On the Riverbank


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Eating and drinking

There are a variety of pubs, bars and restaurants affording good views of the river all the way from Putney to Mortlake, especially on the Middlesex bank. They range from old fashioned boozers to one of London's finest restaurants. All of them tend to be very popular on Boat Race day so it's worth arriving early in order to get a table and the best views.

  • The Eight Bells

    The Eight Bells

    • 88 Fulham High Street, London SW6 3JS
      0207 736 6307 

  • The Temperance

    The Temperance

    • 90-90a Fulham High Street, SW6 3LF 
      0207 384 3573

    • On the Middlesex Bank close to Putney Bridge and Putney Bridge Tube Station.
    • thetemperancefulham.co.uk/

    A former temperance billiard hall, whose function ironically, was to prevent working men falling under the influence of drink, it is a large Art Nouveau building, still displaying many original features.  Located on the Middlesex Bank at the begiining of Fulham High Street it is an ideal location to dash to after watching the race start from Putney Bridge. There are large screen TV's where the race will be shown.

  • The Larrik Inn

    The Larrik Inn

  • The Coat and Badge

    The Coat and Badge

  • The Half Moon

    The Half Moon

  • Prince of Wales

    Prince of Wales

  • Hare & Hounds

    Hare & Hounds

  • The Sun Inn

    The Sun Inn

  • The Bridge

    The Bridge

  • The Crabtree

    The Crabtree

    • Rainville Road, Fulham W6 9HA
      0207 385 3929

    • 10 minutes walk from Fulham's Craven Cottage ground along the Thames Path.
    • thecrabtreew6.co.uk/

    Ten minutes stroll along the Thames Path from Fulham's Craven Cottage ground, this pub has always been a focal part of the riverside community. During World War II a night raid left the bar without windows and beer, but the regulars returned the next day to sup lemonade. This part of the Championship Course is known as Crabtree Reach and the Cambridge old boys rowing club is also known as Crabtree.

  • River Cafe

    River Cafe

    • Thames Wharf, Rainville Road W6 9HA
      0207 386 4200

    • 10 minutes walk from Hammersmith Bridge and one of London's best restaurant.
    • rivercafe.co.uk

    Located 10 minutes walk from Hammersmith Bridge, along the Thames Path, The River Cafe is one of London's best restaurants. Based in an old warehouse remodelled by architect Richard Rogers and with a Michelin star to its credit the menu is of robust Italian influenced food. There is a view over the river from the dining room but you will need to drop the knives and forks and rush out onto the riverside pathway for the best view as the crews pass. Advance bookings Essential.

  • Riverside Restaurant and Bar

    Riverside Restaurant and Bar

    • Riverside Studios, Crisp Rd W6 9RL
      0208 237 1009

    • Close to Hammersmith Bridge, spectators on the river terrace often see a crucial part of the race.
    • riversidestudios.co.uk/

    Situated on the riverbank overlooking Hammersmith Bridge, Riverside Studios is a unique arts and media centre. The bar's river terrace is in a prime location along the Boat Race course. There will be a BBQ from 11am on Boat Race day and there will be a plasma TV screen in the main bar for the last few strokes. Tables are on a first come first serve basis.

  • Old City Arms

    Old City Arms

    • 107 Hammersmith Bridge Road, Hammersmith W6 9DA
      0208 748 2359

    • Located on the approach to Hammersmith Bridge on the Middlesex bank

    The closest pub to Hammersmith Bridge ideally located to see the second half of the race from one of the pub's many plasma screens, having watched the crews pass below from the bridge itself.

  • The Blue Anchor

    The Blue Anchor

    • 13 Lower Mall, Hammersmith W6 9DJ
      0208 748 5774

    • Very popular Boat Race pub, just 10 minutes walk from Hammersmith Tube Station
    • blueanchorlondon.com/

    10 minutes walk from Hammersmith Tube Station, the pub dates from 1722. Very popular during The Boat Race so arrive early to ensure the best views. The upstairs function room is booked by Boat Race regulars every year and the bars downstairs are packed. The composer Gustav Holst lived at Barnes Terrace in the early 1900s and composed his "Hammersmith Suite" in this pub.

  • The Rutland Arms

    The Rutland Arms

    • 15 Lower Mall, Hammersmith W6 9DJ
      0208 748 5586

    • 10 minutes walk from Hammersmith Tube Station, very popular on race day.
    • taylor-walker.co.uk/

    One of the cluster of pubs on the Middlesex bank that provide sustenance on race day. Two doors away from the Blue Anchor it offers plenty of burgers and chips to keep hunger at bay with plans for extra TV's to be installed. A good venue to watch the crews head for Chiswick Eyot and Barnes Bridge.

  • The Dove

    The Dove

    • 19 Upper Mall, Hammersmith W6 9TA
      0208 748 9474

    • Located in an alley close to Furnivall Gardens; small but very popular with an outside balcony.

    Probably the oldest pub on this stretch of the river, having been serving customers since the 17th Century. The Dove can be found in an alley close to Furnivall Gardens. It has numerous bars, including the official smallest bar in England plus a small outside balcony from where the race can be seen between Hammersmith and Chiswick Eyot. Be warned it is very popular.

  • The Old Ship

    The Old Ship

    • 25 Upper Mall, Hammersmith W6 9TD 
      0208 748 2593

    • 20 minutes walk from Hammersmith or Ravenscourt Park; large terrace and great views.
    • oldshipw6.com/

    Big pub with a beer garden facing the river, it has great views of the river and room for large numbers of people. It is of course very busy on Boat Race day, but if you are there early enough you may get a seat and some of the excellent food.

  • The Black Lion

    The Black Lion

    • 2 South Black Lion Lane, Hammersmith W6 9TJ
      0208 748 2639

    • Situated in a quiet road just behind the Thames Path; beer garden & BBQ 
    • theblacklion-hammersmith.co.uk/

    Situated in a quiet road just behind the Thames Path, The Black Lion boasts a large beer garden and offers a barbecue on Boat Race day. Good views can be had from the embankment at this crucial part of the race as the crews race towards Chiswick Eyot.

  • Thai Square

    Thai Square

    • 1 Embankment, Putney SW15 1LB
      0208 780 1811

    • 10 Minutes from Putney Bridge station on the Surrey bank overlooking the start.
    • thaisquare.net/

    Purpose built as a restaurant in the early 1990's this modern restaurant, built to resemble an ocean liner, is now a branch of the Thai Square chain. The bar upstairs provides great views of the Boat Race start. A good place for a spicy lunch  or exotic cocktails prior to the race. Advance bookings essential.

  • The Star and Garter

    The Star and Garter

    • 4 Lower Richmond Road, SW15 1JN
      0208 788 0345

    • Ideally situated to watch the start on the Putney Embankment.
    • thestarandgarter.com/

    A perfect setting on the Surrey bank to watch the pre-race build-up and then the "off". It’s just past the University Stone marking the start; easily obscured by the crowds on race day but a precious item of Boat Race history. The Ballroom on the first floor offers a grandstand setting overlooking the pre race mêlée and the starting line.The 'Star' often sells tickets for entry on Boat Race day so its worth checking in advance. 

  • The Dukes Head

    The Dukes Head

    • 8 Lower Richmond Road SW15 1JN
      0208 788 2552

    • One of the busiest of Putney's pubs on race day. Offers an excellent view of the start.
    • dukesheadputney.co.uk

    One of the most popular pub's on this stretch. The "Duke's" has both a cellar bar, main bar and restaurant with picture windows overlooking the race start. Extensively refurbished in recent years it still has the feel of a traditional town pub, but on Boat Race day it may well be the busiest bar in Putney.

  • Ye White Hart

    Ye White Hart

    • The Terrace, Barnes SW13 0NR
      0208 876 5177

    • 5 Minutes walk from Barnes Bridge station; busy with good views of the last few minutes of the race.
    • whitehartbarnes.com

    Whether it’s building up to a tight finish or one crew is turning on the style, then the patrons of the "Hart" will have a prime view from the riverside terrace on the Surrey bank. The Hart was rebuilt in 1899 and has been a hostelry since 1676. Expect it to be busy!

  • The Bull's Head

    The Bull's Head

    • 373 Lonsdale Road, Barnes SW13 9PY
      0208 876 5241

    • 5 minutes walk from Barnes Bridge station, offers good food, music and large TV's.
    • thebullshead.com

    First recorded in 1684 and rebuilt in 1845, The Bulls Head has since 1959 enjoyed an enviable reputation as one of London's finest jazz venues. The Young's pub also has a Thai restaurant in the old stables. You'll have to nip over the Lonsdale Rd to see the crews pass but the race will be on the bar TV's on one of the pub's biggest days of the year.

  • Strada


    • 375 Lonsdale Road, Barnes SW13 9PY
      0208 392 9216 

    • Next to The Bulls Head, part of the Italian restaurant chain.
    • strada.co.uk

    Enjoying stunning views over the Thames from the terrace, the restaurant is split over two floors with a contemporary design. STRADA serves authentic Italian food. Booking essential on Boat Race day.

  • The Depot Waterfront Brasserie

    The Depot Waterfront Brasserie

    • Tideway Yard, Mortlake High Street SW14 8SN
      0208 878 9462

    • Mortlake restaurant overlooking the river. Booking essential.
    • depotbrasserie.co.uk/

    A restaurant rather than pub, so bookings well in advance are needed with a capacity of around 120. Seats by the riverside window are much coveted with the finishing post in sight on the far Middlesex bank. If you haven’t booked for this year, take the longterm view and reserve lunch or dinner for the following year, seats are at a premium on Race day. Past crews have often held their reunions here.

  • The Ship

    The Ship

    • 10, Thames Bank, Ship Lane, Mortlake SW14 7QR
      0208 876 1439

    • 5 minutes from Mortlake station; close to the finish and the last few strokes of the race.

    Ideal for watching the last few strokes of the race, located as it is just before the University Stone that signifies the finish of the race. The Ship is next to the Mortlake Brewery and popular with the workers there. The last pub on the Boat Race course expect it to be crammed with supporters celebrating or drowning their sorrows.


station name line name Walking time
to river bank
More info
Barons Court Station  District 14 mins View
Barons Court Station  Piccadilly 14 mins View
Barnes Bridge Station  South West Trains 1 min View
Hammersmith Station  District 11 mins View
Hammersmith Station  Piccadilly 11 mins View
Hammersmith Station  Hammersmith & City 12 mins View
Mortlake Rail Station  South West Trains 6 mins View
Putney Bridge  District 4 mins View
Putney Rail Station  South West Trains 9 mins View
Ravenscourt Park Station  District 9 mins View
Stamford Brook‎ Station  District 10 mins View
Turnham Green Station  Piccadilly 18 mins View
Turnham Green Station  District 18 mins View

Places to watch the race

At 4 miles 374 yards The Boat Race offers numerous free spectating opportunities. Bishops Park near Putney Bridge and Furnivall Gardens near Hammersmith have big screens, refreshments and entertainment while the locations identified on the map are amongst the best to get a good view of the crews as they pass.

  • Putney Bridge

    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

    Craven Cottage

    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

    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

    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

    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

    Hammersmith Bridge

    10 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

    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

    Chiswick Pier

    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. Read More. 

  • The Emanuel School Boathouse

    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

    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.