Where to watch the London Marathon

Planning to offer moral support at 2015's London Marathon? Find the best spectator spots along the route

Let's be honest, running 26 miles dressed as a chicken is hardly the simplest of tasks, is it? So if you're not taking part in the London Marathon on Sunday April 26 2015, be sure to show your support for those who are. Heed the pointers below to find the best spectating spots and track down nearby pubs and bars for when all that cheering and applauding leaves you gasping for refreshment.

The Start: Greenwich

The start (or starts to be precise, since elite men, elite women and the mass race all begin in slightly different places) in Greenwich will be heaving. Your support, whether general or specific, will probably be more appreciated later on, but if you really don't want to miss kick off, get down early to stake your spot. Transport: Greenwich/Cutty Sark DLR or Blackheath rail. Check out places to eat and drink near the Marathon start below.

Greenwich Union

Food runs from a humble bacon butty to chargrilled steaks; you’ll also find wines, coffees and teas. Throw in a small front terrace, and you have a very tidy operation.

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London

Old Brewery

The Old Brewery, as you might guess, is all about beer. But this joint offers great pub food in comfortable surroundings, with genial service.

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Richard I

Along with the staunchly British Youngs range and Bombardier, you can find Corona, Tiger and Peroni by the bottle, plus platters and baguettes as well as steak and chips from the newly designed menu.

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London

1. Mile 13 and Mile 22

The race doubles back on itself here, so take up a position on the central reservation and you'll see the runners twice – and the first of the runners going east may see the elite women heading back in the opposite direction. Transport: Shadwell DLR or rail. Check out places to eat and drink near the Highway below.

Il Bordello

Venue says: For 16 years Il Bordello has been delighting Londoners with its hearty Italian cooking and warm, cheerful atmosphere. Large Lempicka prints adorn the walls and a gleaming copper bar acts as the restaurant’s centrepiece. Our extensive menu is simply overflowing with beautifully fresh fish and seafood, succulent meat, hand-thrown pizzas and traditional pasta dishes. Sample delicacies like the Insalata di piovra, a tasty octopus salad or the Bresaola della casa with olive oil, parmesan and a dash of lemon. Mains courses include to name a few, Cotoletta Milanese, tender veal coated in golden breadcrumbs or our spectacular pizza Il Bordello with plenty of homemade passata, lashings of creamy mozzarella, artichoke, red peppers and Parma ham. By way of an accompaniment, enjoy a bottle of Italian wine of which we mainly import direct from small Italian vineyards. Our house wine is just £14.50 and other wines include Barolo at £38.95 . Recently we were awarded a certificate of Excellence by Trip Advisor for which we are eternally grateful to our customers. Unlike so many London Italian restaurants, Il Bordello sidesteps pretentiousness and instead focuses on delivering deliciously authentic Italian cuisine. An evening at Il Bordello will remain in your memory long after dining with us.

A lovely, unpretentious little Italian, buzzing and near capacity on a weeknight, Il Bordello delivers on quality, and certainly delivers on quantity: the pizzas are larger than the dinner plate they arrive on.

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Wapping

Lahore

There are three great places to eat Indian food in Whitechapel. Along with Tayyabs and Needoo, Lahore dishes out generous portions of brilliantly bold Punjabi grills, snacks and curries, and has been doing so for decades.

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Whitechapel

Prospect of Whitby

Dwarfed by residential new-builds on either side, the Prospect proclaims its history from the off. ‘Built c1520’, offers the sign at the front; inside, signs on the walls suggest that the pub was a regular haunt of everyone from Captain Kidd to Samuel Pepys, Richard Burton to Princess Margaret. 

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Tower Hamlets

2. Mile 16

Just over 10 miles to go and the race is starting to hot up. The more serious of the runners are starting to up their pace, leaving the rest to grit their teeth and continue at a steady slog. Transport: Canary Wharf tube or Heron Quays DLR. Check out places to eat and drink near Westferry Road below.

Ibérica Canary Wharf

This glamorous branch of Ibérica has a spacious, airy feel that blends well with the glass towers and moneyed streets of Canary Wharf, yet it conveys a real sense of Spain. The space feels contemporary but rooted – as does the menu from executive chef Nacho Manzano , which blends traditional dishes with ‘nuevo’ flourishes. Also in Cabot Square is Iberica's Terraza, where you can enjoy tapas, wines and sherries in an attractive al fresco setting.

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Docklands

Boisdale Canary Wharf

This highly enjoyable member of the Boisdale triumvirate is almost laughably incongruous. On the second floor is an appropriately smart bar-diner that offers a brasserie menu and mollifying puffs in the Cigar Library or on the terrace, but the third-floor main restaurant has a cod-Scottish gentlemen’s-club theme entirely at odds with the office-casual modernist architecture around it. 

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Docklands

Pizza Express

Pizza Express is a popular and affordable chain of pizza restaurants with more than 100 branches in London.

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Docklands

3. Mile 17

Taking the kids to see a parent run? This is a good spot to choose – very handy for a visit to Mudchute Farm. Encourage the kids to lend support to the rest of the competitors, too; it's not so crowded here and their cheers could make a real difference. Transport: Mudchute DLR. Check out places to eat and drink near Mudchute Park below.

Cutty Sark Tavern

The history may be confusing, but the location can’t be beat. A Georgian freehouse since either 1695 or 1795, depending on whether you believe the sign outside or the writing in the coloured glazed panes in the front door, this hostelry was converted to its present state in the early 19th century. 

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Greenwich

Mudchute Kitchen

Mudchute Farm is a revelation – minutes from the DLR and edged by Canary Wharf’s concrete jungle, you’ll find goats, sheep, horses, even llamas ambling about in sprawling parkland. The café's clutch of wooden picnic tables isn’t altogether promising (it’s within smelling distance of the stables) but it does a decent line of paninis, cakes and indulgent farmers' breakfasts and brunches.  

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Isle of Dogs

4. Mile 24

The course takes the runners through the underpass here – catch them as they emerge into daylight having wrestled with their demons in a rare moment of privacy. Transport: London Blackfriars rail. Check out places to eat and drink near Blackfriars Underpass below.

Bread Street Kitchen

To judge by this venue’s size and the elaborate Russell Sage interiors – a mash-up of art deco and industrial – Gordon Ramsay can’t be doing too badly. Bread Street Kitchen is located across the One New Change hallway from Barbecoa, Jamie Oliver’s barbecue joint with Adam Perry Lang. Entering the cavernous upstairs bistro is sheer fun, like stepping out of the bowels of a stadium into the stands.

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City

Barbecoa

Venue says: Located in the heart of the City, Barbecoa sits overlooking St Paul's Cathedral. The breath-taking views, vibrant atmosphere and incredible food will make any dining experience special - whether it's a business lunch, a catch up with friends, or a romantic evening meal for two. Opened four years ago by Jamie Oliver, Barbecoa is a celebration of incredible produce and fire-based cooking. Our chefs create beautiful, seasonal dishes using traditional techniques such as the Texas pit smoker, Argentine grill, Japanese robata grill, tandoor and wood-fired oven. The love and passion for food can be felt throughout the restaurant. What sets Barbecoa apart from the rest, is not just the traditional techniques - but also the in-house butchery. Located just below the restaurant, their team of butchers source the finest meat from around the UK and dry-age it in-house, creating meat that is second-to-none.

There’s an industrial feel to this glam shopping-centre restaurant – and we don’t just mean its cavernous proportions and metallic faux-factory decor. You can almost sense the purr of the production line that delivers upmarket grills and US-style barbecue dishes from open kitchens to over 200 diners, via a bevy of perma-perky, black-shirted staff.

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City

Black Friar

Built in 1875 on the site of a medieval Dominican friary, the Black Friar had its interior completely remodelled in the Arts and Crafts style. Now a Nicholson’s, its bright panes, intricate friezes and carved slogans (‘Industry is Ale’, ‘Haste is Slow’) still make a work of art out of the main saloon, adjoined by a prosaic one linked by a marble-topped bar.

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City

5. Mile 25

The runners are more spread out and more visible now, and the goal is within their grasp. Cheer them on towards the finish, then head for the alphabetically signposted meet-up points in Horse Guards Road and Horse Guards Parade. Transport: Embankment tube or Charing Cross rail. Check out places to eat and drink near Embankment below.

Gordon's

Gordon’s was established in its present form in 1890, but the exposed brickwork, flickering candlelight and tobacco-stained fixtures and fittings in the low basement vaults make it feel older still. Like the crowds, which are younger and livelier than you might expect, the wine list is surprisingly modern, hopping readily from the classic regions of France to South America and beyond.

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Trafalgar Square

Lupita

The owners of Lupita showed some savvy when choosing Villiers Street – the narrow, crowded hill that runs between Embankment tube and Charing Cross station – as the place to set up shop. By day, this good-looking, capable Mexican restaurant gets passing trade from tourists and office workers; by night, it’s descended on by commuters and revellers, many of whom are tipsy and hungry.

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Trafalgar Square

Terroirs

Terroirs positions itself as an evangelist for natural wines, but is equally valued for the quality of its informal French cooking and its buzzy atmosphere. Gastronomes, the wine trade and in-the-know pre-theatre diners fill the split-level bistro-style space. That the wine list is 27 pages long and the menu is written on a table mat doesn’t reflect the priorities here.

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Trafalgar Square

Check out our ten top marathon facts

Whether you're limbering up to take part or just out for the fun of it, discover some amazing marathon facts as Blue Badge Tourist Guide Marc Belben tells tales of marathons past

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Comments

5 comments
AriesatLarge
AriesatLarge

DOES ANYBODY KNOW IF I CAN JOIN THE MARATHON AT THE LAST MOMENT?. JUST GO THERE. JOIN THE PEOPLE AND RUN.

Oldbag
Oldbag

What would have been helpful would be to put some times as to when the leading runners and then the bulk of the runners would hit those spots.....

chrisppy
chrisppy

Great article.. Big help as my friend is a runner for scope and I had no idea what to do!well all sorted now may even squeeze a nostalgic visit to mudchute farm, as that looks like a whole lot of fun as well!

This is me
This is me

RE: Blackfriars Underpass: Mile 24 If you fancy one of the suggested restaurants, pubs or bars, remember to check first that it is open on Sunday - many City places are not.

Carol M
Carol M

No you can't. I,ve seen them pull people off on the last half mile for not having an official race number. They know all the tricks such as wearing 4 safety pins and claiming to have lost the number !!