The London marathon happens (pretty much) every year, but somehow that doesn't stop it coming as a huge surprise to even the most seasoned city-dwellers. So if you're not already clued up, please be warned that this Sunday April 23, you'll find 42,000 sweat-drenched runners stampeding through the city, trailing cheering fans, road closures, traffic restrictions in their wake. If your weekend plans involve a pleasant stroll through Blackheath, motoring over Tower Bridge, or picnicking in St James' Park, please read on. Knowledge is power.
What roads will be closed for the London marathon 2023?
This handy map marks the overall route. But the roads on it aren't necessarily closed all day. Instead, their closing times are staggered as the runners make their way from Greenwich to central London, meaning that an afternoon browsing the chichi shops of Blackheath is far from off the cards. Read on for a full breakdown of road closures and times:
Charlton Way, Greenwich: 4am to 1pm
Shooters Hill Road: 4am to 1pm
St John’s Park: 4am to 1pm
Charlton Park Road: 4am to 1pm
Old Dover Road: 4am to 1pm
Little Heath: 7am to 1pm
Charlton Park Lane: 7am to 1pm
Artillery Place: 7am to 1pm
John Wilson Street: 7am to 1pm
Woolwich Church Street: 7am to 2pm
Woolwich Road: 7am to 2pm
Trafalgar Road: 7am to 3pm
Creek Road: 7am to 3pm
Evelyn Street: 8am to 4pm
Surrey Quays Road: 8am to 4pm
Salter Road: 8am to 4pm
Brunel Road: 8am to 4pm
Jamaica Road: 8am to 4pm
Tower Bridge: 8am to 7pm
The Highway (south side): 8am to 7pm
Narrow Street: 8am to 7pm
Westferry Road: 8am to 7pm
East Ferry Road: 8am to 7pm
Marsh Wall: 8am to 7pm
North Colonnade: 8am to 7pm
Poplar High Street: 8am to 7pm
Commercial Road: 8am to 7pm
The Highway (north side): 8am to 7pm
Byward Street: 7.30am to 8.30pm
Upper Thames Street: 7.30am to 8.30pm
Victoria Embankment: 7.30am to 8.30pm
Birdcage Walk (westbound): 6am on April 21 to May 18
Birdcage Walk (eastbound): 7.30am on April 22 to May 18
What bus changes will be happening?
Needless to say, there'll be quite a bit of disruption for London buses too. Buses travelling on routes affected by the marathon will either be diverted, or will not run for that part of the journey. Visit tfl.gov.uk/bus/status for full info.
What about the Tube, London Underground and the DLR?
If you want to get somewhere fast on Sunday, these services are your best bet. The tube, DLR and overground will all be running extra services to cope with the increased demand. But do bear in mind that services with stops near the Marathon route are likely to be busy: especially the Jubilee, Circle and District lines, and the DLR.
Are there any National Rail travel restrictions due to the marathon?
Trains will be running as usual, although again, you can expect them to be extra busy if they're heading to destinations on the marathon route.
Don't fancy leaving the house? Here's how to watch the London marathon at home