The iconic route for The Big Half starts by Tower Bridge by the Tower of London and goes east to Canary Wharf before doubling back to cross Tower Bridge and follow the river to finish in the spectacular setting of historic Greenwich. The route goes through four London boroughs: Southwark, Lewisham, Tower Hamlets and Greenwich.
With many roads closed for the race (visit our road closures page for more details), the best way to get around is by public transport. London Underground, London Overground and the Docklands Light Railway (DLR) offer great travel options for spectators.
Before setting off to watch your loved ones take part in the inaugural Big Half, you need to prepare – spectating isn’t quite as tough as running but it still needs some thought:
- Travel light – you may be standing for hours on end, so keep your belongings to a minimum and try to leave valuables at home.
- Comfortable clothes (especially shoes) are a must. You should be prepared for a typical March day in London – sun, showers and wind.
- It will be busy in Greenwich, especially near the Cutty Sark, where the Finish Line is located. If you are a regular commuter, think rush hour. If not, think what it’s like when you attend a concert or festival. You will often have to queue and some stations may be forced to shut temporarily while staff clear the crowds.
Spectator routes from central London stations
The mass race starts at 09:00 from Tower Bridge. We don’t suggest accompanying your runner to the start. The assembly areas are for runners only, so you will have to say goodbye well before race time anyway.
The chances are you will be saying goodbye to your runner at London Bridge. From here you can take the Jubilee line eastbound, which gives a number of options.
You could get off at Canada Water and cheer your runners on around the Surrey Quays section of the race route between miles eight and 11.
Alternatively, you could stay on the Jubilee line until Canary Wharf, which is a great place to see runners for the first time. This area also has plenty of food and drink options to enjoy while you wait.
From Canary Wharf you can jump on the DLR towards Greenwich to cheer your runners on near the finish, before you head to The Big Festival to enjoy the post-run celebrations.
London Underground updates
For travel updates and to plan your journey using the London Underground, go to tfl.gov.uk.
The London Overground has several stations on, or very close to, The Big Half route – Surrey Quays, Canada Water (connect with the Jubilee line on the London Underground), Rotherhithe, Wapping and Shadwell (connect with the DLR). Trains run every 10 minutes throughout the day.
London Overground’s line from Surrey Quays to Clapham Junction links south east and south west London. With fast frequent services, this line offers connections to:
- Canada Water
- Clapham High Street
- Clapham Junction
- Highbury & Islington
- Shoreditch High Street
Please visit tfl.gov.uk for weekly updates before the event and real-time travel information on Race Day.
MBNA Thames Clippers
MBNA Thames Clippers River Bus services run from key central London piers every 20 minutes. Hop on and off with River Roamer tickets, stopping at 15 piers across the city so you can get closer to the race. You can book your tickets in advance at thamesclippers.com
Meeting up after the race
You will be reunited with your runner at the runner meet and greet area in Maritime Museum Gardens. You will NOT be allowed into the secure finish area.
The closest stations to the finish area are Greenwich station and Maze Hill station. Please follow the advice of stewards who will direct you to the meet and greet area.
Runner meet and greet area
The runner meet and greet area can be very busy, so please take note of the following advice.
There will be meeting points in Maritime Museum Gardens with areas marked by letters of the alphabet – meet at your family initial or at another pre-arranged letter.
Please meet your runner at one of these meeting points. DO NOT congregate around the exit from the secure area at Romney Road. This causes massive congestion for exiting runners as well as other health and safety issues for the large numbers of people in this area. Our security personnel are under strict instructions not to allow people to congregate here and to move them along.
Heavy mobile phone traffic on all networks means you may find it difficult to get a signal in and around the finish area. Therefore, do not rely on mobile phones but plan where to meet in advance.
Runners are more likely to run slower than their predicted time. After crossing the Finish Line it will take a minimum of 15 minutes and closer to 30-40 minutes to reach the runner meet and greet area. Remember to build these factors into your arrangements when planning to meet your runner.
The Big Festival
You have done The Big Half – now onto The Big Festival! This is a unique festival that embraces all that the wonderful city of London has to offer. We invite you, your family and your friends to join us in the beautiful setting of Greenwich where you can enjoy food from around the world and the best young music acts from around the capital.
There will also be local groups encouraging you to be more active in your community as well as plenty of advice on how to keep yourself fit and motivated.
Make sure you have the details of your runner’s race number. It is the easiest way for our information point to identify them on our database.
There will be a PA system in operation throughout the day at the finish; this is only for the official race commentary and emergency announcements, NOT for friends and family seeking lost runners.