The Virgin London Marathon is the biggest in the world, and attracts thousands of competitors both amateur and professional. Its picturesque course around the River Thames, friendly atmosphere and sense of history had made the London marathon one of the most popular in the world.
For many people, the marathon is only one reason to visit the UK, and a great idea is to plan a trip to London around the event. If you are visiting the UK from abroad, or from another part of the country, here are some tips to help you get the most out of your visit.
Tips for beginners
Be prepared for crowds. Public transport will be similar to rush hour throughout the day, and some stations may even close temporarily to help ease congestion. Don’t be alarmed by the number of people, the city of London is well rehearsed for large crowds after the recent Olympic Games.
Plan your travel for the day before you leave, and travel light. You will be on your feet for most of the day if you are competing or watching the race. Leave valuables in your room and don’t forget a rain coat in case London gets any April showers.
Where to stay
For those running or wanting to catch all the action, it’s best to stay overnight in London for the nights prior to and after the marathon. There are all types of accommodation options on offer, from backpacker hostels to luxury 5 star hotel rooms. Prices may be a little higher due to the high demand, but you will find it’s worth paying a little extra to be close to the event, and all the action surrounding it.
Winding down after the big event
After the Virgin London Marathon is over and you have aching feet and a sense of achievement from finishing the event, you may be wondering what to do next. We recommend taking a short train ride to Oxford to relax in peace and quiet and soak up the famous atmosphere and history.
It’s easy to find rest and relaxation in Oxford with its beautiful architecture, rich history and friendly locals. Harry Potter fans will be in heaven when they discover the tailored tours that visit locations filmed in the hit movie series. If you have any energy left after the big race, try one of the cycling tours to get a unique view of the city.