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A uniquely alternative London Marathon

Thursday, April 20, 2017 - 13:30

This year, 38,000 people are set to take to the streets of London in the gruelling 26.2-mile (42.2km) Virgin Money London Marathon. Some run for personal achievement, some to raise money, but whatever the purpose, it’s a guaranteed day of fun for all ages.

The iconic London Marathon requires little introduction and, with tens of thousands of people running and many more spectating, it has established itself as one of the capital’s great milestone events.

The route, which runs just south of the Thames starting in Greenwich, boasts stunning views of the capital and passes a handful of our fantastic member venues. For those of you who would prefer a slightly more leisurely tour of London, here is our alternative London Marathon experience.

Starting south of the river, the official race starting line begins in Greenwich. The route starts with a nautical theme as runners head past the Royal Museums Greenwich, the Old Royal Naval College and the world’s last remaining tea clipper, the Cutty Sark.

Heading up towards Deptford, keen eyed explorers will spot the Stirling Prize winning Laban Building, and slightly further towards the Docklands area of London, the Museum of London Docklands, before heading up to the banks of the Thames and Tower Bridge. Crossing the river, travellers will be met with the daunting exterior of the infamous Tower of London before passing Samuel Wyatt’s Trinity House.

Across the river walkers will spot the unmistakeable shape of HMS Belfast, a restored Royal Navy Light Cruiser, and to their right, the capital’s highest landscaped public gardens, Sky Garden before making their way towards the City of London.

After passing Monument and Cannon Street, the world’s most famous playhouse, Shakespeare’s Globe, as well as the capital’s home of renowned contemporary art, Tate Modern will come into view across the river as Wren’s masterful St Paul’s Cathedral plays as a grandiose backdrop to the North. Continuing westwards, the route will pass Temple and its two eponymous venues Middle Temple and Two Temple Place before arriving at the neoclassical palace that is Somerset House.

Heading south once more, the marathon participants will pass a trio of venues in RSA House, St Martin-in-the-Fields and Benjamin Franklin House before finding themselves between the opulent Banqueting House on their right, and the modern masterpiece the Coca-Cola London Eye across the river on their left. Moving away from the river and towards Westminster visitors can enjoy a panoramic sightseeing experience, being bordered by the historic Churchill War Rooms and Central London's largest conference & events venue, Central Hall Westminster.

Nearing the final approach towards the Mall, the 18th century private palace Spencer House can be seen lining the famous pink road to the finish line before ending at the former residence of Prime Minister William Gladstone, 10-11 Carlton House Terrace.

As if that wasn’t enough, a short stroll to the end of the Mall will leave you face to face with the home of one of the greatest collections of Western European paintings in the world, the National Gallery, a fitting end to any London tour.

As you can see, the Unique Venues of London portfolio is certainly a dominant figure in London and has engrained itself in the history and future of the capital. To find out more about all our fantastic venues, click here.