The Boat Race, an annual four and a quarter mile race between Putney and Mortlake is on this weekend! This excellent rowing race pits Oxford and Cambridge teams against each other in this latest bout of their centuries-old competition. It’s a tradition that dates back nearly 200 years but most importantly it’s a fun day in the spring sun with a few pints and a great show to watch. So come to London and join us for an excellent day on the river.
The Boat Race itself runs between Putney and Mortlake and is over in a flash. The 1998 record is 16 minutes and 19 seconds and even if it doesn’t quite go by that fast it will still be over in a flash. The fun of the day isn’t focussed only on that moment though. An atmosphere of excitement builds up all along the course over the day and is more than enough reason to get out in the sun with a pint in hand; as if a reason is needed forthat.
The Women’s Race
This year’s boat race is actually quite historic. For the first time ever the Newton Women’s Boat Race will take place on the same day and course as the men’s. Founded about a hundred years after the men’s race; the women’s teams have overcome years of abuse and criticism to become an annual fixture and now, at last, to be given the same location and prestige as the men’s race. Not to mention you’ve got an extra bout of racers to cheer on as the day progresses. The Women’s Boat Race starts at 4.50 pm before the Men’s so make sure you get in early to watch them both.
Where to Go
The race is of course the reason we’ll all be making our way down to the Thames this weekend, but where we watch it from is what makes it fun.A pint and a good meal will make the race all the sweeter.Fortunately all along the north and south banks of the Thames are some of London’s best pubs ready and waiting for you come race day. Remember to plan ahead though; the Boat Race is expected to bring nearly 300,000 Londoner’s to the river this weekend and you don’t want to be watching on an empty stomach. Picking out a good pub and starting your day early is an excellent plan; head in for a hearty lunch and then enjoy a few pints or perhaps glasses of bubbly in the sun while you wait for the race to start. It’s a guaranteed good time.
The After Party
Once the race is over the celebrating can commence; expect the pubs along the river to get even busier as the crowds that were on the shore move in. It’s an excellent time if you like a lively atmosphere. If you fancy a quieter evening though, it may be a good idea to move away from the banks of the Thames and head inland. I would recommend seeking out one of the excellent hotels in Marble Arch for a delicious dinner and maybe a rest after a busy day cheering in the sun.