherdneame.co.uk

This small pub comes right before the finish line. At the top of the road, the runners will be either speeding to the finish line or swearing they’ll never be this stupid ever again. Once you’ve seen enough, wander back here. As the name suggests, it’s a popular spot with politicians – in fact, it’s a favourite of Nigel Farage, but you can’t have it all. Bill Clinton and Angelina Jolie are among the famous names to have popped in for a pint.

18/18 Finish line – St James’s Park: Inn the Park

St James’s Park, SW1A 2BJ, peytonandbyrne.co.uk

With the runners coming past the Palace and down The Mall to finish the race, nip away from the crowds and search out Inn The Park, nestled among the trees and ponds of St James Park. They’ve a decent selection of wine – especially among the rose – so grab a glass and unwind on their terrace. If you’re treating a tired runner, take them out to be spoiled at the likes of nearby Hix, Novikov or Duke’s Hotel.

Supporters are advised not to accompany their loved ones to the start line, advising they split up earlier. 

A Virgin Marathon spokesman said: “All runners are entitled to free travel to the start on Southeastern trains from Charing Cross, Waterloo East, Cannon Street and Victoria.

“If you were to say goodbye at any one of these stations, then it’s an easy transfer onto the London Underground to make your way onto the marathon route.” 

River bus firm Thames Clipper is also offering to pick spectators up at Greenwich pier and take them up the river to Greenland (Surrey Quays) pier at the 10 mile mark. 

Access to Tower Gateway, Shadwell, Greenwich, Limehouse, Westferry and Cutty Stark stations is likely to change intermittently to prevent overcrowding. Please follow signs or directions from DLR staff. 

Roads around the route will be closed at 7am on Sunday, and access to and from the area will not be possible until they reopen at 2pm. 

Any residents who need to leave their houses by car on the day should do so by 7am. If you have specific issues you should call the helpdesk on 020 7902 0200, although this number will not be operational on the day of the race. 

Limited parking spaces will be available in Blackheath, though organisers strongly advise competitors not to travel by car. 

RMT members had been locked in a dispute with KeolisAmey in a dispute over outsourcing. 

Although the walkout looked set to wreak havoc on Sunday’s event, the union’s general secretary Mick Cash said progress had been made on “key issues”. 

He said: “After thirteen days of intensive talks RMT’s negotiating team has been able to secure significant progress on the key issues of the threat to jobs and conditions from outsourcing and a range of grievances around the principles of workplace justice.”