If you’re heading for the city to watch tomorrow’s marathon, here are capital ideas on and off the route to make your day a winner.
EXPLORE THE SOLAR SYSTEM
Otherworlds: Visions of our Solar System at the Natural History Museum is a must.
You’ll learn all about six decades of space exploration through stunning visual and audio displays.
London is full of amazing art galleries so catch an exhibition.
Current shows include Vogue 100: A Century of Style at the National Portrait Gallery, Exhibitionism, the Rolling Stones collection at the Saatchi Gallery and Undressed: A Brief History of Underwear at the Victoria and Albert Museum.
If the sun is shining, head to Crystal Palace and hire a pedalo to explore the lake and its forested banks fi lled with life-size model dinosaurs. The park also features a maze and a child-friendly farm.
SEE BOTH TATES IN A DAY
Can’t decide between modern art and a more traditional British affair? Make a day of it and visit both Tates.
The Tate Boat runs along the Thames every 40 minutes linking Tate Modern and Tate Britain.
Lunch in the former’s sixth-floor, glass-walled Kitchen and Bar opposite St Paul’s with views over the Square Mile’s historic buikldings and modern towers.
DO THE ZOO
London Zoo is a fun day out for the whole family. The new Land of Lions features a group of the endangered Asiatic big cats, so you can see them up close while you wander through immersive areas with the feel of the Indian wilderness.
REACH FOR THE STARS
Plenty of places in London have shaped world history and one of the most important is the Royal Observatory in Greenwich, site of the Prime Meridian and home of Greenwich Mean Time since 1884. Once you’ve taken your selfie on the time line, head to the Peter Harrison Planetarium to see the wonders of the universe.
HAVE A PINT
A traditional London pub is perfect for post-race celebrations and there’s no shortage of them in the city. Close to the finish line is the Red Lion just off Parliament Square – there has been a pub on the site since 1434. The recently opened waterside Sail Loft near Greenwich Pier is a stone’s throw from the race route and offers great views up and down the Thames.
SMELL THE FLOWERS
It’s the perfect time to explore the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew, its huge expanse packed with spring flowers. The Palm House is a tropical wonderland, while three art galleries are full of botanical works.
ENJOY COFFEE AND BLOOMS
Columbia Road’s Sunday flower market in the East End is a treat. Come early (8am) to enjoy a leisurely meander. Pick up a bargain bunch at one of the many stalls then grab a coffee and watch the world go by before heading off to watch the race.
SEE THE CITY BY BIKE
Taking to two wheels is a great way to get around. Hire a Santander Bike (a ‘Boris Bike’) from one of the many pavement stands or sign up for a guided cycle tour. The London Bicycle Tour Company offers a huge variety of group, private, day and night-time options.
CELEBRATE THE OLYMPICS
The 2012 Olympic legacy lives on at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in Stratford. Relive your favourite sporting moments from the Games by visiting the venues where history was made, set amongst trees, greenery, cafes and the twisting ArcelorMittal Orbit tower.
CHANGE YOUR VIEW
Climb the 311 stone steps to the top of the Monument, the 202ft commemorative pillar to the Great Fire of London, or take the lift up the Shard – the tallest building in Western Europe at 1,016ft. Both have sublime views of the Thames.
RIDE THE DUCK
Hop on one of the bright yellow amphibious vehicles and see the sights by road before splashing into the Thames.Options include the Classic Tour, the swashbuckling Pirates of Westminster Treasure Hunt and the super smooth James Bond Tour.
JAZZ IT UP
Ronnie Scott’s world-famous jazz club in the heart of Soho has been bringing in global stars since it opened in 1959. It is still the place to catch top bands while relaxing with a cocktail or two.
A casual and low-priced option to the main show is the upstairs Sunday Session (£5) which offers a laid-back mix of DJs and live music.
TAKE IN A SHOW
The West End theatreland is a must. Many of the classic theatres are closed on Sunday but there are still plenty of options, including such family favourites as The Lion King at the Lyceum and Matilda the Musical at the Cambridge along with less mainstream shows.
The official TKTS booth (11am- 4.30pm) in Leicester Square offers late discounts.