Where Is The London Marathon Finish Line?

Yalemzerf Yehualaw runs down The Mall on her way to winning the Elite Women's Race at The TCS London Marathon on Sunday 2nd October 2022
Yalemzerf Yehualaw crosses the finish line to win the 2022 London Marathon (Image credit: Bob Martin for London Marathon Events)

There are many wonderful sections of the London Marathon route, but whether you’re a runner or a supporter, the finish line on The Mall is hard to top. It’s one of the best places to watch the London Marathon for spectators, while for runners it’s the end of a journey that has involved months of marathon training, and it’s likely to be emotional.

Where Is The London Marathon Finish Line?

Runners finish on The Mall, right in the center of the city. The final stretch of the race sees runners turn right at Westminster on to Birdcage Walk, the road that runs alongside the south side of St James’s Park. 

This last part of the race can drag a bit, because you have around half a mile to run down Birdcage Walk and if you’re shooting for a certain time, it feels like it goes on forever. However, the crowds on your left will help spur you on towards Buckingham Palace, where you make a U-turn on to The Mall. From there it’s a short sprint/stagger to the finish line.

Can You Watch The Finish Line At The London Marathon?

Along with the Cutty Sark and Tower Bridge, the finish line is one of the best spots for spectators at the London Marathon, but you will have to plan your approach carefully because of road closures for the race.

If you want to watch runners coming down Birdcage Walk it’s best to arrive at a Tube station to the south of St James’s Park so you don’t have to cross the race route. St James’s Park station is the smart choice. If you’d rather see your runner cross the finish line and then meet up with them afterwards, it’s best to stay north of the race route, making Piccadilly Circus or Charing Cross good stations to use.

You can also watch runners cross the finish line of the London Marathon on the BBC via the red button. A special feed is set up each year so you can just watch the finish line, and this will remain available after the race on iPlayer so if you’re running you can go back and watch your finish.

Runners in the London Marathon approach the finish line on the Mall

(Image credit: London Marathon Events)

Where Is The Nearest Tube To The London Marathon Finish?

There are several options for people traveling to the London Marathon finish line, with St James’s Park, Piccadilly Circus, Westminster and Charing Cross tube stations all within easy walking distance. Avoid Westminster this year because there’s an Extinction Rebellion protest, part of The Big One which takes place over four days.

How To Meet Your Runner At The Finish Line Of The London Marathon

The finish line of the London Marathon is a pretty chaotic place, with 40,000 runners coming through, then walking down The Mall to collect their bags and meet friends and family, all while being probably the tiredest they’ve ever been in their lives.

To find your runner, head to Horse Guards Parade at the end of The Mall where there are meeting zones labeled alphabetically. It’s a good idea to arrange which letter you’re going to meet under in advance, because phone signals can be unreliable in the crowds at the finish line.

How To Track London Marathon Runners

If you’re aiming to time your arrival at the finish line to meet your runner, the best way to follow their progress is through the London Marathon tracker app. You can find your runner using their name or bib number in the app and then you can see their time at each 5K split of the marathon itself, along with a predicted finish time. 

Just bear in mind that even after you see that your runner has finished the race on the app, they still have to collect their bag and stagger down the Mall on marathon legs to meet you at Horse Guards Parade, so don’t expect them to turn up just a few minutes after they cross the finish line. In my experience it takes at least 15 minutes to make it to Horse Guards Parade, and longer if queues have started to develop at the bag drop vans.

Nick Harris-Fry
Senior writer

Nick Harris-Fry is a journalist who has been covering health and fitness since 2015. Nick is an avid runner, covering 70-110km a week, which gives him ample opportunity to test a wide range of running shoes and running gear. He is also the chief tester for fitness trackers and running watches, treadmills and exercise bikes, and workout headphones.