The Gemini Boat Race is one of the best free days out in London, enjoyed by generations who have turned out onto the riverbanks to cheer the Oxford and Cambridge students on while they try to write their names into the history books.
It’s always a great day by the river, read more below to find out how to bag the best spot.
(Watching on TV? The Broadcast Information page has you covered 📺🌍)
Putney Embankment in its entirety from 10:00 until 19:00 – closed to vehicles
Thames Bank in its entirety from 10:00 until 20:00 – closed to vehicles
Hammersmith Bridge will close at 11:00 and reopen at 18:00
Barnes Bridge will close at 14:30 and reopen at 18:00
Putney is the location of the start of The Boat Race with the crews based in Boathouses along Putney Embankment in the lead up to the event. On Boat Race Day, Putney Embankment and surrounding roads will be closed to traffic. In the morning, you can also watch ‘The Coin Toss’ . This is when the Presidents of Oxford and Cambridge toss a coin to decide which side of the river, known as a ‘station’, the crews will start on. The winner of the toss gets to choose from the Surrey Station which is the south bank or the Middlesex Station which is the north bank. The crews launch their boats from the boathouses along Putney Embankment, they will warm up in the direction towards the centre of London before rowing back to start in line with the University Stone, which is located along Putney Embankment. There are good vantage points along the tow paths on either side of the river in Putney to watch the race from as well as plenty of shops, cafes and bars to visit.what three words View on Google Maps
Hammersmith is home to eclectic productions at the Lyric Theatre and rock shows at the Apollo Concert Hall. Busy shops and cafes line King Street and fill the Kings Mall, while trendy gastropubs contrast with historic drinking dens like the Dove. It is also a great vantage point to watch The Boat Race from. Leafy walking trails wind along the River Thames, which is spanned by the landmark Hammersmith Bridge.what three words View on Google Maps
Barnes is a ‘London Village’ on the south side of the river. There are excellent local restaurants and boutiques, as well as a local grocers, delis, a bookshop and some fine pubs. By the time The Boat Race crews reach Barnes bridge, the race is usually in its final, tense minutes. As a general rule, there are three minutes left to race after the bridge. Barnes is not on the London Underground network but it is served by two National Rail stations, both of which are in London’s Travelcard Zone 3, and give fans easy access to the river: Barnes railway station Barnes Bridge railway stationwhat three words View on Google Maps
Mortlake marks the finish of The Boat Race and will be a welcome sight for the crews on 26 March 2023. The finish is just below Chiswick Bridge, in line with the University Boat Race finish posts. Access to the river is possible on both sides as there are paths running along the river, but remember to bring your wellies or waterproof boots as it can be very wet! Be mindful of the wash from the flotilla and the changing tide. The crews will row under Chiswick Bridge and will come to land on the Middlesex side or north side of the river. The finish area at Mortlake Anglian & Alpha Boat Club and Quintin Boat Club is closed to the public and only accessible with event accreditation. There is a railway station in Mortlake, which is within easy walking distance of the River Thames. Please note that Thames Bank is closed to vehicles.what three words View on Google Maps