The famous red painted road which leads up to the entrance of Buckingham Palace is a regular part of the London Marathon course, which reaches its conclusion there. The Olympics will see the men’s and women’s marathons, cycling road races and walking races get underway and finish on The Mall, just in front of the Queen’s ‘front door’.
Indeed, in preparation for the events the Games’ organisers LOCOG (London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games) had only a short period from the end of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee celebrations - in June 2012 - to construct the temporary seating, timing boards, giant viewing screen, tents and power generators on the Mall, in time for the arrival of the Olympians.
The decision not to take the marathon through the East End to the Olympic Stadium was unpopular with some Londoners, especially given that Olympic marathons usually end in the main athletics stadium.
The Mall, which runs from the Victoria Memorial in front of Buckingham Palace to Trafalgar Square via Admiralty Arch, has been a ceremonial route since the early 20th century.
Initially designed to welcome the royal family home from foreign adventures and also to welcome visiting dignitaries to Buckingham Palace, at London 2012 the finishing line at The Mall will welcome an elite group of successful Olympic competitors to the promised land of Olympic gold.
In August 2011 the London-Surrey Cycle Classic road race took place as a test event for the 2012 Games, starting on The Mall next to the Queen Victoria Memorial and making its way down to Box Hill in Surrey, before returning to London to conclude once again on The Mall. The same route will be used for the Cycling Road Race in the Games.
Public facilities: There are many pubs, bars, restaurants and food outlets in the area. There will also be London 2012 information points for venue and sports information, transport updates, lost and found services and pushchair and wheelchair storage.
History: A ceremonial route since the early 20th century, The Mall has witnessed numerous historic moments including the VE Day celebrations in 1945, Queen Elizabeth II's Golden Jubilee in 2002 and several high profile royal weddings.
What’s on? Road Race victory ceremony (Men's on July 28th and Women's on 29th), Individual Time Trial victory ceremony (Men's and Women's) and Men's Kayak Single K1 1000m final and Double K2 1000m final (all on August 1st).
How do you get there? By most forms of transport except car. Because the Mall is so central, bus is probably best, although you won't be able to access the road from the Trafalgar Square end, as that will be used for spectators watching events on Horse Guards Parade. That means only three London Underground stations are recommended — Victoria (Victoria, Circle and District lines), St James' Park (Circle and District) and Green Park (Jubilee, Piccadilly and Victoria). Two National Rail stations are within easy walking distance as well — Charing Cross and Victoria — while the Mall is also walkable for river bus passengers disembarking at the Embankment and Westminster piers.
Find it on the map: here.
Location – in relation to other venues: The Olympic Park in Stratford, East London, is approximately seven miles to the east of The Mall.
Location – on the tube: Three London Underground stations are recommended — Victoria (Victoria, Circle and District lines), St James' Park (Circle and District) and Green Park (Jubilee, Piccadilly and Victoria).