Our Special Guide to Boat Race Day

Crowds have gathered on the Thames 162 times to watch the Oxford v Cambridge Boat Race duel. For this year’s race – on Sunday the 2nd of April – more than 250,000 people are expected to turn out between Chiswick and Putney bridges. It’s a superb chance to enjoy an afternoon out by the river. So we’ve highlighted all the best pubs – as well as three mega party zones – to see the action over the four mile course. But if you plan to watch from home you’ll also be in good company. More than seven million UK viewers will tune in to BBC One for the build-up, presented by Chiswick resident Clare Balding.

Another local celebrity – superfit newsreader Sophie Raworth, who already has four London marathons under her belt – is captaining one of the boats in the celebrity rowing duel on Boat Race day.
Sophie, who attended rowing-mad St Paul’s Girls’ School in Brook Green, competes in an extra race on the big day. She has been setting the alarm early to get in extra practice between her news-reading shifts at the BBC, using Fulham Reach Boat Club at Distillery Wharf, Fulham. Coaching her, and fellow crew members including Rebecca Adlington, Vernon Kay and Strictly Come Dancing winner Ore Oduba, has been double Olympic gold-winning hero James Cracknell.
The celebrity race sees Sophie’s team compete against the likes of TV historian Dan Snow and McFly drummer Harry Judd.
Last year, the Boat Race title was given to Cancer Research UK, and this year’s inaugural celebrity boat race builds on that. For Sophie – a Chelsea fan courtesy of her Blues-supporting husband Richard – it’s also a chance to help encourage more people to take up rowing.

Wherever you prefer to watch the race – in Chiswick, Hammersmith of Fulham – there are pubs and party zones for everyone’s taste, check out our map!