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Boat Race: Where to Watch (… and Booze)

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The Boat Race has been a quintessential British occasion since 1829. What can be more pleasurable that lounging under the Spring sunshine (if the weather permits) and emerging foliage than with a chilled pint of lager or Pimm’s. Watching well-hung crews bust guts and sinew on the River Thames and not have to lift as much as a finger. Oh, and the people-watching, sashaying up and down the river from Putney to Chiswick or lying prostrate on the lush grass watching the clouds float by. Of course, there is the important commerce for the pubs along the race route. Cheers to another Boat Race jolly.

EATING & DRINKING MAP

PUTNEY BRIDGE

A few minutes’ walk from the tube station, Putney Bridge offers great views of the two crews off the start and as far as the Fulham bend. Spectators can then walk to Bishops Park and catch the remainder of the race on the Big Screen.

CRAVEN COTTAGE

Oxford beat Cambridge by four and a half lengths in the 100th University Boat Race. Oxford covered the four-and-a-quater mile course in 20 minutes 23 seconds.

Crowds watch in 1954 as Oxford beat Cambridge by four and a half lengths in the 100th University Boat Race

Craven Cottage will provide fantastic views of the race from the Riverside Terrace, with food and drink available throughout the day. We will be screening Sunderland v Tottenham live from the Riverside Bar from 12.30pm. Read more: http://www.fulhamfc.com/

PUTNEY EMBANKMENT

The busy embankment in front of the boathouses in Putney is a good place to see the first part of the race, especially if you can get into one of the rowing clubs (who often sell tickets on the door). But there are places to watch even if sometimes obscured by bushes all the way to Hammersmith Bridge.

BARN ELMS BOAT HOUSE

A 10 minute walk towards Hammersmith along the Putney embankment, Barn Elms boathouse has a wide concrete landing stage from where you can see the crews as they race off towards the Mile Post. Be warned though your feet could get wet. Ten minutes further along, the bank in front of Harrods Depository is also a good spot.

THAMES REACH

10-15 minutes’ walk from Hammersmith tube station, the embankment between Hammersmith Bridge & the Crabtree pub has a footpath offering good views of the river. In the right spot you should be able to see the race for a good few minutes before the crews shoot Hammersmith Bridge.

HAMMERSMITH BRIDGE

Spectators watch as the Dark Blues of Oxford University compete against the Light Blues of Cambridge University in the 152nd Boat Race from Hammersmith Bridge in west London, Sunday April 2, 2006. The teams, led by Oxford's Seb Pearce and Cambridge's Peter Rudge, were fighting it out in what was predicted by many to be a close finish. The annual race began at Putney Bridge and climaxes at Chiswick Bridge. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Photo credit should read : Johnny Green/PA.

Spectators watch as the Dark Blues of Oxford University compete against the Light Blues of Cambridge University in the 152nd Boat Race from Hammersmith Bridge in west London, Sunday April 2, 2006

Ten minutes’ walk from Hammersmith Tube Station, the Bridge has always attracted thousands of Boat Race spectators; often the tussle for the lead is fierce as the crews pass below. The Bridge provides good views as the crews come in to view from around the Surrey Bend or as they race into the distance towards Chiswick Eyot and Barnes.

ST. PAUL’S SCHOOL BOATHOUSE

Located close to Hammersmith Bridge on the Surrey bank and accessible from the towpath, the space in front of the boathouse provides a good view of the crews battling at close quarters as they race off towards Chiswick Eyot. Another place to be careful your feet dont get wet.

CHISWICK PIER

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A Boat Race fan at Furnival Gardens near Hammersmith Bridge

There are good viewing points on the Middlesex bank all the way from The Dove to Dukes Meadow, Chiswick Pier is one of the best. One of the crews often puts in a decisive push at this stage. Run by the Chiswick Pier Trust, The Pier House opens at 12.00 noon for pre-race refreshments and entertainment.

THE EMANUEL SCHOOL BOATHOUSE

Located close to Barnes Bridge on the Middlesex bank, The Emanuel School Boathouse offers spectacular views of the final stages of the Race. There will be a BBQ and Bar from 12.30.

DUKES MEADOW

A large park and recreation ground adjacent to the river between Chiswick Bridge and Barnes Bridge on the Middlesex bank, Dukes Meadow provides views of the final stage of the race.

(Source: theboatraces.org)

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