Best pubs and restaurants along the running route

Best pubs and restaurants along the running route

Best pubs and restaurants along the running route

Run for it: Thousands of people will run, jog or lunge along the famous route (AFP/Getty Images)

Run for it: Thousands of people will run, jog or lunge along the famous route (AFP/Getty Images)

On October 2, thousands of aspiring runners will do their best along 26.2 miles of prime London turf, contributing to an almighty charity haul of more than £60m.

If you don’t run, show up and offer your full support. We’ve mapped out the very best pubs, bars and restaurants near the pitch to cheer on. Not all of them are close enough for you to reach out and high-five the runners while sitting in the outdoor seating area, but most of them are a short distance away.

Usually the start point in Greenwich, and the finish line, at St James’s Park, have the best atmosphere, but in truth you will find that most of the course has its share of spectators.

If you’re hoping to see runners twice, head to the Wapping and Shadwell area or West India Quay. Either way, grab a drink, get your cheering voice out and have fun.

Start – Greenwich: Trafalgar Tavern

No humble riverside pub here: this grand Regency-style venue is perfect for a post-race bite. It offers beautiful views of the river and is more than comfortable enough to stay in for a few drinks.

Park Row, Greenwich, SE10 9NW, trafalgartavern.co.uk

Start/Mile 6 – Greenwich: The Old Brewery

Formerly a Meantime pub, the Old Brewery is now run by Young’s, but the building has retained its charm. Set moments from the Cutty Sark in the Old Royal Naval College, they have a fantastic terrace and a decent dining room serving local food. Either watch the race start and stroll across this road, or start here and wait for the runners to pass around six miles.

1A Pepys Building Old Royal Naval College, SE10 9LW, oldbrewerygreenwich.com

Mile 6 – Greenwich: The Gipsy Moth

This small, listed pub is opposite Cutty Sark (six kilometres), so when the streams of runners have sweated past, there will still be a decent view to enjoy. The food is decent here too, so if you’ve worn yourself out from seeing other people, it’s your chance to restore your energy.

60 Greenwich Church Street, SE10 9BL, thegipsymothgreenwich.co.uk

Mile 10/11: Mayflower

One of two pubs on this list alone to claim to be the oldest riverside pub in London, the charming Mayflower is an ideal base from which to wander back and forth to see who’s training is paying off as runners make their way through Rotherhithe. If you can (and the weather obliges), get a seat by the river, in their beautiful little garden.

117 Rotherhithe St, SE16 4NF, mayflowerpub.co.uk

Mile 11/12: The Angel

The large gardens and views over the Thames mean the Angel is a beautiful place to be if the weather is good. It’s a traditional, neighborhood pub, which thankfully rarely gets too crowded. If you’re just looking for a decent pint, there are few better choices on the route.

101 Bermondsey Wall E, SE16 4NB, 020 7394 3214

Mile 12 – Tower Bridge: Pont de la Tour

Ask for a table outside at this exclusive French venue and you’ll watch the runners make their way across Tower Bridge. It is expensive here, but both the food and the staff are lovely. Sure, the view isn’t perfect for a marathon, but consider the runners a nice addition to an indulgent Sunday lunch. They have some good wines too.

36D Shad Thames, SE1 2YE, lepontdelatour.co.uk

Mile 12 – Tower Bridge: Gunpowder

There are branches of this popular Indian restaurant in Soho and Spitalfields, but it’s the one in Tower Bridge that will bring you closest to the action on Marathon day. It’s all about sharing plates here: tuck into a whole duck leg with Andhra sambal and parsnips, or enjoy Goan-style grilled prawns, beef ribs in Kerala pepper sauce or grilled skate wing with curry leaves and sun kadhi.

4 Duchess Walk, SE1 2SD, gunpowderrestaurants.com

Mile 13/14 (and 22) – Wapping: The Prospect of Whitby

Another institution that claims to be London’s oldest riverside pub, Prospect of Whitby certainly feels like it might not have changed much in recent history. That’s part of the appeal and it’s a cracking little pub. Go to the raised seating at the back for views of the River Thames.

57 Wapping Wall, E1W 3SH, greeneking-pubs.co.uk

Mile 13/14 (and 22) – Wapping: Turner’s Old Star

There are no blinkers on this pub, and it’s a bit of a walk from the race itself (like many around this point), but Turner’s Old Star fills up every year with race supporters. It is simply a good old fashioned spirit. As the name suggests, it was once owned by the artist. More recently, a few years ago, it was featured in the Kray biography, Legend.

14 Watt St, E1W 2QG, turnersoldstar.co.uk

London Marathon through the years – In pictures

1981: Joint winners of the 1981 London Marathon. Dick Beardsley of the United States (left) and Inge Simonsen of Norway, finish hand in hand to win the first ever race (AP)

1981: Joint winners of the 1981 London Marathon. Dick Beardsley of the United States (left) and Inge Simonsen of Norway, finish hand in hand to win the first ever race (AP)

1981: Runners pass over Tower Bridge (Associated Newspapers)

1981: Runners pass over Tower Bridge (Associated Newspapers)

1981: Winners Dick Beardsley (left) from the USA and Inge Simonsen from Norway crossed the finish line together in 2:11.48.  They pose, garlanded with Joyce Smith, the first woman at home (Daily Mail)

1981: Winners Dick Beardsley (left) from the USA and Inge Simonsen from Norway crossed the finish line together in 2:11.48. They pose, garlanded with Joyce Smith, the first woman at home (Daily Mail)

1981: The first ever London Marathon saw 6,700 runners run the 26 miles and 385 yards from Greenwich Park to Buckingham Palace (Associated Newspapers)

1981: The first ever London Marathon saw 6,700 runners run the 26 miles and 385 yards from Greenwich Park to Buckingham Palace (Associated Newspapers)

1981: Richard Bourban is pictured running the London Marathon dressed as a waiter and carrying a bottle of water on a tray.  The tray and the bottle did not fit together (Daily Mail)

1981: Richard Bourban is pictured running the London Marathon dressed as a waiter and carrying a bottle of water on a tray. The tray and the bottle did not fit together (Daily Mail)

1981: An exhausted runner is carried into an ambulance at the 18-mile stage of the race (Associated Newspapers)

1981: An exhausted runner is carried into an ambulance at the 18-mile stage of the race (Associated Newspapers)

1981: Runners take part in a test event for the first ever London Marathon in Battersea Park (Associated Newspapers)

1981: Runners take part in a test event for the first ever London Marathon in Battersea Park (Associated Newspapers)

1982: General view of the field at the start of the London Marathon (Getty Images)

1982: General view of the field at the start of the London Marathon (Getty Images)

1982: Comedian Bernie Clifton competes in the London Marathon riding his puppet ostrich

1982: Comedian Bernie Clifton competes in the London Marathon riding his puppet ostrich “Oswald” (Getty Images)

1983: Grete Waitz from Norway passes Tower Bridge.  Waitz finished in first place with a time of 2:25.29 (Getty Images)

1983: Grete Waitz from Norway passes Tower Bridge. Waitz finished in first place with a time of 2:25.29 (Getty Images)

1984: Race founder Chris Brasher pictured at the start of the 1984 London Marathon in Blackheath, London (Getty Images)

1984: Race founder Chris Brasher pictured at the start of the 1984 London Marathon in Blackheath, London (Getty Images)

Miles 15 (and 18/19) – Boisdale from Canary Wharf

If you fancy making more out of a day than just enjoying the hours in a pub, head to exclusive Boisdale. Highlights include the whiskey and oyster bar and a cigar terrace, but stick around for the evening, when there will be live music.

Cabot Place, E14 4QT, boisdale.co.uk

Mile 17 – Crossharbour and South Quay: The Lotus

A step back from the 17km Canary Wharf hub is South Quay. The pubs and restaurants here are usually less crowded than those near Canary Wharf and West India Quay, so you’ll have a bit more breathing room. Grab a window table at Lotus, located on a huge permanent mooring between Crossharbour and South Quay stations, right on the Marathon route.

9 Oakland Quay, Inner Millwall Dock, E14 9EA, lotusfloating.co.uk

Mile 23 – Tower Hill: Hung, Drawn and Quartered

Fuller’s has kitted out this pub near the finish nicely, and it’s a good place to watch the exhausted joggers digging deep into their very last reserves of energy. There is plenty of space here, but it’s still worth getting down a little early to get a seat.

26-27 Great Tower St, EC3R 5AQ, hang-drawn-and-quartered.co.uk

Mile 24: The Savoy

After spending some time on the Embankment watching the runners go by, change your pace dramatically and head to the Savoy to spend an afternoon bathed in total luxury. American Bar and Beaufort Bar both serve good drinks.

Beach, WC2R 0EU, fairmont.com

Mile 25 – Embankment: Gordon’s Wine Bar

Gordon’s Wine Bar is located slap bang on the route as the runners pass the Embankment and on towards Westminster. Grab a table outside in the alley next to the Victoria Embankment Gardens to catch a glimpse of the sweaty masses regretting their life choices, or head into the wine caves, which are always busy and always romantic. Gordon’s is almost constantly full and the marathon won’t help, so get down early and prepare to drink a lot of wine.

47 Villiers Street, WC2N 6NE, gordonswinebar.com

Mile 25/The End: The Westminster Arms

This little pub comes right before the finish line. At the top of the road, the runners will either rush to the finish line or swear they will never be so stupid again. When you’ve seen enough, you can wander back here. As the name suggests, it is a popular place among politicians. Bill Clinton and Angelina Jolie are among the famous names who have stopped by for a pint.

10 Storey’s Gate, SW1P 3AT, shepherdname.co.uk

Finish Line – St James’s Park: The Red Lion

With the runners coming past the palace and down the mall to finish the race, sip away from the crowds and find a spot for a last drink. There are not one but two great St James’s pubs called the Red Lion – one a Fuller’s pub on Duke of York Street and the other an old boozer on Crown Passage. Both are cosy, with smart decor and lovely old etched glass – perfect for relaxing after a long hard day watching others train. If you’re treating a runner, take them out to be pampered at the likes of the nearby Stafford or Duke’s hotel – both have excellent bars, and Stafford also has a fantastic restaurant in the Game Bird.

2 Duke of York St, St James’s, SW1Y 6PP, redlionmayfair.co.uk

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