There is nothing more British than going punting in Cambridge on a hot summer evening as the sun sets across the River Cam, and the glistening water under long drooping trees surround you. Thousands of visitors travel from across the world to go on a punting tour to hear fascinating stories about the renowned university that was once home to Stephen Hawking. A Cambridge punt will always bring out the proud magic of England because it is a rich historical experience. Going on gondola rides in Venice while listening to “When the moon hits your eyes,” is also a lot of fun, but you should never confuse these relaxing favourites. Here are the main differences between punting and gondola rides.

The Location

The best place to go punting is on the River Cam in Cambridge, where you will cross the shallow, narrow waters that surround the colleges. You will hear vivid stories about all the famous people who graduated from Cambridge University and went on to change the world. The most notable alumni members are Charles Darwin, Sir Isaac Newton, Prince Charles, Emma Thompson, Stephen Hawking, Sylvia Plath, and many more.

Although a Cambridge punt is suitable for large groups or couples who want a romantic ride, you can hear a lot of historical facts about all the colleges, and even some funny stories involving students. A gondola ride is famous in Italy. Although gondolas have a reputation for Italian romance, you can also ride one in groups with friends or other tourists. Since most of Venice consists of waterways, it is the best way to explore the city.

The Boat

Gondolas used to be a symbol of power for Venetian families, which is why they all decorated gondolas differently to represent each other. The final shape of the gondola reached around eleven meters, and the stern and bow were lifted higher. This gave it a stronger symmetry and made it easier to control. A gondola operator would propel the boat by rowing a type of oar that is unique to Venice, and they do not need to be in shallow waters. A Cambridge punt, on the other hand, is a flat-bottomed boat with a square-cut bow. It is designed to use in shallow water or small rivers. The punt is propelled by pushing the pole or quant against the bottom of the lake. Punts are usually the colour of the wood that is used to make them, whereas gondolas are all painted black for uniformity.

The Operator

A punt boat operator in Cambridge is called a “Chauffeur.” Most chauffeurs who ride on the River Cam are students from the university, and you should pick their brains for interesting titbits that are not mentioned in any brochures. Since they are British, they might sound a lot like Benedict Cumberbatch. Gondola operators are called “Gondoliers,” and they wear regulated clothing that consists of a striped red or navy t-shirt, or a white sailor’s shirt. In the movies gondoliers often serenade romantic couples with classics like “That’s Amore,” but they are not forced to sing anything in real life, so you should not expect them to. While punting in Cambridge, anybody can sing if they want to, if it they do not disturb other passengers during the ride.

Did you know that Cambridge is where the hole in the ozone layer and gravity were discovered? There are so many incredible things that Cambridge has contributed to the world. This city is globally renowned for its creativity, inventiveness, and breath-taking natural surroundings.
Here are the top reasons why you should always choose to go punting in Cambridge rather than any other place.

Cambridge Rules

Cambridge is the birthplace of football and the earliest record of the game dates to 1579. In 1848, a group of representatives and students from Cambridge drafted a set of rules and pinned them to the trees surrounding Parker’s Piece, which is a massive open park in the centre of Cambridge that you can visit after your punting tour. The “Cambridge Rules” were then adopted by all the teams in the area. England’s leading clubs got together to form the Football Association in 1863, and Cambridge Rules was the basis for the new FA rules.

A History of Evolution

Charles Darwin was a student at Christ’s College in Cambridge and was inspired by his professor, who established the city’s botanic garden. Darwin founded evolutionary biology, which shook the world and published “Origin of Species,” that shaped the way future generations learn about human evolution.

IVF Treatments

This medical procedure has been a lifeline for many people around the world who struggle to start a family. It was developed in Cambridge by Robert Edwards, a decade after he proved the technique by fertilizing an egg outside the womb. The world’s first test-tube baby was born in 1978, and Edwards received a well-deserved Nobel Peace Prize in 2010.

Artificial Intelligence

If you have not seen the movie “The Imitation Game” starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Keira Knightley, you are seriously missing out. It is based on the true story of Alan Turing, who was a Cambridge Mathematician, and the father of artificial intelligence and computer science. He had built a computer called Christopher that successfully cracked an unbreakable German Enigma code during the Second World War.


Sir Isaac Newton was a famous scholar and student at Cambridge University. He was sitting on the grounds one day when an apple fell on his head and helped him develop the theory of gravity. In 1687, he also established the fact that planets revolve around the sun, and gravity is the force that controls this. This publication became the foundation of modern physics, and the world knew that Cambridge is an unbeatable city when it comes to education and sciences.

A Collection of Nobel Prizes

When you are punting in Cambridge and admiring the beautiful views on the River Cam, remember that this city has ninety-six Nobel Prizes. These were awarded for outstanding discoveries related to medicine, chemistry, economics, literature, and peace. Thirty-two winners were from Trinity College alone.

There are many more fascinating contributions that Cambridge has made to the world. These include the works of Stephen Hawking, Joe Farman, and many famous poets like Sylvia Plath and William Wordsworth. You should take a Cambridge punting tour with loved ones, and your chauffeur will share more incredible stories about why this city is the best.

Just because Halloween is over, it does not mean that going on a haunted trip and hearing about ghosts isn’t still a lot of fun. Instead of the usual walking tours, why not take a ride through the River Cam and hear spooky stories about Cambridge University that will put every horror movie to shame. This will make punting in Cambridge a lot more exciting, especially if you want a little more thrill rather than the usual stories about the architecture.

St. John’s College

This college is one where people have reported several haunted sightings and bizarre incidents. It was built on a Medieval hospital that was forced to shut down. You can ask your chauffeur about the ghost of Doctor James Wood, who was an impoverished student at the college. He could not even afford a light in his room while students today are spoiled with laptops, televisions, and mobile phones. Back in the day, he used to sit in the O staircase in the Second Court and use the light from other rooms to work through the night. Some people reported that his apparition is still haunting the same place at nights and surprised a few students by following them to their rooms.

Another famous ghost is James Ashton, who was brutally murdered in 1746 in the First Court next to the library. He was discovered stabbed in his room, and everybody suspected that his friend John Brinkley killed him. However, Brinkley escaped justice because his father had some very powerful lawyers. He fled after the murder, and Ashton’s angry spirit can sometimes be heard screaming loudly in the building.

King’s College

King’s College is a very popular haunting site. This is because the founder, King Henry VI, had gone insane after prison when he was defeated in the War of the Roses. The chapel was used during the civil war by Oliver Cromwell to house parliamentarian cavalrymen. Students at Cambridge have reported noises coming from inside the chapel at night. You might hear horses neighing and soldiers scraping their feet. Even the police were called many times by students and teachers because they spotted moving figures on the roof.

Another unusual haunting story is that of Barret’s Coffin. A scholar named Barret was a very eccentric person and lived in the Gibbs Building while strangely keeping a coffin. People often heard him screaming loudly throughout the night but ignored him because of his quirky personality. One day, the screaming stopped, and when scholars entered his room, they found him dead, lying in his coffin with a smile on his face. For a long time, the Gibbs building was no
longer used for accommodation because people could not sleep and always complained about the random screaming. It was so bad to a point where the college tried exorcising the building. The exorcism did not work, and now people just continue to tolerate whatever happened in the building.

Clare College

When you are punting in Cambridge, ask your chauffeur about the Black Widow of the Cam. Her name was Elizabeth De Clare, and she was married off to the richest man in England against her wishes when she was only twelve years old. Her husband died after the wedding, and Elizabeth had to remarry. Her second husband also passed away after getting married. Then she went on to marry a third wealthy husband, who perished from food poisoning. Elizabeth
became the richest woman in Europe and was unstoppable. Then the people of Cambridge formed a mob and tortured her until she confessed to murdering all her husbands. The local men tied Elizabeth to a boat and floated her until Clare Bridge, where she was then killed by burning arrows. She suffered an agonizing death, and her vengeful spirit continues haunting the River Cam.

Cambridge is an exceptionally scenic and ancient university city. There are many romantic activities for couples to celebrate their love and punting in Cambridge is an excellent way to each other’s company. You can surprise your partner with a tour on the River Cam and relax while you are being chauffeured around this beautiful location.

Instead of sharing a punt with other tourists, you can hire a private ride to take your significant other on the most exciting historical journey. While booking the tour, ask your company to personalize the ride. Rather than going the usual route, you can let them know about any special preferences. The tour company can make suggestions about which are the best spots.

The River Cam provides the most gorgeous setting for a romantic outing, and it is inspirational to share that with a special person. Ask your chauffeur to take photos of you together so that those memories can last forever.

This is one of the most relaxing tours after exploring the city together. After spending the day in Cambridge, your significant other would really appreciate getting a chance to sit back and rest their feet while taking in more breath-taking sights. The boat can be decorated with rose petals, and cushions to give you the best experience possible. If this does not impress your date, nothing else will. If you are celebrating an anniversary together, you can arrange to have a chilled bottle of champagne on board with flutes to sip along the ride while toasting your relationship.

You do not have to worry about the weather because the tour operator will have blankets and covers on the punt. They can even supply you with strawberries and cream to share together to make the trip extra special. The views you will see along the way are nothing short of something from a Jane Austen novel, which is what makes Cambridge such a romantic city.

There are lots of activities for couples to partake in and strengthen their bond. After the romantic punting tour, you can stop at a quiet spot to have a picnic in the nearby gardens. If it is not too cloudy, you will see the most magnificent sunset from the water that will literally take your breath away. Dusk is the most romantic time of the day when the sun is going down, and you can stroll under the soft pastel-coloured sky while holding hands as all the buildings light up around you.

At the end of the night, you should cosy up together in a local pub, especially one that has a wood-burning fireplace to set the mood. Enjoy some great food and drinks in Cambridge, and before you know it, you will be coming back to this city for more. Traveling together with loved ones is one of the most unique experiences. As you look at all the beautiful sights together, you are celebrating that there is nobody else you would rather be with to share these magical moments.

Punting in Cambridge is a fantastically quirky tourist activity that is both informative and a lot of fun. You can learn a lot about the exhilarating history of Cambridge while punting down the River Cam. A punt is a narrow flat-bottomed boat that will remind you of a Venetian gondola with the removed curve. Punting along the River Cam is a traditional delight that everyone must experience at least once. Unless it is a hectic season, you do not need to book a ticket in advance. There will be plenty of chauffeurs ready to take you and your group on a guided tour. All you have to do is sit back, relax, and enjoy the ride.

If you want to try punting on your own, you can hire a punt for the day. This can be challenging for first-time punters, and many of them get laughed at, especially when their pole or quant gets stuck in the riverbed. If you are inexperienced and want to impress a date with a self-punt, we highly recommend against it. Many people travel around England with their pets and have asked if they are allowed on a punting tour. Some companies do permit pets to join you for the thrill, but there are some minor safety precautions to consider.

Punting is a truly timeless, and eccentric idyllic pleasure where you sit and enjoy a ride down the river while admiring the wildlife and Cambridge University sights around you. Keep in mind that the punt boat has a flat bottom with a square-cut bow. It is designed for use on shallow water and small rivers. This can be risky for pets unless they can sit completely still during the ride. Everyone on a punt must sit close to the centre, and the boat is low enough for your hand to touch the water. If you have a jumpy dog who tends to bounce around, then punting may not be for them.

A guided tour with other tourists might not allow your pet to join. This is because some people do not feel comfortable sitting too close to a pet, especially if they have any allergies. Your chauffeur will let you know if your pet can be allowed or not. If you really want your pet to join, there are pet-friendly companies, or you can hire a private punting tour just for your group. You will still have a skilled chauffeur to do all the hard work while you kick back and enjoy yourself. This way, there will be more space on the punt for your dog to lie down and stretch.

Small dogs are more comfortable to bring on a punting tour, whereas big breed dogs can be a challenge. Make sure they are not frightened or too excited during the ride. Keep them close to you in the centre of the punt. The best is to let the dog sit between you and someone else so that they are not at the edge in case they tip overboard. It is exceptionally safe to punt in Cambridge, especially with the talented chauffeurs who have been doing this for a very long time. However, it is always recommended to keep an eye on pets if you do bring them for a tour.

Cambridge has a wealth of fascinating history that captures the soul. Punting in Cambridge is
the most popular tourist activity for a reason because you get to see all the beautiful
architecture and hear the most enthralling stories. Cambridge is also a very picturesque
location if you enjoy taking photographs or even a few selfies for Instagram. Here are the best
spots for your next punting adventure on the River Cam, so that you can truly experience
everything that Cambridge is famously known around the world for.

Mathematical Bridge
This historical bridge was built during the seventeenth century and was inspired by bridges in
China. You can see that very little material was used to create this long-lasting structure. Most
people believe that the bridge was designed by Sir Isaac Newton. But it was his student, William
Etheridge, who designed it in 1748. The bridge is right beside Queen’s College, which is one of
the oldest and largest colleges at Cambridge. It was founded in 1448 and spans both sides of
the River Cam. You should ask your punting chauffeur to tell you all about the bridge’s design,
and how the timber sturdily holds it in place despite being a weak material.

The Wren Library
The Wren Library was built in 1695, part of Trinity College in Cambridge. It was designed by
famous British architect Sir Christopher Wren, constructed in 1695. The same architect also
designed the famous St. Paul’s Cathedral in London. This is one of the most beautiful views on
the River Cam, especially during sunset. Sir Isaac Newton, Prince Charles, George VI, Eddie
Redmayne, and many more have studied in this library during their time at Trinity College.

Bridge of Sighs
This gorgeous bridge looks like something from Harry Potter. It was named after the Venetian
Bridge of Sighs by Queen Victoria. It was built back in 1831 by Henry Hutchinson. The bridge
crosses the River Cam linking between the New Court and Third Court colleges. Queen Victoria
once said that this was her favorite spot in the city, and that’s how this bridge became such a
popular tourist attraction. There is also a common myth that the word “Sighs” came from
Cambridge University students who were very stressed during exams. In 1928,

Punting in Cambridge is the most popular and exciting tourist activity. You get to sit in a comfortable flat-bottomed boat with a square-cut bow. This boat is designed to show you all the beautiful sights while rowing through shallow water and small rivers. Your chauffeur or punter will propel the punt boat by pushing against the riverbed with a long pole known as a quant. Summer is the best time to visit Cambridge, and here are the top reasons why you
should book a punting tour to make your trip more magical.

Learn About Cambridge

Your chauffeur will be a Cambridge native or long-term resident, and they will have plenty of historical tales to share with you during the ride. Some of them are students from Cambridge University. For a laugh, you can ask them to tell you funny secrets about this famous university that was once attended by Stephen Hawking, Alan Turing, Emma Thompson, and Charles Darwin.

See Beautiful Scenery

Even though Cambridge has some of the most beautiful historically crooked streets to admire the architecture, seeing it from the narrow rivers on a punt is an entirely unique experience. Enjoy the majestic River Cam on a chauffeured punt and breathe in the fresh air from all the surrounding greenery and Cambridge landscape. You will get plenty of picturesque views of the meadows and traditional tea gardens along the way.

Have Fun in Groups

Punt boats usually allow up to 12 people on board. This could mean bringing a rather large family, or you can make new friends with other tourists. You can also hire a private tour for your group to celebrate a hen’s party. This is a terrific chance to spend time with fun people and share a laugh. You can also bring some drinks on the punt if your chauffeur or tour operator allows it.

Romantic Rides

If you want to spoil your partner with a romantic trip, book a private tour just for the two of you. It will be like a romantic gondola ride in Venice. You can bring a bottle of champagne and have a toast to celebrate love while the chauffeur rows you down the beautiful marshlands. Get a couple’s photo taken on the River Cam with the breath-taking views and surrounding architecture.

Relaxing Atmosphere

After an exhaustingly long day of walking around the streets of Cambridge, punting is a great way to kick back and relax without ending your tour. There is enough space on the boat for you to sit comfortably and be transported along the River Cam. The punts move at slow speed so you can take plenty of photos along the way. You will get uninterrupted views of Cambridge from a punt which makes it the perfect way to end a trip and get the most magical photos to share online when you get back to the hotel.

Punting became a fun leisure activity on the River Thames in London, but many tourists enjoy Punting in Cambridge because it gives them a chance to see the colleges at Cambridge and Oxford in style while being chauffeured by tour groups or students looking to earn some money outside class. Here is our list of the best places in England to go punting if you can’t get enough of the quintessential English pastime.


Punting in Cambridge is arguably the number one hotspot that most people think of because they want to visit the world-famous University, which has a lot of history. The River Cam runs through the city of Cambridge and passes through the “Backs,” which is a mile-long stretch where people can see the most prestigious colleges such as Trinity Hall, which was founded by King Henry VIII in 1546. This is where Stephen Hawking studied and became a renowned professor. Tourists can also row past St. Johns College, which was attended by William Wordsworth. Many chauffeurs are students who share a lot of stories and historical facts about Cambridge that are fun to hear, while rowing through the weeping willows over the river in the most tranquil setting.


Tourists can go punting on the River Cherwell which flows through the city of Oxford. It passes through Oxford University’s many historically famous colleges such as St. Hilda’s College, where Theresa May attended. If you are a fan of Oscar Wilde, you might enjoy rowing past Magdalen College which is where he studied. The beautiful Oxford Botanical Gardens can also be seen from the river, and people can spot the perfect spots to have a picnic. Towards the west of Oxford, there is more incredible scenery and many local pubs that tourists can visit after their punting tour.


If you enjoy watching swans and want some ducks paddling next to your punt, the River Avon is one of the most picturesque waterways, and you can spot the Royal Shakespeare Theatre along the riverbank. Tourists can also see the Holy Trinity Church where William Shakespeare as baptized and then later buried after his death. Punting on River Avon is the best way to experience Warwickshire, which was where Shakespeare lived, and you might feel a lot of literary inspiration in the air from all the breath-taking scenery.


A punting tour on The Great Stout River takes you through the historical city centre of Canterbury. You will get to see a lot of medieval churches and secret gardens. Tourists can also float along the Blackfriars Dominican Priory which dates all the way back to 1237. There is plenty of wildlife to complement the rural scenery, and the most daring people can go on a haunted punting tour to learn about all the scary and exciting ghost stories at night.

Even though a punt moves through the shallowest of waters if a passenger is not a strong swimmer, it can be a bad experience for them. Most operators are highly skilled at maneuvering a punt safely, but there is always a risk of capsizing, especially if the chauffeur is new or if another tourist onboard starts rocking the boat. Many things can go wrong, and it’s always better to take the necessary precautions before going on your Cambridge punting tour. Most punting tours are organized by reputable operators, but some chauffeurs offer a self-drive or are inexperienced. This is dangerous because punt boats are significantly heavy and need a lot of practice to navigate and maneuver safely, especially around the Cambridge University area where the waterways are extremely narrow. Many self-punts also crowd the area because they want to make money from tourists. This causes a lot of traffic on the waterways and boats can often hit each other while passing.

Riders should keep their hands inside the boats because their fingers risk getting crushed every time another punt boat passes by closely. Skilled chauffeurs are in no rush to complete tours and pay more attention to safety. If they see a punt boat coming from the other side, they will stop and give it plenty of space to pass and avoid any accidents. Make sure you use an operator who demonstrates patience and has undergone safety training.

If your tour group has any small children or elderly people, they should be seated in the middle of the boat. This way, if any collisions occur, they will not be in danger of tipping overboard and falling in the water. Never sit too close to the edge of your punt because if another boat does hit, you could get hurt.

Keep a watchful eye for weirs and sluice gates. There are two of each on River Cam, and the water is usually low enough for them to be safe. However, try and stay away from them as much as possible because if safety buoys aren’t present, you could get sucked down the water, especially if it rained heavily before your trip. When there is an increased flow, small waves can form, and they can trap those who are not careful. To avoid a drowning accident, choose the best tour operator who has a lot of experience. They should be able to identify which routes are the safest and never take risks with people’s lives just to rush through tours or take shortcuts. They should also give you a little safety briefing before the trip and remind everyone to keep their limbs inside and never sit too close to the edge. If you suspect someone is too intoxicated to be taking a ride, inform your chauffeur because you don’t want to risk having someone who might suddenly move around and tip the boat.

You might have heard that Tyrrell’s Punting Co has teamed up with Uber to offer large chauffeured punts for 3 days this week. This allows you to go punting in Cambridge for just £10, and that’s not per person, it’s for a group of up to 8 people. You must be within one mile of our departure point and then you can book directly through the Uber app.
We are delighted that we were the company of choice for this collaboration.
We hope this promotional price will allow customers, who might not have been tempted to go punting, to book and come punting in Cambridge!
We are open 7 days a week but our Uber promotion will run 22/23/24 August 11am-6pm.
Book on the app and we look forward to taking you out on the river Cam………..oh and the weather looks awesome so no need to bring an umbrella!