Looking for a half marathon in 2023? This is your guide to the best half marathons in the UK, organised into regions so you can find a race near you!
Half marathons are some of the most popular running events in the UK, appealing to beginner runners and experienced athletes alike. Major runs like the Great North Run and the Big Half attract tens of thousands of people, generating huge sums of money for charity in the process.
While some events are worth travelling to, sometimes you just want a race in your local area - in which case, we've got you covered. What you'll find right here are the biggest and best half marathons in each region of the UK, from the South West to Scotland.
(If you want to explore your local region in more detail, just head to our 'places' directory to use our interactive map. It features events, adventures and clubs, as well as highlighting walking and running trails across the country!)
Major cities in England host some of the greatest half marathons in the world, let alone in the UK. From London to Newcastle, there's a huge range of 13.1-mile races to choose from!
This major half marathon follows the route of the TCS London Marathon in reverse, starting by the Tower of London and finishing at the Cutty Sark after exploring Canary Wharf. Running on closed roads through central London, you will cruise past famous landmarks and enjoy brilliant on-course entertainment!
Called the UK's "most beautiful half marathon" thanks to the green and gold expanse of the Royal Parks it explores, this 13.1-mile race is one of the most popular in the UK. Starting and finishing in Hyde Park, the route also tours Kensington Gardens, St James' Park and The Green Park, enjoying a collection of iconic landmarks along the way. There is a huge range of charities to choose from, too!
Sign up for Royal Parks Half Marathon
Renowned as one of the capital's most vibrant running events, this electric half marathon tours Hackney's streets and is packed with on-course entertainment, all culminating in a festival of sport and music. Culture and movement collide in this East London event, which also features a 5K race the day before and a weekend-long festival.
This 100% not-for-profit event has quickly grown into one of the UK's most popular half marathons, celebrating London's heritage and quirky history alongside its most famous landmarks. Runners will enjoy a flat route with lots of PB potential but enough on-course entertainment to make you want to slow down, including performance stages, interactive history exhibits and live music!
The magnificent Tudor setting of Hampton Court Palace is the background for this 13.1-mile race, which many runners use as preparation for spring marathons thanks to its February schedule. Starting and finishing at Giggs Hill Green in South West London, the course follows the river tow-path and heads into Kingston before circling around Hampton Court Park. Henry VIII himself will be on course to cheer you on!
Sign up for the Quicksilver Hampton Court Half
This race is part of a multi-award-winning weekend of running in Buckinghamshire, drawing thousands of runners to the 5K, 10K, half marathon and marathon. Some runners will take on multiple races and earn a coveted MK Challenge medal! The 13.1-mile race sets off on the city's wide-ranging system of cycle paths known as the Redways, exploring green parks and nearby villages on a varied route that is renowned as a fast course. Come and see for yourself!
Sign up for the MK Half Marathon
Bristol's vibrant culture comes alive on race day, with thousands of runners exploring the city centre, the historic harbour and the world-famous Avon Gorge, passing underneath the Clifton Suspension Bridge. This inclusive event has brilliant entertainment along the course to keep you motivated and a chunky medal that celebrates Bristol's unique heritage. There's a reason that people return year-on-year!
Sign up for the Great Bristol Run
A seafront route that visits both Boscombe and Bournemouth piers, this popular half marathon is part of a weekend festival of running that includes seven different races, so you can be sure of a vibrant atmosphere. The route follows the coast along Poole Bay, enjoying clifftop views and the unique experience of running along the wooden boards of seaside piers. Stick around afterwards for a great event village!
Sign up for the Bournemouth Half Marathon
The historic and beautiful streets of Bath play host to thousands of runners each autumn in the Bath Half Marathon. There are many reasons to get involved, including both the opportunity to explore this UNESCO World Heritage Site on closed roads and a fast, flat course with huge PB potential. Each runner will complete two laps of the course before following a gentle rise up Pulteney Road to the finish line.
Sign up for the Bath Half Marathon
One of the most beautiful half marathons in the UK, this route explores both the incredible city centre of Cambridge and its surrounding countryside. You will pass countless historic landmarks on your way through the city, including two iconic colleges from the University of Cambridge, as well as enjoying great crowd support and a fast, flat route that has PB potential.
Sign up for the TTP Cambridge Half Marathon
Explore the beautiful Northamptonshire countryside and the historic site of the Battle of Naseby, a key conflict in the English Civil War, in this multi-terrain half marathon. Starting at Naseby Village Hall, the route sets off on a mixture of roads and trails to provide the unique challenge of alternating terrain across undulating hills. With a 10K, marathon and ultra marathon available at the same time, this is a brilliant running event in the heart of England.
Take the rare opportunity to run on closed roads around the stunning countryside outside Loughborough, with this race set at the beautiful Prestwold Hall. The course also encompasses a local airfield and racetrack, covering some gravel sections but is largely on tarmac. Held in late February, this is a great opportunity to get some early experience of racing in before taking on a spring marathon!
Sign up for the Leicestershire Half
Held in the city that hosted the Commonwealth Games in 2022, this electric half marathon explores vibrant city streets and historic canals, with superb entertainment along the course. There is a party atmosphere from start to finish, aided by the three other events happening at the same time: a 10K and two junior races. Enjoy the best half marathon the Midlands has to offer!
Sign up for the Great Birmingham Run
Take the unique opportunity to enjoy a brilliantly organised race in the grounds of the UK's largest theme park! Not only do runners enjoy the roads and paths weaving through the park's luscious grounds, you also gain access to the world-famous rides after your run. This half marathon has grown in popularity thanks both to its great course and the opportunity for the whole family to have fun!
Sign up for Run Alton Towers Half Marathon
This superb series of races embodies the best of Yorkshire: a beautiful run along the Leeds to Liverpool canal with a beer and chocolate waiting at the finish line. This mainly flat course follows the tow-path, giving you a great opportunity to push for a PB in the crisp winter air. There are five other distances to choose from too, ranging from a 5K to a 32-mile ultra marathon!
Starting in the city centre, this 13.1-mile route heads out to the edge of the Peak District to enjoy fantastic views on the climb to Ringinglow before returning into central Sheffield and a finish by the Winter Gardens. The course has a split profile, climbing in the first half before enjoying a steady descent to the finish line. Thousands of runners will head to South Yorkshire for this well-organised event, with plenty of crowd support on the route to help keep you motivated.
Sign up for the Sheffield Half Marathon
Considered the biggest half marathon in Yorkshire, this run brings Leeds to life, drawing huge crowds to help support every runner to reach the finish line. Runners can enter as solo competitors or as part of the corporate challenge, where local businesses compete for annual bragging rights! With the start at Headingley Stadium and finish in Millennium Square, this route enjoys the best that Leeds has to offer.
Sign up for the Leeds Half Marathon
Taking part in the biggest half marathon in the world is an unforgettable experience, whether you're a beginner runner or an experienced athlete. Over 60,000 runners take to the streets of Newcastle and Gateshead for the Great North Run, with thousands more lining the streets to support their run from city centre to the coast! This iconic race raises millions of pounds for charity each year and is at the top of many runners' bucket lists, so don't miss the opportunity to be involved!
Sign up for the Great North Run
Held in the vast wilderness of Kielder Forest, this trail half marathon is part of a full weekend of running and cycling, with the magnificent Kielder Water as its backdrop. Runners will begin along the dam and follow the edge of this enormous man-made lake to the finish line at Kielder Waterside Park, running along hard-packed trails and through pine forest. The route is undulating but is very suitable for beginners.
Sign up for the Kielder Half Marathon
Celebrating everything that makes Manchester unique, this brilliant running event tours the city's most famous landmarks, including both iconic football stadiums, the Imperial War Museum and Albert Square. Crowds are out in full support on race day, cheering you on with an inimitable Mancunian spirit! With thousands of runners, music blaring and crowds cheering, this is a vibrant, electric running event that will live long in the memory.
Sign up for the Great Manchester Run
An off-road race that explores a stunning section of the Lake District, the Lakeland Trails Half Marathon at Coniston combines a beautiful backdrop with some serious trail running. Beginning by the lakeside, the route heads through Coniston before climbing around Holme Fell and across to the picturesque Tarn Hows. From here, runners are treated with a rapid descent back to the lake and the finish line. There are two options available - 'challenge' and 'race' - depending on how fast you want to go!
Sign up for the Lakeland Trails Half Marathon
This popular half marathon attracts 15,000 runners to the North West with the promise of a well-organised route, huge crowds and a flat, fast course - and it delivers every year! Starting by Old Trafford, the Manchester Half Marathon heads into the city centre before moving south towards Sale, returning to the iconic football stadium via Chorlton-cum-Hardy. Charity runners in fancy dress mingle with PB hopefuls on the start line, all gathered together to build one brilliant event.
Sign up for the Manchester Half Marathon
Beginning in the city centre, in the picturesque grounds of Edinburgh University, this fast race heads out to the East Lothian coast and enjoys a flat profile that aids its rapid reputation. After passing historic landmarks in the city, such as Edinburgh Castle and the Royal Mile, runners make their way to the finish line at Musselburgh, close to the world's oldest golf course. It's not just outstanding heritage that draws runners here, though - this race is part of the Edinburgh Marathon Festival, an event of 35,000 runners that fills the city with a vibrant atmosphere!
Sign up for the Edinburgh Half Marathon
Enjoy a celebratory atmosphere in Glasgow on the weekend of the Great Scottish Run, as the city comes together to cheer thousands of runners along its streets! The course visits Glasgow's green spaces, including Bellahouston Park and Pollock Country Park, and runs along the River Clyde to the finish line at Glasgow Green, passing under McLennan Arch. With entertainment zones every kilometre, this is a superb route that will inspire runners to push themselves!
Sign up for the Great Scottish Run
This rapid 13.1-mile race enjoys a point-to-point route that starts just outside Edinburgh and finishes along the final furlong of Scotland's oldest racecourse, with cheering supporters helping to create an amazing grandstand finish. The majority of the course runs along the East Lothian coast, with a gradually declining profile meaning that runners can pick up their pace and gun for a PB.
Sign up for the Scottish Half Marathon
This stunning isle in the Inner Hebridges welcomes runners for a 13.1-mile loop on closed roads through breathtaking landscape and local villages, starting and finishing at Portree. Skye is famous for both its spectacular natural beauty and friendly welcome, both of which are in abundance on race day. There is a virtual version of the race available in 2023 but we'd recommend doing everything you can to get there in person - you won't regret it.
Sign up for the Skye Half Marathon
Not only is this the UK's second largest half marathon, attracting 27,500 runners, Cardiff Half Marathon is also recognised by World Athletics as a member of the prestigious global SuperHalfs series. As the only half marathon in the UK to earn that title, you know that you're signing up for something special! This flat course tours the city's historic landmarks and runs along the Cardiff Bay Barrage, culminating in a brilliant event village with live music on City Hall Lawn.
Sign up for the Cardiff Half Marathon
For a seriously tough 13.1-mile race, head to North Wales for the Snowdonia Half Marathon, which summits the iconic mountain and builds up 1192m of ascent. This off-road race starts and finishes in Llanrwst, which hosted the World Trail Running Championships in 2013. After an ascent up the Snowdon Ranger Path and descent along the Llanberis Path, runners are diverted into the quarries by Dolbadarn Castle for a final, brutal challenge.
Sign up for the Snowdonia Half Marathon
Selling out four years in a row, this hugely popular run begins by the River Lagan and heads around Belfast, exploring the city on closed roads. After visiting highlights like Victoria Park and the Titanic Quarter, runners will return to the start at Ormeau Park. The route has been improved for the 2023 edition and is expected to sell out again, so don't hang around!
Sign up for the Belfast City Half Marathon
At the foot of the Mourne Mountains, Tollymore Forest Park commands exquisite views over the surrounding countryside and includes a great mix of single track and gravel paths. This is the setting for the Tollymore Trail Half Marathon, held alongside a 10K, marathon and ultra marathon, attracting a huge crowd of runners keen to explore this brilliant setting. With some steep climbs and descents, this won't be your fastest half marathon but it could be your favourite!