Jude the Obscure
Firstly, it has a great name. Though the hopes of Thomas Hardy’s protagonist always seemed cruelly out of reach, that’s not the case at this pub: enough TV screens so you can always see the action; reasonably priced drinks and food; enough seats so you don’t have to stand up for hours; and always a smattering of people enjoying the sport with you. You can even hear the commentary at times, which not all pubs have, which is therefore a big plus. One negative, however, is that the largest screen is a projector, which means the brightness isn’t too crisp, and you may struggle to see at times, but it’s not too bad. A nice place to spend a few hours.
Wig and Pen
Decent name. For big sporting occasions, there’s always a lively atmosphere as the pub is always heaving with lots of people enjoying a drink and a good night of sport. The queue at the bar, however, is often substantial. But the best thing about this pub is that, with lots of screens dotted around the space, you’ll always be able to find a spot to see the game – even whilst you’re waiting in line. It’s not too expensive either, but finding a seat can be tricky. Safe bet.
Friendly staff make this pub a nice place to catch the game. The TVs seem to be on sports channels all day which means your sporting needs are nearly always covered. In the day, it’s often a very relaxed atmosphere. At night, less so. t has surprisingly nice food and the acceptable prices mean it’s easy to be distracted from your team’s abysmal performance. When big games are on, getting into the pub itself can be tricky, as it can be overcrowded. And it still feels weird having to show your ID to bouncers to get into a pub (if only in the evening).
University of Oxford Sport’s Club
A bit out of the centre of town, but is worth walking to for a change of scenery. Has a few TVs and is very spacious, so you can always see the screens, but even with just a few people in it becomes very loud very quickly. With some offices near the bar, I feel a bit sorry for anyone trying to work whilst the rowdiness rumbles on downstairs.
St. Aldates Tavern
A cosy pub which does nice food, it’s a great place to watch the sport in a homely atmosphere. It can get very busy, especially so considering its size, and they only have Sky Sports, so BT Sports’ coverage goes wanting, but you certainly don’t feel cheated spending an afternoon here.
Image Credit: Tomás Del Coro