2024 Capital Arrows updates

May 21, 2024

First off, the bad news. Three pubs have left the guide this year, all of which I’ve played or coached in: Prince William Henry near Blackfriars Bridge, where most of the photos on this site were taken; White Horse & Bower, for many years the closest darts pub to the House of Commons; and The Ship in Borough, where I once coached a naked yoga teacher, who offered a lesson in lieu of payment.

However, for the first time since I launched this guide roughly 15 years ago, the number of central London darts pubs has increased. I’m not entirely sure if this reflects boards being put up, or increased visibility and people telling me about boards, but whichever, added to the guide this year are:

The sharp eyed will have noticed that four of these pubs are in the same area of London, bang in the City, where darts is booming. This, it seems, is due to a combination of the efforts of the folks running COLDA, and darts players called Luke. This guide exists because of evenings spent unable to find a suitable board to play on. This problem persists – but then, it was because the footie was taking priority; now it is because all the boards are fully booked out.

The competitive socialising part of the game continues to thrive (see the last paragraph of this article for information). What we await now is more venues adding more boards, making them more easily accessible, and keeping the set up good enough to play. The Ship, also in EC3, is one of the few that has made changes to embrace the increased interest; the Horseshoe continues to regularly have all 9 boards booked on weekday evenings; Nolans has reported a pick-up in interest following the post-pandemic slump. We now wait to see who follows and decides that the financial benefit of committing to a board outweighs the loss of space. Exciting times.