Watching the Bumps

Spectators are encouraged to come down and lend their support to crews from their college. You may find the map of the River Cam useful.

How to get there

The Bumps course is downstream of the start of the towpath along the northern side of the river at Chesterton - older alumni may remember the former pub (Pike and Eel) there, but it has been demolished and replaced by houses. The Plough pub, in the village of Fen Ditton on the other bank, is also a popular vantage point, as many bumps occur around Grassy Corner and Ditton Corner - please note that you may not bring your own picnic to the pub garden. At the Plough pub, a river crossing service is available for spectators and race officials and participants between The Plough and the towpath. This service is run by Camboats with profits going to two charities - the East Anglia Children's Hospice (EACH) and the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI).

Lent Bumps:

Additional parking is available for spectators on a first come first serve basis at The Plough Pub. Please note that the Fen Ditton Recreation Ground is not available for parking during Lent Bumps.

May Bumps:

Notice from the Clerk to Fen Ditton Recreation Ground Trust - Charity no. 288528 for May Bumps: 

As in past years, we welcome spectators to Fen Ditton and will open the Recreation Ground on Church Street for parking (CB5 8SX for SatNavs). The Ground will be open from 12.30pm to 9pm on Wednesday, Thurday and Friday and from 10am to 8pm on Saturday.

Parking is organised by volunteers and staff from The Plough and a contribution of £5 per car is requested which goes towards a fund for facilities on the Recreation Ground. Keeping parked cars off our narrow roads helps health and safety and the enjoyment of residents and visitors. Please note that parking will not be allowed in High Street, Church Street, Stanbury Close or Green End due to the need for emergency access.

Parking on Osier Holt and Ditton Meadows is by invitation only.

Visitors arranging a taxi pick up in the hour after the last race on Saturday are encouraged to arrange collection at the War Memorial by the Church on the High Street (CB5 8ST). This will avoid being delayed in Church Street and Green End.

It is hoped that you have an enjoyable visit to Fen Ditton to watch the Bumps. Your contribution and consideration are greatly appreciated.

The Control Desk is located at the start of the towpath - simply find your way to this point, and carry on walking down the towpath (the entire course is approximately 2.6km):


Spectators are reminded that the towpath during Bumps is very busy, and for safety reasons, cycling with the races is prohibited with the exception of Umpires and designated bank parties. You should contact your boat club captains if you would like to be a designated bank party. Designated bank parties are limited to four cyclists per crew, and runners are not permitted.


Note that use of megaphones by bank parties is strictly forbidden during racing for coaching or giving distances, but boatmen and coaches may use them to give instructions to crews facing potentially dangerous situations.

Handheld Recording Devices

The use of handheld recording devices (e.g. mobile phone or GoPro or similar) by designated bank parties who are cycling with the races is strictly forbidden for safety reasons. Mounted recording devices which allow both hands to remain on the handlebars and which do not distract the cyclist from the towpath ahead of them are permitted.

Bumps Programmes

Bumps Programmes are back! Programmes will be on sale from the Control Desk for £5 (cash or card). Alongside previous years' results, crew lists, and photos of blading crews (Copyright JET Photographic) from last May Bumps, there will be reports from CUBC on the Boat Races and information on the Michell and Pegasus Cups.

Cam FM - 97.2

Cam FM provide live commentary for the Bumps on 97.2 FM and online, and have a frequently updated Bumps mini-site. They are also providing podcasts of the race commentaries, available for download in MP3 format.

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