The London Marathon Course and Course Description
Digital Map Data © Bartholomew (2005)
The start is in Blackheath and Greenwich, in South East London. Large scale map [3.3Mb]
The course then runs past the Woolwich Artillery Barracks round (at 7 miles) to the famous Cutty Sark in Greenwich. Here the crowds are thick, as supporters take advantage of the pubs and restaurants of this popular spot.
The runners then go through Surrey Quays (8 miles) and Bermondsey, then along Jamaica Road to the majestic Tower Bridge (at about 12 miles). On the other side of Tower Bridge you head East on the Highway past Wapping. Unless you are very fast, runners who have completed the circuit of the Isle of Dogs will already be coming the other way along the same road. Then it is 3-4 windswept miles around the Isle of Dogs, where the crowds are thinner. Then past the pointed-topped Canary Wharf (mile 19), one of Europe's tallest buildings towering 800ft above the City, where the pain begins as you loop around the north side of West India docks and Limehouse (mile 21).
Then back in the other direction along the Highway, passing Tower Bridge (mile 22.5) to the north side, with the runners still streaming across the Bridge. You then follow along the Embankment, past Cleopatra's needle, up to the House of Commons and the Clock Tower containing Big Ben, at 25 miles done. With a mile to go, you turn right at Westminster Bridge, into Parliament Square, down Birdcage Walk alongside St James's Park. The last 200 yards are the turn right outside the front of Buckingham Palace, and up the Mall towards Trafalgar Square. The finish is in the Mall, alongside St James's Palace, with Buckingham Palace behind you.
The start lines in Blackheath and Greenwich are at 115ft and the course undulates between 115-160ft for 2.9miles.
Just before the 3 mile point, where runners from both start lines merge, the route descends from 140ft to 35ft over the space of half a mile.
The route then undulates gently between 35ft and sea level from the 3.5 mile point until the finish line in the Mall, which is 19ft above sea level.