fbpx

The 8 Best Half Marathons In The UK Right Now

The UK has some of the best races in the world, many of which are half marathons. 

The 13.1-mile distance allows you to see a good bit of a new city or quiet coastal area of the UK without leaving you as tired as a UK marathon. 

This means you can run one of the best half marathons in the UK while still having enough energy to enjoy other sites in the area if you’re traveling to the race.

While there are tons of fantastic races in the UK, we’ve rounded up just a few of the best half marathons in the UK so you can start planning 2024!

People running a marathon.

The 8 Best Half Marathons In The UK

#1: London Landmarks Half Marathon

For any runner who lives outside of the UK, or even outside of London, the London Landmarks Half Marathon is one of the best half marathons in England or the UK if you’re hoping to get a tour of London by foot.

This spring half marathon in the capital city starts at Pall Mall and somehow finds a way to pass almost all of the most notable landmarks in London over the 13.1 miles before finishing on Downing Street.

Starting this past year at the 2023 LLHM, the course was updated to even take runners past Chinatown and Soho and across the historic Westminster Bridge.

Even though the course has quite a number of turns, it is flat and fast and should be good for a half marathon PB.

It is one of the most popular half marathons in the UK and consistently sells out every year, though there are charity spots available sometimes after registration closes.

The whole event is like a party, with musical performances, DJs, dancers, themed cheer stations, and more, which is why this is one of many runners’ favorite half marathons in the UK.

Ultimately, if you are looking for one of the fastest half marathons in the UK and a great way to tour the city on foot as an out-of-towner, this just might be the best UK half marathon to add to your 2024 race calendar.

#2: Great North Run

No list of the best half marathons in the UK would be complete without highlighting the Great North Run. After all, this extremely popular UK half marathon is actually the biggest half marathon in the world.

The Great North Run takes place in early September and draws not only upwards of 60,000 runners to the race itself but also thousands and thousands of spectators along the half-marathon course from its start in Newcastle to the finish line in South Shields. 

As the biggest half marathon in the UK (and the world!), the ballot for entry into the Great North Run opens early in January and then usually closes in mid-February, so you’ll need to jump on it if you want to run the 2024 Great North Run.

#3: The Big Half

When you are trying to choose the best half marathons in the UK, there are numerous factors to consider, but certainly one of the important ones is how well the race is organized.

A poorly organized half marathon may run out of fluids at aid stations, have a poorly marked course, not enough volunteers to direct traffic, insufficient pre-race directions and messaging, and far too few parking spots or toilets at the start, among numerous other factors.

While all of these little details may not seem that important, they really can make or break the difference between a stressful versus an enjoyable half marathon.

For that reason, some of the best half marathons in the UK are those that are larger and well-established or are held by some of the most experienced race organizers, which is exactly what you will get with The Big Half.

This popular UK half marathon is put on by the same organizers as the amazing London Marathon, so you know that the team behind the event knows exactly what they are doing to put on one of the best UK half marathons year after year.

Runners consistently say that they are not disappointed by this event and its entirety. The Big Half half marathon race goes from Tower Bridge to the Cutty Sark in Greenwich.

#4: Antrim Coast Half Marathon

Although still in its relatively nascent stages compared to some of the races on this list of the best half marathons in the UK, the Antrim Coast Half Marathon is quickly growing to be one of the most popular half marathons for competitive and recreational runners alike.

Even Sir Mo Farah took to the course and other elite UK runners and elite and professional international runners toe the line every year.

Of course, you don’t have to have Olympic medals or world records to your name to enter the Antrim Coast Half Marathon, but as the event continues to attract high-caliber athletes, you can continue to expect a great race experience.

It doesn’t hurt that the course is beautiful and is crazy flat and fast, which is why it draws some of the top runners looking for one of the fastest UK half marathons!

Temperatures can be a little warm because it takes place at the end of August, but there is usually a little breeze and plenty of drink stations along the course.

#5: Oxford Half Marathon 

If you want to enjoy one of the most erudite and historic cities in the UK, you might find that the Oxford Half Marathon is the best half marathon in the UK for your needs.

It doesn’t hurt that it’s a pretty flat and fast course, so it can be a great UK half marathon for setting a PB.

Besides being one of the fastest half marathons in the UK, this fall half marathon takes runners through the historic city center and then has a scenic route around the lovely village of Old Marston.

#6: Richmond RunFest Half Marathon

The Richmond RunFest Half Marathon is one of the best half marathons in the UK for beginners or first-timers trying to complete the 13.1-mile distance. 

The event takes place as part of a larger running festival weekend, but the half marathon is particularly popular.

The Richmond RunFest Half Marathon starts in Kew Gardens and posts a scenic route, but perhaps what makes this particular half marathon worthy of a spot on this list of the best half marathons in the UK is simply how well it is organized.

There is a lot of support from volunteers, plenty of toilets, an efficient bag drop, clear directions, and a friendly atmosphere.

All of these little details go into making the Richmond RunFest Half Marathon a headache-free way to just focus on running a half marathon without fussing over logistics as well.

Even if you have run many half marathons in the past and you don’t necessarily need the best half marathon in the UK for beginners, this is still one of the best UK half marathons to check out.

#7: Chester Half Marathon 

If you are looking for one of the flattest half marathons in the UK to set a half marathon PB in 2024, one of the fastest UK half marathon courses is the Chester Half Marathon.

The route is flat and takes place on closed roads. There is a lot of crowd support to cheer you on and generally has a good-sized field so that you’re not boxed in by other runners yet still have enough push from other racers around you no matter what pace you run.

Some of the other perks of this popular UK half marathon race are the ample water stations throughout the course and a swag bag stuffed to the gills with fun goodies.

If you want some iconic finish line pictures, the Chester Half Marathon is also one of the best half marathons in the UK for an Instagram-worthy photo, as the finish line is just outside the stately Town Hall and Cathedral.

#8: Hackney Half Marathon

One of the most popular UK half marathon race weekends is held in late May every year at a full running festival in east London where there are running events ranging from stretching to a 5k and then the big event—the Hackney Half Marathon.

The crowd support is always fantastic and there are all sorts of fitness classes and seminars for participants over the race weekend.

It’s a pretty unforgettable experience and one of the best half marathons in the UK for first-timers or families who want to have runners of different levels and ages participate in the sport on the same weekend.

What’s your favorite half marathon in the UK? Did you find a half marathon in the UK that you want to train for in 2024?

Check out some of our free half marathon training plans here.

People running a marathon.
Photo of author
Amber Sayer is a Fitness, Nutrition, and Wellness Writer and Editor, as well as a NASM-Certified Nutrition Coach and UESCA-certified running, endurance nutrition, and triathlon coach. She holds two Masters Degrees—one in Exercise Science and one in Prosthetics and Orthotics. As a Certified Personal Trainer and running coach for 12 years, Amber enjoys staying active and helping others do so as well. In her free time, she likes running, cycling, cooking, and tackling any type of puzzle.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.