Touring Cambridge during winter is a magical experience. And, winter is an even better season for many people to go punting in Cambridge. Even though the temperatures can drastically drop, punting is, without a doubt, one of the most rewarding winter activities in Cambridge. Without the summer crowds, you can go punting and gleefully immerse in the beauty of the picturesque surroundings on the River Cam. With less traffic on the River Cam, there is freedom of movement, and you can see the same destinations in Cambridge from a whole new perspective. It can be fun, and absolutely enjoyable to drift across the River Cam in the depths of winter. And surprisingly, Cambridge transforms into one of the most exquisite locations in England during the winters. Having said that, we have some valuable tips to help you stay warm and cosy throughout your punting adventure.

Wear A Winter Coat

The British weather is unpredictable and can be unforgiving. You could be caught in freezing temperatures, especially from wind chill. It might also rain unexpectedly, so make sure to pack a decent waterproof winter coat. This will keep you sufficiently warm enough to enjoy your Cambridge punting trip. Otherwise, you might not appreciate the beautiful views if your body is numb.

Have Good Walking Boots

Even though your feet will always stay dry when you are sitting in a punt, the grassy areas surrounding the river might be muddy and slippery. High-quality and warm boots will ensure that your feet are warm and avoid any dangerous falls, especially if there is melted ice on the ground. Boots will also make you look classier and more stylish compared to wearing trainers in winter.

Don’t Forget Your Camera

In the modern digital world, people often say, “Pics or it didn’t happen!” Although we encourage every punter to live in the moment and enjoy their scenic trip, it wouldn’t hurt to take some incredible photos and share them on social media. That is the best way to make friends and family feel jealous that they missed out. You do not need to have a professional DSLR camera hanging around your neck all the time. A smartphone is more than enough to capture the majestic beauty of Cambridge and share those memories with loved ones back home.

Bring Gloves and A Hat

The weather in Cambridge can feel freezing during winter. A warm woolly hat and gloves will be necessary to keep you warm so you can enjoy the entire ride on the River Cam. You can also do a walking tour around Cambridge University after the punt and hold hands with loved ones without freezing your fingers.

Carry A Thermos

It is impossible to enjoy an authentic British tour without some hot tea. You can carry a thermos with some tea to sip on during your punting trip. This will give you a warm and fuzzy feeling in your tummy as you take in all the sights and learn the most fascinating titbits about the famous university. If you are not a big fan of tea, try some mulled wine with cloves, cinnamon, and citrus. Mulled wine is also one of the most popular hot drinks to have in England during winter because it warms and satisfies the soul.

There is more to punting in Cambridge than taking selfies while admiring the breath-taking greenery. Punting is a storytelling experience, and it has a history that not many people know about unless they go on a specific historical tour.

What is Punting

Punting is an activity where people ride a small square-ended boat that has a flat bottom. A chauffeur then uses a long pole to push against the riverbed, which propels the boat in whichever direction you want to go. That propulsion is what’s known as “Punting.” Cambridge is surrounded by water, and there is lots to see, which is why tourists go for a punting adventure because they can take in the best views of the world-famous university.

History of Cambridge Punting

In between 1902-1904, Cambridge witnessed a more organised set-up for traditional punting, which then went on to become a major recreational activity along the River Cam. As a result, River Cam now boasts the most punting activities seen anywhere in England. The entire ecosystem is naturally structured to give the onlooker some of the most breathtaking visuals in the world. Moreover, the trip takes the tourists across the heart of Cambridge that is packed with stunning college buildings. As one travels upstream, the river enters the quaint and serene countryside in the village of Grantchester. Numerous historical monuments, churches, pubs and traditional buildings are situated in this scenic village.

Punting Along The Cam River

The little boats or “Punts,” were built in medieval times to row in shallow water. Cambridge has marshy flatlands that the locals lived near to take advantage of hunting ducks, eel fishing, and transporting cargo until the nineteenth century. Punts don’t have a keel, which is a flat blade that sticks down into the water. They do not need it because they’re only meant to be rowed on very shallow water. This makes the boats more flexible to move around in narrow waters. Their stable and generous width allows plenty of room for passengers to sit and enjoy the ride.

Modern Day Punting in Cambridge

Punts became a recreational mode of transport in Cambridge at the beginning of the 20th century. Before that, they were popular on the Thames and in Bath. Even during poor weather and strong winds, people still use them because they are unconcerned about a quick dip in shallow water that they can easily climb out of.

A punt is a little harder to navigate compared to a rowing boat, but people still enjoy riding them and getting their sightseeing done from the waterways around Cambridge. At times, the long poles get stuck at the bottom, and a chauffeur could get knocked off the boat if they yank it out too hard. They might have to go in the water to pull it out, but in the Cambridge area, there are stone beds in many areas that prevent poles from getting stuck easily. These stone beds were placed during a time when horses were allowed to wade up the river, so riders didn’t have to pay tolls to the university if they were crossing their lands.

The next time you go on a Cambridge punting tour along the River Cam, ask your chauffeur about the history of punting and what makes it so unique compared to any other mode of water transport. There are many punting tours to choose from, and they regularly compete because of the influx of tourists coming to Cambridge University. Hopefully, the number of punts can be reduced because some of the waterways are very narrow and boats can knock against each other if there’s too much traffic.

Being a traditional flat bottomed boat having a square cut bow, a punt is designed for the usage in shallow water. Punting is the use of punts to tour around the amazing Cambridge University. What is more exciting is much of the route is only accessible by river. If you are a tourist who loves to explore Cambridge, we can help you choose the right punt tour for you, based on price, time, season and location. We assure you to provide an experience that could be cherished as a red lettered memory for an entire lifetime.

What is punting?

Punting is the act of propelling the punt in the traditional fashion using a pole or Quant by a person, generally called a Punter, from a platform at the stern. Seating for the passengers is arranged in the middle of the boat. There are generally cozy cushions and blankets to keep you comfortable. A punt is often confused with a gondola in Venice, which is a shallow draft vessel that is structurally different, and is also propelled by an oar rather than a pole.

The History of Punting

Cambridge punting, now popular among tourists as a unique way to explore Cambridge, was originally used as a mode of transport. Earlier, it was used to transport goods around the shallow boggy sites which surrounded Cambridge. Leisure punts were first introduced in the U.K in the mid-1800’s and overall has grown in popularity since then. Sometimes used as vehicles to move goods commercially, the industrial revolution has confined it simply to a popular hobby in modern times.

The Punt boat explained

The flat-bottomed craft is not unique to Cambridge, but the city certainly marks some of the most famous punting worldwide. The boat itself is known as a punt and its drive as punting. It is a Latin term meaning “to push” because the technique used to propel the craft is to push it off the bottom of the river with a long pole (proper term: quant). Though the Venetian Gondolas which use an oar seem similar to this, it uses a different technique. Unlike Venice, the bottom of the River Cam has more gravel than mud which produces a striking voice as the pole touches the bottom of the river.

Popular cambridge punting tours

Once mastered, the technique allows a person to move a heavy load on a boat with relatively less energy expenditure and it is for this reason that merchants and farmers in ancient Cambridge used the punts to transport goods. A few sights along The River Cam proves this statement to be right including the river level doors at St John’s College and the steps on the old docks, now known as Quayside.

How to Punt?

The first thing you need to do to move a punt is turn your feet to the right hand side of the punt and keep the pole on the right hand side. When you want to go straight, pick the pole completely out of the water and slide through your hands until it hits the bottom of the river bed, if the rocketing line is where the back of your foot is. When you need to move your punt straight, walk your hands to the top of the pole, and try to keep the pole in line at the side of the punt.

When you want to steer the boat, keep the pole just under the surface of the water and you can use it like a rudder. If you want to go right, swing the pole under the water to the right hand side. If you want to go left, swing the pole to the left hand side. If you need to turn around sharper or need to turn around completely, take the pole from the water, place it away from the boat and push it away from the boat until the boat spins around. To slow down the boat or bring it to a complete stop, one of the easiest ways is to pick the pole out of the water, place it in front of you along the side of the boat and apply your weight, then the boat stops.

Advanced Punting Techniques

While traveling through higher flow, you need to adjust your maneuvers such that the punt is being directed relative to the moving water, and not to the still riverbed. In this case, if you travel at the same speed as the river, you’ll no longer have control on your boat. You gain control either by moving up or downstream relative to the flow.
Also be cautious when you observe a difference in water texture because it may be the Eddies which are caused due to the presence of fixed obstacles. Eddie’s may cause the water to flow either in a different rate or in opposite direction depending on the object present.
Though the theory is just simple physics, driving a punt is much more difficult than it might appear. So if you dream of learning to punt, book our chauffeured punts, so that a professional could teach you the lessons in an effective way.

Different options for punting

We provide you with 3 different options. You can either Drive yourself or take a shared tour or a private tour, where a chauffeur would accompany. If you are adventurous and love challenges, choose the self-drive. If you prefer to relax and enjoy the beauty of Cambridge, then depending on your budget pick a private or shared tour. Self drive punts are smaller than the tour punts, so you’re limited to 5 passengers.

Private and shared tours

This gives a chance to relax and enjoy the beauty of Cambridge in peace. Generally, private tours are more expensive. But if you are interested in sites, this might be the best option because:

  • The chauffeur would give a historic commentary.
  • The experienced chauffeur would cover the distance within time.

When punting on the River Cam in Cambridge, you can choose between taking a chauffeured tour with a driver and self-driving the boat. Here is a brief description of different options for punting in Cambridge.

Self-drive

Self drive would be cheaper if you know punting and you are a team of more than 2. The boats are narrower and faster if driven properly, however, despite looking easy, punting is an acquired skill. So you may not be able to direct the punt easily. And extra charges would be hired for extra time taken.

Chauffeured Tours

History of Punting in Cambridge

Chauffeured punt tours are strictly of the larger 12-seater boats which are more stable, making them safer than the smaller self-drive boats. The chauffeurs would give you detailed information about every landmark and also ensure that every destination is covered on time.

We provide more packages in Chauffeured Punting

  1. Shared Punting Tour (1-3 People) : Book a flexible ticket(s) and join the other passengers on a 9 persons’ chauffeured punt.
  2. Shared Punting Tour (4-6 People) : This is also a 9 passenger’s punt, where you could book your tickets join your co-passengers
  3. Private Punting Tour : A chauffeur would take you to locations you need for 50 minutes
  4. Cambridge Hen Party Tour : Ladies can have a hen party in the Cambridge River with all the food and alcohol you bring on board.
  5. Punting for Large Groups : Catering up to 100 passengers is possible at a time. A group with more than 24 passengers can avail for a discount
  6. Evening Punting Tour : Illuminated college buildings can be seen if the punting gets started at dusk
  7. Punting on Special occasions : Celebrate your special occasions at Cambridge, the hotspot for celebrations.

Punting Prices

With varying scenarios and occasions, Tyrrell’s Punting company has a great deal of offers awaiting you.

Private punting tour charges with your chauffeur can range from £110 – £140. And shared punting tours with booking for 4-6 people along with chauffeur a can range from £65 – £90. Evening punting tours which range from £100 – £140 are also available.

The services we provide you assure an unparalleled experience with a perfect value for money and time. If you are looking for a most economical punting experience, choose our shared punting.

Punting Tours Weekdays Weekends
Shared Punting Tour £35 (Up to 2 people (own seat))

£40 (3 people (own seat))

£65 (Up to 6 people (Half boat))

Tuesday to Friday (Excluding Bank Holidays)

£50 (Up to 2 people (own seat))

£55 (3 people (own seat))

£90 (Up to 6 people (Half boat))

Weekends, Monday & Bank Holidays

Private Punting Tour £110 £140
Cambridge Hen Party Tour £100 £140
Punting for Large Groups Contact Us or Call +44 1223 782303 Contact Us or Call +44 1223 782303
Evening Punting Tour £100 £140
Punting on Special occasions Contact Us or Call +44 1223 782303 Contact Us or Call +44 1223 782303

Tips on how to save money punting

Buying online

This is almost always the cheapest option. With zero chances of haggling, most companies provide their most competitive deal online. Also, Voucher codes are often found in Google searches.

Shop around

Whether you are buying in person or over the internet, don’t buy your tickets from the first company you come to. Most often the popular ones may be charging high compared to the others. So have a comparison on the prices and the ratings of the companies before booking your tickets.

Buying in person

Punt tours are sold by salespeople called touts who are punting brokers. Only a shrewd negotiator will get the best price from them. Cheaper rates are available for a group of 4 or more.

Larger companies need to be avoided as they set higher targets. Smaller companies don’t do this, yet. It’s better to reject discount vouchers. This helps touts with a better deal to approach you.

During the peak time, the companies come to full capacity, hence negotiation on price is nil at this time. Try to avoid 14:00-16:00 to get the best rate. Evening rides are the most expensive. The cheapest times are 10:00-12:00 and 16:30-17:30.

What is the best time to go punting?

Seasons

The fact is you can punt at any time of the year in Cambridge. The only time which gives a halt to it is during a heavy rain or lightning, which occurs very rarely. Here is a brief description of the sights you happen to watch during different seasons of the year. Each season gives a different perspective to the trip.

Spring

Daffodils and cherry blossoms line the river banks. Warmer temperatures, clear skies and sunshine await you. The river would be a little busier but you can still relax and enjoy floating in the river.

Summer

This is the most popular season to go punting. On a sunny day, it is busy like hell, that there might be heavy congestion, boat crashing and people falling in. Though not relaxing, it’s exciting and fun to watch even from the bank. Gardens with a wide variety of blossomed ravishing flowers give an aesthetic appeal to the Cambridge College.

Autumn

Trees shed their leaves and River Cam will be flanked by trees, leaves, and other vegetation drenched in autumn colours. This adds up to spectacular scenery.

Winter

During the winter, punting in snow is both challenging and fun. The prices will be a lot cheaper during winters and you can enjoy a great deal of peace and calmness with lesser chaos, you almost own a whole river. Punting in the fallen snow is a unique experience.

What time of day?

The time you choose for punting has an effect on your tour. Irrespective of the weather, Weekends and bank holidays are the busiest. Going midweek will give you more of a relaxed experience. To experience the river at its quietest go as early or as late as possible, with 12 pm to 4 pm being the busiest.

Morning

Sunrise is the quietest and best for photography sessions .Even though it’s cold, it’s an effective way to avoid the hot summer sun.

Middle of the day

Irrespective of the heavy traffic and congestion, most people choose 12pm to 4pm as it’s the least cold time and gives a guarantee on the weather.

Evening

This is the best time to punt. Even during summer, the river is the most secluded in the evening, which is beneficial for sightseeing. The sun sets in the trees behind the college grounds and the lit college campus is an eye catching view.

Exactly where to go punting in Cambridge

Punting in Cambridge

The punting from Cambridge to Grantchester is considered to be the most desirable route with spectacular serenity. It is quite famous for its calm and enchanted meadows, trees, villages, and pubs. Punting to Grantchester is a unique experience, with plush greenery and serene nature on either side of the river. Grantchester is situated 2 miles south of Cambridge. Plenty of scenic beauty and architectural excellences awaits you on your way. Some of them are the Bridge of Sighs, King College Chapel and Mathematical Bridge. Each of them is historical remarks over decades.
After punting past the college backs and Newnham, we move past the enchanted Grantchester meadows where you can see cattle grazing peacefully among the lush green lands, and finally reach the famous Grantchester Village. This popular retreat, lying some 4km (2.5 miles) to the south of Cambridge, with historical monuments and thatched cottages, was once the beloved home of the First World War poet, Rupert Brooke. The ‘upriver resort’ is a hub for punters who take a tea at the Orchard and relax on the meadows.

Punting in Oxford

The punting start at the Cherwell Boathouse and meander by the playing fields of the Dragon School, gliding gently through the University Parks past Lady Margaret Hall, and continuing a relaxing exploration downstream, eventually arrive at the bathing site for Oxford Dons, Parson’s Pleasure, where the punt turn round and wend its way lazily back.

Traditions of punting in Oxford and Cambridge are different: Punters in Cambridge stand on the till and the open end of the punt would be facing forward, while in Oxford they stand inside the boat and punt with the till forward.

What to take with you?

Although, the traditional punt clothing is a blazer, which isn’t particularly sporty, wearing a seasonal cloth would be more comfortable. Punting in River Cam is a relaxing trip to enjoy the aesthetics of Cambridge. Just bring a bottle of your favorite drink to enjoy on your trip. During winters, bringing a blanket to keep you cozy is recommended.

One of the most sought-after excursions by tourists and residents alike in London is “punting”. It is one of the foremost outdoor activities popular in the nation. It is one of the most common bucket list goals for many globetrotters. And out of the several punting destinations in the UK, the punting from Cambridge to Grantchester is one of the most desirable routes. It is quite famous for its calm and enchanted meadows, trees, villages, and pubs.

The Punting Chronicles

In medieval times punting was regularly used to transport goods and merchandise to be sold in the market. It was also regularly used to hunt waterfowls and fishing.

From Trading to Touring

Pleasure punting in the UK was formally introduced in 1860 and the demand increased exceptionally at the beginning of the 20th century. This flat bottomed wooden craft known as the “punt”(boat) is typically propelled by pushing against the river bed with a wooden pole which is also known as punt pole. Nowadays the punt poles are also made using aluminum.

Present-day punting

Among several other locations, Cambridge has become a well-liked punting spot. River Cam flows through the heart of Cambridge and is famed for its attractive and vintage college buildings. These are some of the most beautiful places in London. Apart from that, the riverside has several other picturesque locations and bridges which makes Cambridge punting a must-try experience.

Hiring punters

The conventional way of rowing a punt is by standing at the top of the wooden deck which is also known as the “till” and pushing against the riverbed. It’s a bit of hard labor and you need to get used to it since maneuvering in unknown territories can be a tad bit challenging. You can either hire a professional punter who is highly skilled and familiar with the passages or you can punt yourself through the river. Hiring a punter also allows you to know about the various fables and legends related to the land.

The safety aspect

Punting is an extremely safe activity. The boats are strong, stable, and perfectly built. And the punters who navigate the boat are adept in what they do and are trained professionals. It is relatively safe even if you are punting yourself because the water is relatively shallow. As an added safety measure life jackets are also provided for those who require them, especially children.

The Scenic Countryside

Punting to Grantchester is unique, as plush greenery and nature flank on either side of the river. Grantchester is a tranquil and serene location situated 2 miles south of Cambridge.

Celebrated sights and landmarks

Some of the most iconic structures seen along the way from Cambridge to Grantchester among several others-

Bridge of sighs

which was said to be loved by Queen Victoria more than any other spot in the city

King College Chapel

This is the oldest building in Cambridge which took over half a century to build.

Mathematical Bridge

This is a historic wooden bridge built entirely by straight timber without any bolt, nails, or screw.

The Grantchester Village

After punting past the college backs and Newnham, we reach the enchanted Grantchester meadows where you can see cattle grazing peacefully among the lush green lands. And then finally to the famed Grantchester village.

Tourist attractions in Grantchester village

Grantchester is a quaint and peaceful countryside. It’s a typical English village with thatched cottages and historic monuments. There are two churches of St Mary and St Andrew from the 12th century. A couple of famous pubs are also opened to tourists to enjoy a pub lunch such as the “Red lion” and “the Green Man”.

If you are a tea lover then definitely a visit to “The Orchard (Tea room)” is highly recommended. You can sit outside the tea room as lots of outdoor seating are available and enjoy the brew.

Best seasons for punting

Be it Summer spring Autumn or winter, punting can be enjoyed all year round. Every season has its significance and there are lots of vibrant colors blooming in nature. Some of the best unforgettable moments can be experienced and clicked.

People also asked

How long does it take?

It takes approximately three hours to complete punting from Cambridge to Grantchester.

How much to spend on punting?

Tyrrell’s Punting offers you different types of deals for different scenarios according to the occasion and number of people.

Private punting tour charges with your chauffeur can range from £110 – £140. And shared punting tours with booking for 4-6 people along with chauffeur a can range from £65 – £90. We also provide evening punting tours which range from £100 – £140.

We are more than happy to help you with any queries so it’s best to drop in a mail or call using the support number.
Our services provide you with an unparalleled experience with an absolute value for money and support.

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.

Gravity

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.

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.

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.

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.