Two of London’s historic university towns – Oxford and Cambridge – will take the River Thames in the annual Boat Race on Sunday, April 6th, 2014. Why would two towns not located on the Thames bring this rivalry to London? Very good question, dear London Perfect reader. The first boat race between Oxford and Cambridge took place in 1829 near Henley-on-Thames. Creeping closer and closer to London, the race eventually moved from Westminster to Putney and then to the Tideway in 1839.
The Boat Race began amid schoolfriend rivalries between the two great universities. And everyone loves a good rivalry, no? Well, apparently so because the Boat Race now draws in about 250,00 spectators who line the banks of the Thames to catch a glimpse of the race along its four-and-a-quarter mile course from Putney Bridge to Mortlake.
But the fun isn’t just seeing the race, which is over in about 16 to 18 minutes. Go to the Boat Race for the festive setting, walking along the Thames and perhaps stopping in a local pub for lunch. Looking for the perfect spot? Check out TimeOut’s great list of Where to Watch the 2014 Boat Race in London. So get out there tomorrow and root for your favourite team. I’ll be cheering on the underdogs Oxford, who have won only 77 times to Cambridge’s 81 victories over the years. Go Oxford!
(Image Credits: Ale, Oxford-Cambridge Boat Race 1870, Chris Brown)