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Good Beer Guide
Heritage Pub

Champion of the Thames, Cambridge

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This small, two-room city-centre pub has a truly friendly atmosphere. It's one of the four remaining pubs on the infamous King Street Run pub crawl, which involved a pint in each of the eight pubs with no lavatory stop. The oarsman after whom the pub is named is commemorated in the fine etched windows. Both bars are wood-panelled with Victorian counters, fixed benches and a part-glazed partition between the rooms. It is on the National Inventory as having a historic pub interior of regional importance. The humour and chatter of customers predominates. You know you're in Cambridge when you see the adverts to view University Challenge here. The ales from Greene King and its guest list are very well kept. Pub snacks, including pork pies and scotch eggs, available. Cheese & crackers on Sunday at 5.

There is step-free access to the bar but no accessible WC.

Greene King Beer Pub of the Year 2022.

Awards

  • Cambridge & Dstrict CAMRA Pub of the Year 2024

Information for this venue is provided by the Cambridge Branch of CAMRA
Previous Names
Premises Comment
Operator
Local Authority
Cambridge District (B)
Last updated
19/04/2024
Last surveyed
26/02/2023
Pub ID
CAM/43
Asset of Community Value

Two star - A pub interior of very special national historic interest

Listed status: II

One of the last remaining traditional pubs in the city centre, the “Champ” retains, largely unaltered, its late 19th century interior. Both small bars are wood-panelled with Victorian counters and bar backs, fixed benches (with modern leather upholstery in the right hand bar) and rare part glazed partition wall between the two rooms. On the right a former fireplace has been converted into a tiny seating alcove. The etched windows, showing the Champion in action, are marvellous but not original having been smashed and replaced a number of times (the pub lies on the notorious “King Street Run”) but the 'Public Bar' one is old. The characterful but frankly disgusting outside loos were replaced several years ago by more civilized indoor arrangements.

General information about historic pub interiors

One of the last remaining traditional pubs in the city centre, the “Champ” retains, largely unaltered, its late 19th century interior in an 18th century building.

By the front door there is a draught screen and a rare part glazed partition wall that separates the public bar on the left and a smaller lounge on the right. On the rear left it a now disused door with an old etched 'Public Bar' panel which indicates a partition has been lost - possibly an off-sales was accessed from the front door?

The bare boarded wood-panelled public bar has a marvellous etched window showing the Champion in action, but is not original having been smashed and replaced a number of times (the pub lies on the notorious “King Street Run”). It retains a Victorian panelled counter which has been moved slightly in recent times. The bar-back looks mainly Victorian but there has been some changes as up to the 1980s casks were stillaged within the servery. The mirrors look modern and there are few lower shelves. The room retains old fitted seating on the front side and a bare bench at the rear left.

The panelled right hand room has a wood block floor. The small angled bar counter is of the same style as the public bar one so is also Victorian. A former fireplace has been converted into a tiny seating alcove. Another small nook may have been cupboards converted into a small seating area? Fixed benches with modern leather upholstery can be found on the front wall side and attached to the partition. The small square tables here are old. A passageway at the rear with modern dado panelling leads to the toilets that were added in the 1980s, replacing the outside loos.

General information about historic pub interiors
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Opening
Monday
16:00-23:00
Tuesday
16:00-23:00
Wednesday
16:00-23:00
Thursday
16:00-23:00
Friday
Noon-23:00
Saturday
Noon-23:00
Sunday
16:00-23:00
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Current beers

This Pub serves 3 changing beers and 2 regular beers.

Regular and recently seen

Champion of the Thames, Cambridge

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Facilities
Sports TV Sports TV
Some sports shown discretely
Garden Garden
Pocket-sized decked area
Dog Friendly Dog Friendly
Events Events
Quiz night on Tuesdays
Games Games
Board games
Real Fire Real Fire
Separate Bar Separate Bar
Smoking Smoking
Wi Fi Wi Fi
Features
Real Ale Real Ale
Real Heritage Pub Real Heritage Pub
Quiet Quiet
Transport
Close to bus routes
Are these pub facilities or features correct? Let us know

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The Good Beer Guide 2024

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