Category: Punting

Punting at Christmas

Winter in Cambridge is more like your daily advent calendar that offers something different and unique each day. The curious part is you will never know what the next day provides, but be ready for excitement, especially punting at Christmas.

Cambridge In Winter

The Cambridge winters offer a heavenly atmosphere anyone falls in love with. The city is a tiny beautiful piece of geography in the United Kingdom. But it is filled with full of astonishments that make it a fascinating and lively leisure retreat hotspot. The winter in the UK is undoubtedly chilly, and a picnic during the season is more of an adventure. But still, embrace the English weather by wrapping yourself warm. It is a truly rejuvenating experience for your inner soul. Cambridge winters offer numerous options to cherish the winter because Christmas is to be celebrated to the fullest.

Illumined in the Christmas lights, the Cambridge winters is an aesthetically astonishing atmosphere. To add to the serenity, one can choose punting at Christmas which brings tranquillity to their inner self. Above all, the River Cam blanket cased with snow and the quiet Cambridge college backs with cherry and daffodil blossoms are the perfect portraits for photographers. And you can use the best of it with punting through College Backs during a winter morning when the river has zero traffic.

Punting during winter is the perfect chance to get a majestic shot of the architecture, charismatic scenery and wildlife, regardless of the time of the day. Photographers consistently look for that extra ‘attraction’ to make a shoot stand out in uniqueness The tranquillity that the winter in River Cam offers is the perfect answer to the dream shot for a photographer.

Punting In Cambridge

Cambridge is known for its punting activity all around the world. The scenic beauty of the place is best explored through punting. Although, many people see punting as a warm-weather activity, punting during winter is bliss to the eyes and soul. The best part of punting during winters is the serene winter scenery deprived of the hustle and bustle of summer on the river.

The weather would be freezing. But the Cambridge punting companies provide extra blankets and warm water bottles to keep you warm and cosy. The winter punting can be experienced from November to March, and it is easier to book a punting during these times as there is not much traffic during this season.

The best part is you will be the only one on the river, and you will float past the Cambridge Bridges and the tranquil Cambridge Backs, and you soak up some of the magic that the winter in Cambridge brings.

The Christmas Arrives

The chilling and cosy winter is the greatest season of celebrations. December marks the arrival of a festive season with the Christmas traditions. With lighting the Christmas tree, wrapping the presents, hanging starts, decorating gingerbread houses and baking with family, Christmas is full of surprises and contentment.

Christmas traditions never get complete without the joyful Christmas carols. Christmas is the time when we embrace our legacy with the old traditional songs that have been passed down from generation to generation for centuries. Carols are sung to celebrate the sacred birth of Jesus Christ. Some companies host special events for punting at Christmas, including Christmas Carols.

A Punting Christmas

We introduce you to an idea of a unique Christmas in Cambridge that can be red-lettered with the most magnificent memories. The River Cam in winter is a serene picturesque that anyone would fall in love with. Think of a well-lit Christmas eve and a calm Christmas morning gliding through the still river embraced with the aesthetics of the mere atmosphere. It would be a magnificent experience. 

Think of an early Christmas morning, you gather with your friends and family at our punting station for an exclusive punting trip through the College Backs. Let’s celebrate the festive of harmony, together with our loved ones amid a serene ambience. Singing carols while gliding through the River Cam besides the Chapel, sharing the desserts and cakes to rejoice in the harmony and finally ending with a drink to warm ourselves in the chilling weather would be a unique and most fascinating Christmas celebration one could have.

So, let the year 2021 be red-lettered in your memories for the unique Cambridge Christmas you celebrated.

Punting in Cambridge is a fantastically quirky tourist activity that is both informative and much fun. You can learn a lot about the exhilarating history whilst punting in Cambridge.

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.

Punting in Cambridge with Pets

If you want to try punting on your own, you can hire a punt for the day. It 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 permit pets to join you for the thrill, but some minor safety precautions must be considered. Our pets are our best friends. It is a privilege to include them in our favourite trips. And they’ll love anything that we are interested in.

Punting in Cambridge 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 in shallow water and small rivers. It 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.

Things to be Cared of while Punting in Cambridge with Pets

Some people feel uncomfortable sitting too close to a pet, especially if they have any allergies. Hence, a guided tour with other tourists might not allow your pet to join in some cases. Your chauffeur will let you know if your pet can be allowed or not. If you are adamant about your pet joining you in punting, 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.

Well behaved small canines 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. There might be ducks and swans swimming in the river. While you enjoy the architectural excellence of the College buildings, these little creatures gliding in the river attract children and pets. There are chances for your pet dogs and cats to get zealous with the picturesque and serene environment. Make sure that they are under control. Make sure that you have packed enough food for your pets before heading on for a punting.

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 if 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 bring them for a tour.

Punting on the River Cam

The River Cam is said to be the heart of Cambridge as it glides through the world-famous Cambridge College University. Punting on the River Cam in a traditional Cambridge punt is an escape from the swamped life into a serene and blissful scenery that freshens our minds.

Your 45 minutes of punting on the River Cam would be a stupendous experience with the views of all the world-famous Cambridge landmarks including the King’s College Chapel, The Wren Library at the Trinity College, and the masterpieces like the Bridge of Sighs, Mathematical Bridge, and many more. Punting in Cambridge is a perfect outdoor activity for a weekend trip in Cambridge and serves as a perfect destination for any kind of celebration.

Steeped in History

When it comes to history, not just the River Cam punting, but the sightseeing it offers has a story to narrate. If in a chauffeured punt, the expert punter omniscient about the history of Cambridge and Great Britain transforms your punting experience into a red-lettered one. Gliding through the river and listening to the history of punting is an impeccable experience.

The acclaimed traditions of education and higher learning from Cambridge University is well known all over the world. The Charter of King Henry III founded the university in 1209 and Cambridge serves to be the second oldest English speaking university in the world.

When it comes to the history of punting, punts were developed in medieval times to provide a stable craft in shallow water areas. One such area was the Fens, the marshy flatlands to the north of Cambridge, where punts were used in the local trades such as reed-cutting, fowling, eel fishing and transporting cargo until Charles drained out Fens in the late nineteenth century for making the super fertile land suitable for farming.

The first-ever punts are associated with fishing in the river Thames. Pleasure punts in the river Thames, specifically built for recreation and entertainment became popular between 1860 and 1880.

See the Sights Whilst Punting on the River Cam

The Vintage Buildings

If you are starting your 45 minutes trip from Mathematical Bridge, you could start the amazing trip being fascinated with the geometry of this epic bridge. Gliding through the river, and passing the bridge, the enormous Queen’s College that was built in 1448 awaits you to your right. The mathematical bridge itself is an extension of Queen’s college. You will be surrounded by vintage buildings on both sides. Moving on, St Catharine’s built-in 1473 is to your right and you will have vast greenery that imparts a serene and subtle feeling to your minds on the left. 

On the way, you could see other tourists enjoying their punting trip like you. It is estimated to have more than 0.5 million punting tourists every year. While waving to your fellow punters and enjoying the views on both sides, glimpses of 1209 built University College starts to appear. The view of this enormous college and its distinctive building is eye-catching view. Far behind, the King’s College Bridge built-in 1819 awaits you. You could see traces of the people walking over it even from miles away. 

The Serene View

Passing the bridge, a widespread green field where the cattle graze would be on your left and the massive King’s College built-in 1441 on the right. It is continued with the College Chapel built-in 1446. The immense college campus and the clear blue sky over it offers a lifetime view. You could extend your vision to the Claire College bridge built in 1640s, even from miles apart. Immediately as you travel beneath the bridge, your right side would enhance the beauty of your vision with the Claire college campus that was built in 1326. 

Then comes the Trinity Hall built-in 1350 to your right. The river Cam is a great place to spot wildlife including ducks, swans and herons. You could see the ducks swimming in the river, while you punt. The recently built (2005) Jerwood Library is a reflection of modern architecture. It also has a bridge connected. 

The Masterpieces

Now, gliding through the river, you reach the Trinity College Bridge built-in 1764. Passing the bridge, you find 1546 built Trinity College to your right. Being refreshed and rejoiced by the views, and feeding the ducks swimming in the river, you could watch the New Court built-in 1831 at your left, the 1709 built Kitchen Bridge awaits you on your way. It will be soon followed by its sibling, The bridge of Sighs built in 1831. St Johns who owns both the bridges are seen to the right. Unlike other bridges, public passengers are not allowed to pass through the Bridge of Sighs

Thus, Punting in Cambridge is the only way for tourists to enjoy this masterpiece. Later, you can see the Cripps Building to your left and far away, gliding through the river Cam, you could see the Magdalene Bridge built in 1823. It even carries buses over it. Passing the Magdalene Bridge, you reach the Magdalene College built-in 1428. 

The punting experience is truly mesmerising irrespective of the season. The cherry and daffodil blossoms that line up the river is an eye-catching view. You can even make your punting during winter a remarkable one, by wrapping yourself in a blanket and staying warm and cosy in the punt. Although you’ll be frozen with cold, the experience would be adventurous and the sights the nature offers would be an impeccable one.

Punting in Winter

Punting in winter is a magical experience. 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 in winter and gleefully immerse yourself 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 in winter 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 whilst punting in 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, especially punting in winter. 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 Punting in Cambridge

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 punting in Cambridge 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.

Punting in Cambridge

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 punting in Cambridge 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, especially the historic punting in Cambridge

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 travelling through higher flow, you need to adjust your manoeuvres 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 you. If you prefer to relax and enjoy the beauty of Cambridge, then depending on your budget pick a private or shared tour.

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.

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 12 persons’ chauffeured punt.
  2. Shared Punting Tour (4-6 People) : This is also a 12 passenger’s punt, where you could book your tickets join your co-passengers
  3. Private Punting Tour : A guided tour 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 96 passengers is possible at a time.
  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 – £189*. And shared punting tours can range from £20– £150* depending on the amount of people going.  *At time of writing, September 2022.

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

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.

Buying in person

Punt tours are sold by salespeople called touts who are punting brokers.

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 Colleges.

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

Plenty of scenic beauty and architectural excellences awaits you on college backs tour. Some of them are the Bridge of Sighs, King College Chapel and Mathematical Bridge. Each of them is historical remarks over decades.

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.

A Punting Chauffeur’s Job

Punting in Cambridge is one of the most quintessential English past times, and one ride is never enough.

There is so much beauty and scenery around this city, and the shallow marshy waters make every corner you turn feel like an enchanting journey.

Punting Chauffeurs do an exceptional job, it isn’t easy! Not only do Punting Chauffeurs have to navigate the packed waterways of the college backs, they also ensure that you are entertained for the entire 50 minutes of your guided tour. Come rain or shine (and even snow) they are there to give you an experience like no other.

Guided tours always have a chauffeur to navigate along these waters, but sometimes its exciting to renting your own punt for the day.

Now is the best time to see if you are up to the challenge because the weather is fantastic too.

Anyone can rent their own private punt without worrying about waiting in queues or sitting close to lots of other people, which makes it the perfect activity as we slowly come out of lockdown. Grab a pole and get ready to go punting in Cambridge like a pro.

Please note we no longer offer self-hire.

Standing on The Punt

This seems very scary at first because the boat can be wobbly, especially since the water is never still.

The best thing to do is walk to the end of your punt and stand on deck.

You may stumble a little or wobble before your Cambridge punting tour even begins, but there is no need to cling to the edge for dear life because you will adapt to balancing quick enough.

It is best to take a wide stance with bent knees, keeping your foot a little closer to your preferred side of punting.

Just watch how the punting chauffeurs do it and copy them!

Getting Comfortable on The Punt

Gently rock the punt using your feet to get a strong feeling of its movements and structure. This may seem silly, but it will help your body find the right balance when you are on the deck.

Then you will not panic when you feel wobbly at times during some turns.

How to Handle Your Pole?

Firstly, you will have to choose a side to make the punt move.

For your first solo Cambridge punting tour, try to use a long pole (a quant) to propel yourself along the River Cam. These are used by all punting chauffeurs.

You can keep the pole on either side of your rented punt but will probably prefer the right side if you are right-handed and vice versa.

When you are done choosing which side to use, then you need to lift the pole out of the water and raise it hand over hand, before placing the bottom of the pole against the outside of the boat and near your foot.

Then let the pole drop into the water into the riverbed and past your hands.

The fun part comes when you must bend your knees and move your hands along the top of the pole while holding onto the end of it.

To steer, let the pole end trail behind your punt.

If you drag your pole to the left or right through the water, it will turn the direction of your punt as well.

It is best to use the pole as a boat rudder, by turning it underwater in whichever direction you would like to go.

Finally, to turn the boat, you will need to spin it by dropping the pole from your left or right side and pushing it away from your Cambridge punt.

Cambridge Punting

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 surrounds you.

Thousands of visitors travel from across the world to go on a Cambridge punting tour to hear fascinating stories about the renowned university that was once home to Stephen Hawking.

A Cambridge punting tour 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

In our opinion, the best place to go Cambridge punting is the ‘College Backs’, 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.

Cambridge Punting 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 river. 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 lots of them 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 they do not disturb other passengers during the ride.

Although some Cambridge punting companies hold musical events on the river, which prove to be very popular among locals and tourists alike.

Cambridge University

Cambridge University draws crowds from all over the globe.

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/ Cambridge University 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, a naturalist, 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, the Theory of Evolution, which shook the world when it was published in “On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection” (1859), which 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 Universtiy 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 University 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.

Discovery of DNA structure

After your punting tour along the ‘college backs,’ you may want to relax and refresh at The Eagle Pub.

This is not just any pub, it is located opposite one of the science labs belonging to Cambridge University.

In 1953, Francis Crick announced to the pub that he and James Watson had discovered the double helix structure of DNA.

Punting in Cambridge

Punting in Cambridge is the most popular and exciting tourist activity.

Synonymous with the city, punting is a must for first-time visitors or long-term locals alike.  Cambridge and punting go hand in hand. As one of our touts says, it’s like going to Paris and not seeing the Eiffel Tower- that is if you come to Cambridge and don’t go punting!

You can go punting in Cambridge without having to compromise on comfort. 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 punting through shallow water and small rivers. Your chauffeur will propel the punt boat by pushing against the riverbed with a long pole known as a quant.

Summer is the best time to go punting in 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.

There will be lots of anecdotes and banter shared, especially if you know Cambridge well!

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 is home to some of the most beautiful historically crooked streets where you can admire the architecture. Seeing it from the 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 college gardens along the way.

Have Fun in Groups

Punting in Cambridge is very popular among hen parties and corporate groups.

Our 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 special occasion. This is a terrific chance to spend time with fun people and share a laugh. You can also bring some drinks on the punt.

Romantic Rides

If you want to spoil your partner with a romantic trip, book a private punting tour in Cambridge 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 punts you down the beautiful college backs.

Get a couple’s photo taken on the River Cam with the breathtaking views and surrounding architecture.

Relaxing Atmosphere

After an exhaustingly long day of walking around the city, punting in Cambridge 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.

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