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Best Barnes Boozers for Boat Race Day

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by Sue Lancaster (subscribe)
I live and work in west London and enjoy writing as a hobby. Visit my blog at
On Sunday April 6th 2014, the 160th Boat Race between the universities of Oxford and Cambridge will take place on London's River Thames. Hundreds of spectators will line the banks of the river between Putney and Mortlake to watch the rowers race past.

View along the river from Barnes
View along the river from Barnes

Barnes, in South-West London, is an ideal part of the route to enjoy the race from, with a long stretch of unobstructed riverfront. It also has several good pubs to retreat to. Here are five of the best:

1. The Sun Inn

The Sun Inn, Barnes
The Sun Inn

In the heart of Barnes, opposite the picturesque duck pond, the Sun Inn is a lovely friendly village pub. It is a stone's throw from the river, just along the High Street, so it is really easy to walk to once the race is over. It's a popular choice for locals and visitors alike.

Phone: 020 8876 5256
Address: 7 Church Road, Barnes, London, SW13 9HE

2. The Bulls Head

The Bulls Head, Barnes
The Bulls Head

Fresh from a major refurb, this pub is slap-bang on the river front and therefore in an ideal spot for soaking up the atmosphere of the annual boat race. It will inevitably get busy, so get there early if you want to bag a table, or expect to stand.

Phone: 020 3437 0134
Address: 373 Lonsdale Road, Barnes, London SW13 9PY

3. The White Hart

The White Hart, Barnes
The White Hart

Also fresh from a major refurb, and also slap-bang on the river front, The White Hart is another great contender if you want to be in the thick of the event. There is a terrace with fantastic river views, but again it's highly likely to be bustling.

Phone: 020 8876 5177
Address: The Terrace, Riverside Barnes, London SW13 0NR

4. The Idle Hour

The Idle Hour, Barnes
The Idle Hour

A little further from the river, and tucked down a secluded alley-way, The Idle Hour is a real hidden gem in the middle of Barnes. You have to know it's there, unless you're prone to strolling off the beaten track, so it's unlikely to be as full of passers-by as some of the more prominently placed pubs (maybe).

Phone: 020 8878 5555
Address: 62 Railway Side‎, Barnes, London SW13 0PQ

5. The Tree House

The Tree House, Barnes
The Tree House

The Tree House is a little more 'gastro' than the previous four choices, but it is a great pub none-the-less and serves tasty food. Located on trendy White Hart Lane in Barnes, it is only a couple of minutes walk from the river and has a lovely outdoor area (April showers permitting).

Phone: 020 8392 1617
Address: 73 White Hart Lane, Barnes, London SW13 0PW

Barnes is served by two overland train stations, several bus routes and is easily accessible by car too. The Boat Race starts at 6pm on 6th April - for more information visit the official website.
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Why? To enjoy the Oxford v Cambridge boat race
When: April 6th
Where: Barnes, South-West London
Cost: Prices vary
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