Where to watch the Boat Race

Beat the crowds and find the best spot by the Thames to watch the Boat Race 2018
The Boat Race
© Richard Heathcote
By Time Out editors |
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The organisers claim that up to 300,000 spectators in London will line the four-and-a-quarter-mile Oxford v Cambridge Boat Race course from Putney to Mortlake on the afternoon of Saturday March 24 2018, with The Cancer Research UK Women’s Boat Race and The Cancer Research UK Boat Race. So where will you be? We’ve put together a list of prime location pubs along the route, in Putney, Fulham, Hammersmith, Barnes and Chiswick, all perfect for a pint while you spectate.

RECOMMENDED: Everything you need to know about the Boat Race

Boat Race pubs north of the river

Bars and pubs, Gastropubs

Crabtree

icon-location-pin Fulham

AT THE START

The Victorian gastropub will have street food pop-ups in its large garden serving everything from burgers to paella. There will be three live bands playing over the course of the day and 10 large screens upon which to view all the river-based action.

Bars and pubs, Pubs

The Blue Boat

icon-location-pin Hammersmith

MIDWAY POINT

A Hammersmith pub from Fuller’s, set right on the riverbank, The Blue Boat will have a reduced menu for race day but promises to lay on the usual roast dinners as well as a barbecue (weather permitting).

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Bars and pubs

Blue Anchor

icon-location-pin Hammersmith

MIDWAY POINT

The ever-popular Blue Anchor pub will be hosting an outside bar and barbecue for those wanting a riverside view, while indoor screens will be showing all the action in case the rain arrives.

Bars and pubs

Rutland Arms

icon-location-pin Hammersmith

MIDWAY POINT

Like its neighbour Blue Anchor, the roomier Rutland Arms is well-placed and always very busy. Expect to find a barbecue outdoors, live music and a good view of the race, crowds permitting.

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The Dove.jpg
© Rob Greig
Bars and pubs, Pubs

Dove

icon-location-pin Ravenscourt Park

MIDWAY POINT

One of the most historic pubs on this list, it’s likely the first boat race in 1829 was watched from here. The pub is now run by the Fuller’s brewery and we can guarantee it will be standing room only.

Bars and pubs, Pubs

Old Ship

icon-location-pin Ravenscourt Park

MIDWAY POINT

Pair fantastic riverside views of all the action with a spread of food and booze that is quintessentially British. Sporting tipples and scran at The Old Ship include Pimm’s, gin, sausage rolls and strawberries and cream.

Boat Race pubs south of the river

Bars and pubs, Gastropubs

The Boathouse

icon-location-pin East Putney

AT THE START

You can kick off the race here and stay long after it's over. The Boathouse has a sizeable terrace overlooking Putney Bridge, where they'll have a pop-up bar with a hot dog and pulled pork stand. Then once the race is over and a winner is crowned, this Putney pub will be celebrating with live music.

Bars and pubs, Gastropubs

Star & Garter

icon-location-pin Putney

AT THE START

With the starting line outside its front door, the Star & Garter always goes big for the Boat Race. Along with TVs and projectors screening the race, live bands and DJs will play across three floors from 1pm until the small hours of the evening. Entry is free throughout the day.

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Bars and pubs

Duke's Head

icon-location-pin Putney

AT THE START

As always, The Duke’s Head is going to town with Boat Race festivities. There will be DJs from noon and screenings across the pub’s four spaces. But it’s the Coxswain dining room that’s the hotly contested spot for views of the rowers as they commence battle.

Music, Music venues

Bull's Head

icon-location-pin Barnes

OVER HALF WAY

A very short stroll from the river (and with excellent views), this renowned jazz pub will have live music after the race. During the main event, grab grub from the pub's barbecue and take it with your pints down to the riverside. If the weather is patchy, retreat to screens back inside.

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Bars and pubs

Ye White Hart

icon-location-pin Barnes

OVER HALF WAY

Capacious and perfectly located, Ye White Hart pub also gets the Boat Race thumbs up for its private balcony view. This year, the pub will be putting on a barbecue and DJs will kick off the post-race entertainment. 

Ship

icon-location-pin Mortlake

AT THE FINISH

This pub has a view of the finish line and has had a fresh lick of paint in preparation for the big day. Expect the Pimm's to be flowing among the crowds that populate the Ship each year.

Read more about the Boat Race

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