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London Marathon 2024 travel guide: Start times, route and celebration spots

Simon Calder’s Travel

The London Marathon 2024 will weave through the streets of the capital from Greenwich to Westminster on Sunday 21 April, and thousands of spectators are going to be lining the route for a glimpse of their running friends.

Over 50,000 people are expected to take on the mammoth two-foot tour of London landmarks, including Buckingham Palace, Cutty Sark and Tower Bridge.

Since the inaugural 26.2 mile event in 1981, the fundraising race has raised millions for charities each year, and, with sunshine on the forecast for now, celebrations of the charitable and physical feat will take place across the city.

Here’s everything you need to know to plan the day if you’re running or supporting this year’s London Marathon.

London Marathon 2024 start time and date

The London Marathon 2024 will take place on Sunday 21 April.

Exact timings for this year’s races are yet to be confirmed but staggered start times from around 8.30am are the norm, with the masses setting off in waves at 10am and all start lines closed from 11.30am.

The finish line on The Mall closes at 7.30pm and is then moved to St James’ Park until midnight.

London Marathon route

Largely unchanged since 1981, the start line for the race is in Blackheath at the top of Greenwich Park.

From here, a leg to Woolwich, jog past the Cutty Sark and stretch around Bermondsey takes runners to cross the river over Tower Bridge.

After a ring around the Isle of Dogs, it’s a relatively straight stretch along the Thames through the City of London to the Westminster finish line on The Mall.

Will there be train and tube strikes?

There is a planned overtime ban for Aslef members working for LNER on Friday 19 and Sunday 21 April (marathon day), as well as strikes on Saturday 20 April, so those travelling into London from the northeast will likely face cancellations.

Substantial road closures across the capital to make way for the race mean spectators should travel on foot or by tube – roads will reopen as and when all runners have cleared the area.

Marathon participants will receive free travel home up to 6.30pm on marathon day on the London Underground and Overground, buses and DLR.

TfL said that a modified DLR service will start at 5.30am from Tower Gateway to Lewisham so runners arrive on time to the start line.

Rail services out of London to the midlands and the northwest are also expected to be…

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