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Dance your way through the Marathon Walk

Marathon Walk London 1 day UK

Trek
Trek
Long Day
Long Day
ORANGE 2
Grading


About the Challenge

Join us on our marathon walk around our capital city, taking in world-famous sights and less well-known corners as we trace a 26-mile route through London.

This challenging day sees us setting off early from our atmospheric event hub, and takes us through peaceful parks and alongside waterways, passing iconic landmarks including the Tower of London, Buckingham Palace, the Houses of Parliament and the London Eye as we walk through the historic heart of the city.

This is a tough one-day event; at approx. 26 miles, it forms an enormous challenge for walkers.

There is also a half-distance option.

Marathon Walk London Start Time: 6.30am registration for a 7-7.30am start

Half Marathon Walk London Start Time: 9.00am registration for a 10-10.30am start

Start/finish Hub: Bedford Square Gardens

Approximate Finish Time: Anytime between 2.30pm and 6.30pm (majority in 2019 came through between 4.-5.30pm).
We aim to ensure that all participants are through the finish line in daylight. The route may be changed towards the end if there are still participants walking in darkness for reasons of health and safety.

Tracy - November 2018


Very well organised

Read Testimonials

Itinerary

Marathon Walk London


OPEN 1 DAY
  • The half-distance option sets off a little later than the full-distance participants, from the same event hub in Bedford Square Garden. From here, the first two miles follow the full marathon route, before splitting eastwards towards the Tower of London.

    We take a turn to the north, heading towards Whitechapel and onwards to join Regent’s Canal. We follow the towpath with the canal by our side towards Angel Station in Islington and St Pancras, before turning south where we join Great Portland Street. We cut across Oxford Street and join Regent Street, before making our way to New Bond Street and Piccadilly, marvelling at the designer shops as we go.

    Upon reaching The Mall, with a fantastic view of Buckingham Palace behind us, we walk along the edge of St James’s Park before splitting from the full-marathon route once again. We head northwards towards Leicester Square and through Covent Garden before returning to our atmospheric hub.

    There will be plenty of time for celebratory photos on the Finish Line, relaxation and refreshments before heading back home.

  • We meet early at our event hub in Bedford Square Garden and, after a rousing warm-up and briefing, set off!

    The first part of our route begins in the direction of the River Thames. We pass St Paul’s Cathedral before heading across the Millennium Bridge, where we will see the Tate Modern and Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre. We walk alongside the River Thames, before heading further southwards through Southwark Park towards Greenwich and Cutty Sark, the record-breaking tea clipper.

    Once again, we cross back over the River Thames via the Greenwich Foot Tunnel, heading northwards towards Millwall Park and Canary Wharf. Following the curve of the River Thames, we make our way towards the Tower of London before heading north to Whitechapel. From here we head in the direction of Regent’s Canal towpath and walk a lovely stretch through Mile End Park, to reach Victoria Park in South Hackney. With the canal by our side, our route heads towards Angel Station in Islington and St Pancras, before turning south where we join Great Portland Street. We cut across Oxford Street and join Regent Street, before making our way to New Bond Street and Piccadilly, marvelling at the designer shops as we go.

    The next few miles take us past a procession of landmarks as we head towards Buckingham Palace and skirt St James’s Park heading up the Mall. We continue south past Westminster Abbey, Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament, before coming to the Thames. With the London Eye in sight, we know we’ve reached the final stretch, as we walk via the Southbank, cross back over the Thames and Victoria Embankment, before returning to our atmospheric hub.

    There will be plenty of time for celebratory photos on the Finish Line, relaxation and refreshments before heading back home.



Dates & Prices

Prices may vary depending on date.


WHAT'S INCLUDED

  • New route for 2020 - fully recced and route marked
  • Experienced Discover Adventure leaders and support staff throughout to manage the event safely and enjoyably
  • Pre-trip support and dedicated trip co-ordinators, on hand to answer questions and offer advice on kit and training
  • Water stops with refreshments (fruit, sweets and cereal bars)
  • Packed lunch
  • Maps and route information
  • Opportunity to meet charity representatives
  • Discover Adventure Passenger Portal
  • Mobile app

 

WHAT'S EXCLUDED

  • Travel insurance (optional)
  • Personal items such as water bottle, soft drinks, preferential snacks and souvenirs
  • Transport to and from the event
  • Entry to any optional sites of activities
  • Any applicable surcharges as per Terms and Conditions


Detailed Information

  • Download your Marathon Walk London FAQs here.  We hope that these answer all your questions but if there is anything else we can help you with please do give us a call!
  • Your trip will be led by experienced Discover Adventure leaders and support crew. Our leaders are selected for their knowledge and experience, friendliness and approachability, sense of humour and ability to safely and effectively deal with any situation that arises; they are also trained in first aid. You are in very safe hands with a Discover Adventure leader. The crew will have mobile phones and/or radios where appropriate, medical kit and other safety apparatus where necessary, as well as vehicle support.

    What if I have any issues during the challenge?

    Our leaders are very experienced and work very hard to ensure your challenge runs as smoothly and enjoyably as possible, and we’re sure that you’ll have a wonderful time. If you do have any concerns or problems please talk to the crew and give them the opportunity to explain or rectify things while they are able. They are all very approachable!

  • Yes. Our medics walk at the back of the group as well as being stationed at the check points. They are there to provide first aid and to promote general good welfare throughout the challenge. They are equipped with a substantial medical kit that will cover the most common complaints but can also advise if they feel further/on-going treatment is required. When at the back of the group they are also experts at encouraging you when things get tough.

  • Your safety, and that of the rest of the group, is our highest priority. Our trips are designed and planned with safety in mind. Your crew will be equipped with communication devices (eg phones, radios and/or emergency satellite phones), medical kit and other safety apparatus appropriate to the destination. Our leaders always have access to our 24-hour emergency UK back-up. They are responsible for safety on the trip, and will make any changes to the itinerary they deem necessary, should local conditions dictate. Pre-trip administration - such as medical questionnaires and travel insurance as appropriate - is all done with your safety in mind.

  • Is any food provided?

    You will be provided with plenty of food throughout the day to keep your energy levels up. Full-distance walkers will be offered a breakfast bap and hot drink at registration. Hot drinks will be available for Half Marathon walkers at registration. A cold lunch and hot drinks will be provided at the mid-point stop. There will also be snacks at the water stops during the day.

    You may wish to bring extra snacks to keep you going, though don’t weigh yourself down too much. We recommend a combination of slow and fast release snacks such as cereal bars, flapjacks, salted nuts, chocolate bars such as Mars or Snickers, and a packet of sweets. If you want to use special energy drinks then please bring them with you, but experiment with them when training as they can cause stomach upsets. Bringing a combination of treats will keep you interested in snacking as consistent energy levels are important.

    I have a specific dietary requirement; will I be catered for?

    Being vegetarian or having other dietary requirements is not usually a problem provided you let us know well in advance. We ask that you inform us a minimum of 8 weeks prior, after this date we cannot guarantee we can cater for you. 

    If you know there are plenty of foods you cannot eat you may wish to bring extra snacks from home so you can top up your energy supply. Always ask for our advice if you need to.

    How much do I need to drink?

    Hydration is critical to your success but also your enjoyment of this challenge. You should aim to drink 2-4 litres of water throughout the challenge. 1 litre of water weighs around 1kg and it’s good to carry a couple of litres when you’re training so you’re used to carrying the weight. There will be plenty of water provided for you throughout the day, so ensure you stay well hydrated. To help us maintain our sustainable values and reduce plastic waste, please ensure you bring your own water bottle with you to refill at the check points.

    Will there be hot drinks?

    Yes, tea and coffee will be provided at the Event Hub.

  • Will there be a safe place to leave a bag at the Event Hub?

    Yes, there will be a left luggage area for participants to leave a small bag of things they want at the finish line but do not need during the challenge itself. Please note that if you do leave a bag at the hub you will need to return to collect it even if you end up not completing the whole route. We cannot be held responsible for any items in your bags, so please do not leave anything valuable inside them.

  • Can I bring my dog?

    We regret that we are unable to accept dogs accompanying participants on our UK treks. This is because we cannot be responsible for their welfare. Invariably, dogs are not always as fit as they seem, especially in extremes of weather, and we cannot use our support resources to cater for ailing or tired dogs at the expense of participants.  We appreciate that some owners will feel that their dogs would not need any support, but we have learned from previous experience and now impose this as a blanket rule.

  • Can my family come along and meet me at the finish line?

    Yes of course, the more the merrier! We encourage family and friends to come along and help spur you on to the finish line. The event hub and all checkpoints along the route are accessible, so family and friends can make a day of it in London. We will share the route map a few weeks before the start date, so that they can plan where to cheer you on.

  • Can I have a refund if I cancel?

    Our registration fees are non-refundable, however if you let us know early enough, we might be able to transfer you onto next year’s event.

    Can I cancel/defer my place?

    You are able to cancel, however you will forfeit your registration fee. If you are on the Fundraising Option and cancel you must let your charity know, so that you can decide what to do with any funds that have been raised.

    It may be possible to transfer your place to the following year for a small admin fee. Please contact Discover Adventure for details if required.

    Can I give my place to someone else?

    Name changes are permitted, however you must let the office know no later than four weeks prior to the event. There is a £10 admin fee to complete this process.

  • Can we sign up as a group?

    Yes, come up with a snappy group name and pop it in the team name box when you sign-up! You all still need to register individually so that we can gather your details. 

    Is there a group discount?

    We do offer a discount for groups of 10+ on the full payment option only. Please contact us for more information. 

  • There are two distance options, can I change my distance after I've signed up?

    You will be able to change distance but you must let the Discover Adventure office know at least four weeks in advance, to ensure that you are given the correct registration pack and to settle any difference in costs. On the day, it is not a problem if you are signed up for the full distance but decide to stop at the half-way mark – or any point on the route if you decide you cannot finish - but it is vital that you ensure a member of the crew is made aware so they know not to expect you at the next checkpoint.

  • What if I'd like to fundraise for a charity which isn't listed on the booking form?

    As long as you choose a UK registered charity you can fundraise for them even if they aren't listed on our directory. Just enter all of their information on the booking form and we will do the rest. It is worth noting that not all charities accept the fundraising option. If this is the case, we will let you know!

    What if I don’t reach my fundraising target?

    If you are not able to reach your fundraising target by the deadline, you will need to contact Discover Adventure to discuss your options.

  • Can my children join me on this challenge?

    For reasons of health & safety, we do not allow any children under the age of 16 to take part in the full marathon distance and under 12 for the half marathon.

    How can an under 18 year old register on this challenge?

    You will just need to give our friendly office a call so that we can book your child on to the challenge for you; this cannot be done online.

  • Why haven’t I received any emails from Discover Adventure?

    In the run up to the challenge we will send various emails to you, so if you don't see these in your inbox they may have gone into your spam. Please make sure you mark our emails as safe so that this doesn't happen. 

  • We have a Passenger Portal which will give you more details of the challenge itself. It also enables you to see any outstanding information we need, the countdown to your challenge departure, see your outstanding balance, make payments and update your contact details. You can access this via the following link - Passenger Portal Log in.

  • We use the VAMOOS travel app that can be downloaded from the App store to your smartphone. The app can be used offline, and allows you to access all of your challenge documents and updates from your phone.  Just download the app and enter your unique code at the prompt -

    Download app onto Apple device - iTunes link

    Download the app onto Android devices - Google Play link

    User ID – DAL

    Passcode - 2009275

  • We have created a Marathon Walk London Facebook group. Please use this page to get chatting prior to your challenge. It’s a great way to virtually meet each other and share your experiences in the run up to the challenge. If you have any specific trip enquiries please do contact us directly. This group is mainly for participants, so is only checked sporadically by Discover Adventure. Remember to post your training and challenge photos too. Good luck!

    Click here to access group - Marathon Walk Facebook group


Preparing for the Challenge

  • What time does the challenge start?

    Full Marathon Route – Registration begins at 6.30am 

    You will be given a full briefing about the event at registration, led by your Discover Adventure crew and then set off between 7-7.30am

    Half Marathon Route – Registration begins at 9.00am

    You will be given a full briefing about the event at registration, led by your Discover Adventure crew and then set off between 10-10.30am

    How long is the challenge expected to take?

    This all depends on walking speed and how long you stop at the checkpoints en-route. On average, it takes between 8 - 9 hours to complete the Full Marathon distance and 4 - 5 hours for the Half Marathon.

    Do I need to finish by a certain time?

    We want everyone to finish the challenge but we also need to ensure that the route is safe. Although we have no official cut-off time, we would like to see that everyone has reached the finish line around sunset (19:00). The route was not created to be completed in the dark, so we would ask that if anyone has not finished at this time, to call the leader (number provided on the day) to inform him or her of your whereabouts. The route may be changed towards the end if there are still participants walking in darkness for reasons of health and safety. It is easy to become disorientated when the sun goes down and miss the waymarkers.

    Everyone is capable of being able to complete the full route in the time allowed, but you do need to pace yourself and not spend too much time at the check-points and lunch stop. Slow and steady wins the race!

    Will I get a registration pack?

    You will collect your registration pack when you arrive at the hub. Within the pack will be your number (with chip timer attached), welcome document, safety pins and other key information for the challenge ahead.

    What if I/someone on my team needs to retire?

    This is not an issue - just let a member of the Discover Adventure crew know that you wish to cease participation in the challenge and then you will be free to go; there’s plenty of public transport across London. There is no need to return to the hub (unless you’ve left kit there) if it’s more convenient for you not to, although you’re obviously very welcome to if you want to support team mates finishing.

  • Where do we start and finish the challenge?

    Both Full Marathon and Half Marathon Routes: Start/finish Hub –Bedford Square, Bloomsbury, London.

    This is a circular route and will bring you back to the same point for the finish.

    How do I get to and from the Event Hub?

    You need to make your own way to and from the hub, where the Marathon Walk starts and finishes. The half-distance option uses the same hub. Parking is extremely limited in the area and we don’t recommend driving! Public transport options are good, however, so you shouldn’t encounter issues.

    The Event Hub for both the Full and Half Marathon are within easy walking distance to and from Tottenham Court Road Underground Station (Central or Northern line) or Goodge Street Underground Station (Northern line).

    You will be tired when you have completed this challenge! Please be aware of this when you are planning your return travel home. You will find public transport easier than driving.

    Will there be a map of the route?

    Yes, you will have a downloadable version of the route on Google Maps which will be available prior to the challenge. 

    How will I find my way on the challenge? What if I get lost?

    The route is fully waymarked with orange arrows and you will be issued with a map in your registration pack on the day of the event. You will be given emergency contact numbers within your registration pack, so that you can contact your trip leader for guidance in the unlikely event you lose the route. We will log each participant as they pass through the checkpoints with their electronic chips, so we will know if anyone has not passed through.

    Will the challenge be chip timed?

    We will be providing chip timing on this challenge. Please be aware that these chips are provided predominantly for your safety, so we are aware of everyone passing through check points. Timing chips will be stuck to the back of your event number and they allow us to monitor who has passed which check points primarily as a safety mechanism. Your number MUST be attached either to the front of your outer top layer (t-shirt, jumper or jacket) or to the outside of your rucksack. If it’s not clearly visible the timing devices, stationed at Start/Finish and at certain check points, will not register your time. In the final joining instructions, you will be given details of the website you can visit to see your times.

    Can I run?

    No unfortunately not. The challenge is designed and supported as a walk; timings and check points are set accordingly, and are not suitable for runners.

    What about toilets?

    Toilet facilities will be available at both the Marathon and Half Marathon start and finish points and we have arranged for facilities to be available at each of the checkpoints en-route. You may be getting used to being out trekking for periods of time and noticed that toilet facilities are not always in the most convenient places. This is also true of the challenge itself. If you cannot spot a public toilet, you may sometimes need to quickly stop and ask at a local café but we recommend buying something small to keep the owner happy! It’s important to use the antiseptic hand sanitiser provided at each of the check points for use after the toilet and before eating to minimise the spread of germs. Also, avoid sharing water bottles and sharing each other’s food or sweets as this spreads germs very easily, even if you are being careful.

  • This is designed to be a challenge, and it is vital that you train sufficiently for it. We will supply you with a thorough training guide once you have registered. Training is all part of the preparation: inadequate training will impact on your enjoyment of the trip, and your chances of completing it. We expect all participants to train hard in advance, but we respect everyone’s limits and do not expect everyone to maintain the same pace. If you have concerns about your fitness or if you have reduced mobility please do contact us for a confidential chat about whether this challenge is appropriate for you.

    How much will I need to train?

    Training prior to the event is pivotal, as you will need to build up your endurance fitness and make sure that you are confident walking long distances over a period of time. You will be provided with a Marathon Walk Training Guide in good time before the challenge. Everyone has a different level of fitness at the start: you may not need to build up as gradually as our schedule, or you may need longer. Read it through as soon as you get it, do some honest self-assessment, and start earlier if you have the time. The most important thing is to commit and make the time to train – it’s so easy to make excuses and put it off, which only wastes valuable time.

    I’ve completed the 15-week training guide and there’s still a month to go, what do I do now?

    Keep going! Make sure you keep on walking as you do not want to lose all the fitness you have worked so hard for.

  • Is the route wheelchair accessible?

    Yes, we ensure that the route is wheelchair friendly, please let us know 8 weeks prior to the trip departure.

  • We trek on tarmac paths and pavements around the city and its parks. Groups will set off at staggered intervals and you can go at your own pace. The walk should take approximately 8-9 hours for fit and strong walkers; others should allow longer. It may take some walkers up to 12 hours. This is not a competitive event! You can go at your own pace, but if we are concerned about you being able to finish the distance safely, we will recommend you stop early. There will be full support throughout the challenge with marshals and check-points along the route. This trek is achievable provided you train well in advance.

  • We plan our trips around the optimal weather conditions, but could still be exposed to bad weather at any time. It is vital you are prepared for all conditions. We provide you with a detailed packing kit-list on registration, as well as details on useful discounts you are entitled to as a Discover Adventure customer. We are always available if you need advice.

    If you are still to buy some kit don’t forget that Cotswold Outdoor, Snow and Rock, Cycle Surgery and Runners Need offer all Discover Adventure participants 15% off any purchases you make with them. Please ask us for the code if you do not have this already.

    What type of shoes should I wear?

    A good pair of good quality, supportive walking shoes/trainers or walking boots to cope with the distance. They should be well worn in; we recommend you wear the pair you have been training in. The concrete pavement and roads will be tough underfoot so make sure your feet are as comfortable as possible. Cushioning is important!

    Should I carry some cash with me on this challenge?

    You may wish to bring some money with you if you’d like to stop for extra refreshments en route. If for any unforeseen circumstances, you have to change your plans, e.g. transport, you must ensure that you have enough funds to cover any resultant costs. Some of these may be recoverable through your travel insurance, depending on your cover and the circumstances.

  • Do I need travel insurance?

    Many people assume that travel insurance is an unnecessary expense for a trip in the UK. Of course, if you are a British citizen you won't need insurance for medical treatment because you can rely on the NHS. However, travel insurance is about more than just medical cover, as it can protect you from a multitude of unfortunate circumstances. If you would like to look in to this and you are a UK resident, you can purchase insurance through our website with Insure2Travel if you wish to via this link; otherwise you are able to source your own preferred cover with a company of your choosing. 

  • Will there be Wi-Fi, phone reception and charging points?

    The phone reception should be good but it is unlikely that there will be Wi-Fi at any of the water stops and there won’t be access to power for charging devices.