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Last Updated: Saturday, 29 March, 2003, 18:02 GMT
Boat Race pub guide

Click on the map numbers below to find out more

Start - Putney Bridge Fulham Football Ground The Mile Post Hammersmith Bridge Chiswick Eyot and Chiswick Steps Barnes Bridge Chiswick Bridge

Every year the University Boat Race provides some great entertainment for millions of people worldwide, but the best way to really enjoy it is to see it for yourself.

Whether you are a rowing fan or not, joining the hundreds of thousands of spectators along the river for Oxford and Cambridge's annual showdown is a great day out.

The race starts at 1630 BST on Sunday 6 April, but try to get there first thing in the morning if you want to find the best viewing location, especially from a pub.

There will be plenty of food and drink stalls set up along the course from Putney to Mortlake on raceday, but here is a list of some of the pubs in prime position for the big event.

Start - Putney Bridge

Trains: Putney (Waterloo)
Tube: Putney Bridge (District)
Buses: 14, 22, 74

Come out of Putney Bridge Tube station and one of the first pubs you will come across is O'Neills on the north side of the river.

This Irish theme pub is guaranteed to be heaving, but remember the river cannot be seen from here, so it might be worth finding somewhere closer to the action.

From the bridge, you will be able to spot two pubs on the southern bank with a perfect viewpoint - The Star & Garter and The Duke's Head.

Both offer great vantage points to watch the pre-race build-up and get into the party spirit, but expect them to be packed, so it might be wise to arrive at 1100 BST or earlier.

Middle - Surrey Bend

Tube: Turnham Green, Stamford Bridge, Hammersmith, Ravenscourt Park
Buses: 32, 72, 209, 283, 419

Up from Putney Bridge on the north side is The Crabtree Tavern, just past Bishop's Park and Fulham's vacated football ground, which offers a great view of the boats passing the mile post.

However, less adventurous spectators, seeking to catch the action in mid-flow, might want to make the journey down from Hammersmith to a host of drinking holes on the north side of the famous Surrey bend.

The first pubs you will come across after Hammersmith Bridge are The Blue Anchor and The Rutland - where there is a large TV screen outside to help you follow the action.

Further on, The Dove, The Black Lion and The Old Ship all provide good views of the boats coming around the bend and speeding off to Barnes Bridge.

Finish - Chiswick Bridge

Trains: Chiswick, Mortlake
Tube: Kew Gdns (District)
Buses: 109, 209

Just after Chiswick Pier, Pissarro's bar and brasserie offers a good vantage point for watching the boats and spotting the occasional celebrity.

If you like jazz, The Bull's Head may be the venue for you. Located just before Barnes Bridge on the south side, it will undoubtedly be standing room only.

Further along, Ye White Hart offers prime views just as the Boat Race is expected to hot up on the final stretch.

If you are looking for a meal and can snap up the much coveted seats by the riverside window, The Depot (Waterfront Brasserie) is worth a look, but positioned practically in front of the finish line is The Ship - its prime location means it is usually busy by 1130 BST.

Links to more Boat Race 2003 stories


Tony Hawks' alternative guide

Tony Hawks' alternative guide

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