CHRISTMAS LIGHTS RUNNING TOURS 2023
INFO FOR PARTICIPANTS
We can't wait to jingle all the way with you!
Not signed up yet? Get your tickets here.
WHERE TO MEET
Classic 10k & 5k, & walking tour
Craven Street, near Charing Cross station
Meet close to where Craven Street intersects the Strand.
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City 10k & 5k
Southwark Gateway Needle on Tooley Street, close to London Bridge Station
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Meeting points are on the street - however, they're positioned close to London Bridge and Charing Cross stations so you can use amenities and keep warm there before you start.
WHEN TO ARRIVE
Arrive at the start location 5-10 minutes before the time on your tickets. You don't need to come any earlier - we hate seeing you get cold! Stay in the warm station until it's time for action! Our guides will be there about 15 minutes before the start time. The tour will leave at the start time on your tickets - so if you're late you will miss it. For health and safety reasons, we can't have you join us part-way round the tour. Although we love hearing from you, we're unable to delay a tour, or have you join part-way round if you contact us on social media or email.
There is no bag drop on this tour. Believe me, we have tried, but nowhere in central London is willing to look after hundreds of bags a night for four weeks during such a busy period, especially with the insurance concerns.
But we do know that it's important for our customers to have the option of storing a coat and warm clothes for after the tour.
So we've partnered up with Luggage Hero to give a solution but please organise your luggage storage prior to arriving at the start of the tour.
Luggage Hero have storage partners all over London - usually newsagents or small shops with a little extra capacity for storage, and are giving Secret London Runs customers a 2 hour discount on the storage costs.
1. Use our link to book your bag into a convenient storage facility, using the tour start/end location to narrow your search. You can do this in the days/weeks ahead of the tour. The time doesn't start until you deposit your bag.
Tip: make sure that the facility you choose is open at least 2.5 hours later than the start of the tour.
2. On the night, head to the location of your storage facility and leave your bag. You'll need to start the timer in the Luggage Hero app.
3. Head to the start of your tour and have a merry old Christmas time.
4. Once the tour has finished, head back to the storage facility. You'll stop the timer in the app and pick up your bag.
Through our partner link, Luggage Hero have given Secret London Runs customers a discount of 2 hours storage. However there will be a small service fee (usually £1-£2), plus optional insurance (varies on size of bag) and charges for the storage that exceeds 2 hours (usually £1-2 per hour).
Luggage hero charge per bag, so it might be worth combining your bags to keep the price down.
Plenty of runners simply bring a backpack and carry it on the tour - this is a running tour, not a race, after-all!
Please make sure you have been to the toilet before you arrive, so that we don't have to stop the tour on the way round for toilet stops. We're hoping that, soon, Secret London Runs will be an enormous company and own thousands of toilets over London (we all have to have dreams, right?). But for now, we rely on you using public toilets before the start of the tour. Charing Cross and London Bridge both have good public toilet options.
HOW LONG WILL THE TOUR TAKE?
How long will the tour take? 1.5 - 2 hours. We stop regularly for photos and festive history. If you're booking trains/dinner, we recommend booking no earlier than 2.5 hours after the start of your tour, just in case. There are lots of variables (pace of gentlest runner on the tour, how busy the streets are, how many questions our guides gets etc) that impact the length of the tour, and we don't want you to miss any of it.
WHAT TO WEAR
Wear running clothes/running shoes and, if you like, something Christmassy. Fancy dress optional but very much encouraged.
In previous years we have given every runner a Santa hat but for environmental reasons we're asking you to wear your long-lasting festive-wear.
WHERE DOES THE TOUR END?
The 10k and 5k tours all end at/right near the start. The walking tour ends at Bond Street.
Each tour has a guide pace to keep you in your comfort zone. Although we're passionate about inclusivity, please do ensure that you are close to the guide pace of the tour. Please double check the pace of your tour and be prepared to run at that pace. If you're lucky enough to be able to run faster than the pace of your tour, then please be prepared for a gentler jog on your tour. We'd appreciate it if you stay behind or next to your tour guide during the tour - this really helps us keep the group together.
WON'T IT GET BUSY WITH SHOPPERS?
We've been doing this a while. And although some areas will be busy, we have designed routes that avoid the crowds as much as possible. Some nights are much busier than others, and although we have a good idea which nights to avoid, there are always surprises. If we do hit some crowds, we'll walk for a couple of minutes and then get back to our run. Please be patient with your guide who will do her/his best to get you sweating again as quickly as we can.
WHAT IF I GET HUNGRY?
Every runner on our Christmas Lights tour will get a complementary snack at the finish-line. Please shout if you need it earlier on in the tour!
It's in our terms and conditions, but who reads those hey? Your tickets aren't refundable, but we will switch them to another Christmas lights tour if you give us 7 days notice. You can give your ticket to somebody else to attend in your place. If you're injured, then please check out our walking tour options too. If you can't make any Christmas options, we will give you a credit notice for 6 months.
NEED SOME HELP STAYING MOTIVATED THIS WINTER?
Try out our virtual history challenges that keep you motivated to keep moving over the weeks and months - with loads of history, podcasts and beautiful medals!
Follow in the footsteps of each of Henry VIII's Wives on an important journey made in their lives.
Compare the lives of Elizabeth I and Mary Queen of Scots on 3 journeys each of them made - were they really history's greatest rivals?