The aim of this study was to compare efficacy and particularly patient preference of sub-Tenon's anaesthesia with peribulbar anaesthesia in patients undergoing sequential, bilateral, cataract surgery. Fifty patients were randomised to either sub-Tenon's or peribulbar anaesthesia for their first operation and the alternative technique for their subsequent operation. Intra-ocular pressure was measured, globe and lid akinesia were scored, patients completed a visual rating score of injection and operative pain and their preference for anaesthesia was assessed. Intra-ocular pressure rose significantly following peribulbar injection (p = 0.02) but was comparable at 5 min. There was no significant difference in lid or globe movement. Injection and operative pain scores were low and comparable. Both methods provided similar anaesthesia and akinesia. The majority (86%) chose the method they received first irrespective of whether it was sub-Tenon's or peribulbar, but 10% of patients preferred sub-Tenon's, disliking the facial numbness from peribulbar anaesthesia.