Where We Row

City Barge organizes outings from the Longbridges Boathouse, in nearby communites, and abroad—most particularly, Venezia.

From our base at Longbridges Boathouse, we organise outings on the Thames, the River Cherwell, and the Oxford Canal; venturing to other waterways for a variety of trips, excursions and events.

We also travel to a variety of NATIONAL and INTERNATIONAL rowing events, such as in Venice, the birthplace of this unique rowing style.

There we train and row with local Venetian rowing organisations such as the Associazione Settemari and Row Venice, as we continue to develop our style, technique, and of course, stamina.

As a member of CIty Barge, you will be invited to download and join the Spond app. There you can view all activities we have planned, and accept to join in. We try to accommodate as many rowers as would like to participate, adding extra boats whenever possible.

In and Around Oxford

Saturday Row

On Saturdays, we meet at Longbridges Boathouse and then either row upstream to Port Meadow and Godstow, or downstream to Sandford Lock. Alternatively, we row up the River Cherwell and under Magdalen Bridge—when there are not too many punts! This is always a good row, especially as it varies depending on the university eights competitions, weather and river flow.

May Morning

An annual spring event, we meet at the club before dawn on May Day and row to Magdalen Bridge to listen to the Magdalen College Choir from our boats moored on the Cherwell.

At 6am the choir sings the ‘Hymnus Eucharisticus’ from the top of Magdalen Tower, a tradition stretching back over 500 years. The choir also sings a madrigal, ‘Now Is the Month of Maying’, following prayers for the city led by the Chaplin of Divinity of Magdalen College. Large crowds of both students and residents gather under the tower, and in all sorts of boats under the bridge.

We then row back to the boathouse for breakfast of scrambled eggs, homemade toast, marmalade, coffee, and of course, a glass of Prosecco.

Thursday Evening Row

This is a relaxed, after-work row. We row for about 90 minutes, stopping halfway for a shared picnic. It’s a good opportunity for everyone to practise their skills and try rowing a poppa, i.e., steering the boat.

Club Day

In April each year we celebrate Venetian Rowing in Oxford. We row together with the whole fleet in the morning, flags billowing and everyone dressed in their finest City Barge kit. We enjoy a splendid lunch and then race in the afternoon. Prizes are awarded to the winners!

International Venetian Regata

Venetian rowers from around the world are invited to Oxford for the three-day Regatta.

This consists of long rows, visits to local pubs, racing in pairs in front of the boat house and an obstacle course race around the Longbridges island, minding the fallen trees and geese! We celebrate with a meal all together on the Saturday with prize giving.

Beyond Oxford


We have close connections with Venetian rowing and traditional boat organizations.

Our most popular trip of the year is to the Vogalonga, a 32-kilometer rally around the Venetian lagoon and through Venice. We arrange to row the boats of associated rowing clubs that include Settemari, Querini, and Giudecca.

We also travel for a training week in March, and longer lagoon excursions in October arranged by the Settemari association.

There is also group of women rowing tutors at Row Venice, who are great instructors of Venetian rowing.



Henley is the geographical centre of our member’s home locations. It is also a central focus of rowing in the UK. Several of our members are members of Leander Club in Henley, and this is where our committee meets to discuss the organisation of our club and the programme of events in hand.


The shallop goes to events in London each year such as the Tudor pull on the tidal Thames, Countryside Live on the River Lee, and the Lord Mayors Flotilla on the tidal Thames. Sometimes we enter the Great River Race which runs from Millwall, on the Isle of Dogs, to Ham near Richmond. The tidal Thames can be rough and the shallop, “Royal Thamesis”, is well suited to this environment.

Other Locations

Club rowing outings in the past have included: the river Seine in Paris, the River Duoro in Portugal, The River Lot in southern France, the river Charente in southern France, the river Meuse in northern France, the River Erdre in western France, Lake Windermere in the Lake District, the Kennet and Avon Canal, the Rivers Avon and Severn in central England, The River Nene in Northamptonshire, the Grand Union Canal and Little Venice, the River Cam in Cambridge, and the Norfolk Broads.