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RunThrough Richmond Park Half Marathon

The best half marathons in London

From routes through leafy parklands to closed-road tarmac overlooked by iconic landmarks, here are the best half marathons to run in London

By Lucy Lovell
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Whether you want to raise money for charity, keep fit or spot Wombles in the wild (hello, Wimbledon Common Half!), there are loads of reasons to sign up to a half marathon in London. 

The capital has plenty to offer the keen runner, from glorious leafy parklands dotted with deer to closed-road tarmac overlooked by iconic landmarks. What’s more, many routes are going green, with more half marathon organisers pledging to go plastic-bottle-free. Whatever your reason for running, find your perfect half marathon in this round-up of the best ones in London.

Best half marathons in London

Runners finishing the Ealing Half Marathon
Runners finishing the Ealing Half Marathon

Ealing Half Marathon

How does a hilly half marathon get voted best in the world three times in a row? We hear that the cheering crowds, relaxed atmosphere and smooth planning make up for the inclines and burning thighs on this leafy west London half. Plus, Ealing residents are very proud of their event, and turn out in their droves to help runners cross the finishing line.

Cost: £46
Date: September 29 2019  
Find out more here

Runners at the Hackney Half marathon
Runners at the Hackney Half marathon

Hackney Half Marathon

More than just a half marathon, the Hackney Half is a part of the huge Hackney Festival of Fitness on Hackney Marshes. In 2019, the three-day event saw over 72 activities, from yoga to meditation to live music. Runners can sprint through the streets of east London, before celebrating with craft beers, street food, or just a well-earned sports massage.

Cost: £54
Date: May 17 2020
Find out more here

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Dark clouds above flower beds at Hampton Court Palace
Dark clouds above flower beds at Hampton Court Palace
Leigh Cousins

Hampton Court Half Marathon

Well timed for spring marathon training, but less well timed for warm weather, this half prides itself on being fast, flat and having good PB potential. The riverside course takes in the likes of Hampton Court Palace and the pretty village of Thames Ditton.

Cost: £35
Date: 23rd February 2020
Find out more here.

Autumn coloured trees at the Olympic Park, E20, London.
Autumn coloured trees at the Olympic Park, E20, London.
© Real London Photos

Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park Half Marathon

Now in its second year, this route winds its way around the Olympic Park site and surrounding closed roads. Its relatively compact area means that the course has more twists and turns than the ArcelorMittal Orbit sculpture (which you will run past many, many times), but it makes for an interesting run when combined with the iconic Olympic Park buildings. 

Cost: Around £34
Date: TBC - register your interest for 2020 here.

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Mario at the Richmond Park Half Marathon
Mario at the Richmond Park Half Marathon

Richmond Park Half Marathon

Be prepared to give way to cyclists and deer on this scenic route, which shows off west London flora and fauna with a hilly four-lap loop of Richmond Park. More low-key than many closed-road routes, the boutique Richmond Park Half scores top points for value for money, scenery, and village-fête vibes. 

Cost: £32
Dates: July 6 2019, September 15 2019 
Find out more here

Royal Parks Half Marathon
Royal Parks Half Marathon
Richard Blake

Royal Parks Half Marathon

Nature-lovers get an opportunity to get off the tarmac with the Royal Parks Half Marathon, which takes in four of London’s eight royal parks. The leafy route – which pledges to be plastic-bottle-free by 2020 – might not be the best PB opportunity, but cheering crowds and a picturesque course is a big draw. 

Cost: £59
Date: October 13 2019
Find out more here.

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A womble and some runners at Wimbledon Common Half Marathon
A womble and some runners at Wimbledon Common Half Marathon

Wimbledon Common Half Marathon

Enough about PBs and inclines: if furry fictional children’s characters are high on your list of half marathon must-haves (and if not, why not?), sign up for this fairytale woodland run around Wimbledon Common. The Wombles of Wimbledon are still Wombling free on this half marathon, where runners are spurred on by the likes of Great Uncle Bulgaria and co. 

Cost: £30 
Date: August 4, October 13 2019
Find out more here.

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