01865 721600


The Head of the River at Folly Bridge sits on what was once known as St Aldate’s Yard, which was made up of a dwelling house, warehouses, stables and sheds. The main warehouse was built in 1827, and over a century later was converted into a pub, with the adjacent wharf serving as its courtyard garden. A winch that was once used to lift material on and off the boats can still be seen today.

The pub got its name thanks to a competition which ran in the local Oxford Mail. The finishing line of the four-day Oxford University rowing regatta is just to the east of the pub, and the name The Head of the River refers to the boat that comes first in the race at the end of each day. There were 2,700 entries in the naming contest and the winner, Lewis Fisher, won a gallon of whisky.

Today, The Head of The River serves as a great place to eat, drink and stay in Oxford, offering unparalleled views of the River Isis – the name by which this stretch of the Thames goes by.

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By Car

For diners and drinkers, there is easy parking at Redbridge park and ride (OX1 4XG). and the Westgate shopping centre

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By Bus

The number 300 bus takes you to and from Redbridge park and ride.

By Train

Travelling by train? Oxford train station is just under a mile away.

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The Head of the River
Folly Bridge
St. Aldates
01865 721600
General Enquiry
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Local Attractions

The Head of The River is just a short stroll away from Oxford’s city centre attractions, including the architectural gems of Christ Church College, The Bodleian Library and The Ashmolean. While on a sunny summer’s day, you may even be able to stir yourself from our beautiful suntrap of a garden to go punting on the River Isis.

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