The London Marathon will be passing through Canary Wharf on Sunday – albeit taking a slightly different route to previous years due to current building works.
Miles 15 to 19 of the legendary event will weave across the estate starting at Westferry Circus, heading down to Island Gardens and then back up via East Ferry Road and Marsh Wall, then winding around past Heron Quays and out along Churchill Place.
Where to watch and (rough) timings
Head over to Westferry Circus for the first glimpse of the race on the estate. The elite women will be passing through around 10.20am and the elite men at about 10.57am, with the last batch of runners (6hr pace) coming by at 1.11pm.
The elite women will leave the estate at the 19th mile at around 10.40am and the elite men at 11.16am.
Eat, drink and watch
There are great spectator spots at Iberica, Tom’s Kitchen and Boisdale’s, where you can sit back with a glass of Champagne and a bite to eat.
Once the action has passed there will be plenty of places to shop – with all the Wharf’s stores underground, so no worries about road closures stopping your retail therapy.
There will be a special competition on the day. Anyone who can accurately predict the winning Marathon time (to the minute), when they make a booking or when they dine in the restaurant, will receive a free glass of Champagne with their next meal.
Westferry Circus, tomskitchen.co.uk/canary-wharf
With plenty of space for some al fresco dining or a drink, The Parlour will have its own Peroni Bar and a gorgeous menu to fill up on.
Canada Place Park, theparlourbar.co.uk
Other venues to watch – and raise some money for various charities throughout the day – include:
- Jamie’s Italian, in Churchill Place, for Docklands Settlement
- All Bar One, in Mackenzie Walk for Kith And Kids
- Slug and Lettuce, in Mackenzie Walk for Children With Leukaemia
- Cat and Canary, in Fisherman’s Walk for St Joseph’s Hospice
Trains and Tube
Both London Underground and the Docklands Light Railway (DLR) lay on extra services on Marathon Day, and this is by far the best way to get around.
There are changes to the DLR schedule however, so check tfl.gov.uk/marathon for a full list of all the alterations on the day.
If you want to catch a glimpse of the runners before they get to Canary Wharf as well then head to Bermondsey Station on the Jubilee line, which is right on the Marathon route between miles 11 and 12. Then jump back on the Tube and head over here for the rest of the race.
Or, get off at Canada Water Station and a short walk will take you to mile nine at Surrey Quays. You can then hop back on the Overground and do the same as above.
There will be bus route diversions along many routes from 6.30am to 7pm, including the 277, D3, D7 and D8. However, the N550 and 135 will remain unaffected.
Roads and walking
This year there is no dedicated vehicle lane along Westferry Road, so residents on the east and west side of Westferry Road will be able to exit onto Westferry Road and travel south to Manchester Road until 9.45am. From 9.45am no vehicle movements will be possible until after 2pm.
The Greenwich Foot Tunnel will be open, but it will be busy crossing south to north so expect to queue. The Foot Tunnel will be closed north to south between 10.30am and 12.30pm, but you will be able to take the DLR from Island Gardens.
Places to avoid
Greenwich is the starting line and therefore notoriously busy – especially close to the Cutty Sark, so try to avoid the area if you can.
Other places in London to stay away from include the east side pavement of Tower Bridge, which will have no public access, with limited viewing points on the west side pavement. Advice from London Marathon is to avoid Tower Bridge altogether.
Things to think about
You may not be putting your body through quite as much strain as the runners, but you are still heading into a crowded and busy environment so just consider a few points:
- Travel light: Keep your belongings to a minimum and try to leave as many valuables as you can at home
- Dress practically: April in London means hugely unpredictable weather, so make sure you wear the right shoes and pack a brolly.
- Be prepared for crowds: Don’t rush and give yourself plenty of time.