As part of our series of things to do in London with a toddler, on Sunday we took Lady P to watch the London Marathon.
Technically, she has already been twice before; first time in my tummy whilst I was 12 weeks pregnant and the second time last year where she spent most of the time sleeping or doing hourly poos.
So this year we were hoping for a slightly more interactive day out.
We normally try to take in a few different viewpoints along the route, but having now got a toddler who decided she didn’t fancy sitting in her buggy, and both me and Mr Tum sporting mild hangovers from the party we’d been to the night before, we thought better than to try to cram too much in.
We decided to head in a bit early and to go to Canary Wharf given the number of restaurants, cafes and most importantly loos nearby. This is around the 20 mile mark.
Plus, Lady P got to stand at the front of the DLR and ‘drive’ the train on the way.
The London Marathon is a great day out for all. Whether you are hoping to spot someone you know who is running it, trying to catch a nanosecond glimpse of the elite runners as they glide past looking as though they have just stepped out for a stroll, or merely taking in a bit of the atmosphere, there is a lot going on in and around the route.
There is loads going on wherever you choose to watch the race and I’d really recommend it for little ones. There are obviously a lot of people and a noticeable police presence, but the atmosphere is just fantastic.
For kids, there are balloons, bands, dogs, noisy ‘bangy things’ they are allowed to whack to their hearts content, and of course lots of people wearing funny fancy dress costumes to get excited about.
For us bigger kids that have no intention of ever training enough to be able to run more than half of the 26 mile distance, each elite, disabled athlete or charity runner that goes past gives you a massive sense of appreciation and makes you feel hugely emotional that they have set their bodies and minds to the task of achieving such a physical task.
It really is a fab day and every single year I go to watch it, I am filled with admiration and tears in my eyes when I see a small child spot their Mummy or Daddy and explode with cheers and pride as they run past.
Usually followed with “can we go to the toilet now, please?” as they have been waiting for some time.
The low down:
- Website: Virgin Money London Marathon
- Prices: Free but pack a few snacks and toilet paper.
- Location: 26 miles around London – see map.
- Toilets and tube stations get pretty crowded, so often best to walk the route given that buses are redirected due to road closures.
- Best way to get there: Very accessible by public transport. Check out their spectators advice here.