Punting on the river was a very enjoyable and relaxing experience. I was with my entire family, and everyone really enjoyed it (both young and old!). We had a student do the actual punting, so we were able to relax and take in the sites of Cambridge. Along the way he pointed out the different buildings we viewed from the river, and gave us entertaining antedotes about the city.
As we were docking, we saw another boat about to depart, and the people on board were sipping champagne and eating strawberries! That is definently the way to go!
If I was to go back, I'd either opt for the champagne and strawberries option or try my hand at punting. Those who were punting unguided kept running into other boats, the wall, or falling off into the water. It seemed rather fun!
Following lunch we decided a trip on the river was not to be missed so, off we went. A perfect day, we hired a punt and the five of us lazed and laughed our way through the relaxing journey, we were given a few historical details along the way but mostly we had fun.
The trip is pretty, it can get a little busy out there but it's light hearted fun. Check out the Harry Potter area where quidditch was played, the Mathematical Bridge, which is said to once have been held up without nuts and bolts, it's suggested that it was pure mathematics that kept it stable. There is also the Bridge of Sighs, though the only resemblence to the infamous bridge in Venice are the bars installed, in Venice this was done to stop criminals jumping from the bridge in order to save their lives and avoid the walk from the Law Courts to their death in the Execution grounds.
A word of warning, I nearly lost my sunglasses in the river but managed to save them just before they sunk to the bottom but Joy was not so lucky with her mobile phone, that sits there now nestled snug on the river bed. So make sure you secure all belongings whilst in the boat.
For a funfilled trip call Jan on the number below, he and his men will ensure you a fun and informative ride.
As I made my way along Magdalene Street, I came across a River with lot's of empty Punt's, and lots of Student's trying to take me Punting for a fee.
Sorry.... I wasn't interested, and was on my way, only to find another lot, further on.
It looks ok, and the few people I saw being punted looked to be enjoying themselve's.
I don't know how much the student's charge, I didn't get that far!
Daily 10am to 3pm (November to March - Weather Permitting)
Daily 10am to 6pm (April to October)
Duration of Tour....45 minutes (return trip) leaving at regular intervals
Departure Point: Mill Lane, Cambridge
Punting down the Cam gives you a wonderful view of some of the colleges, it should be relaxing but on a busy Easter Saturday was a little like rush hour,
not only do you have to navigate past people stopped to eat picnic lunches or open champagne, you have to avoid inexperienced punters, or punters who having previously opened and drunk their champagne are now ridiculously happy and supremely confident of their punting skills.....
there are several sizes of punts, and you can do-it-yourself or be punted along by one of the experienced river guides
our punt, arranged at an admirably inexpensive rate by Gillian McLauchlin, seated 12, if you have mobility problems you may struggle a bit, the seats are almost on the floor, but we all managed very admirably
and no-one fell into the river
We took a punt down the river Cam, and very nice it was to. Although the claims by our punting chauffeur that it was going to be the best 45 minutes of our lives was a bit over the top, even on the most glorious of November days.
We decided on not hiring our own punt sue to the lack of technical expertise between us, and so plumped for the chauffeured punt provided by Scudamore boats at £12 per adult. The boat could take up to 12 passengers and was full.
The trip gives you a view of “The Backs” of the colleges and also a chance to see a few of the many bridges which span the Cam. In fact that is where the name of Cambridge originated, a bridge over the river Cam.
All you do to get a ticket is buy it from the Scudamore kiosk which is situated alongside the river, near to the Anchor pub. They give you a time slot for your trip and the guide does the rest.
You have to try it once. It's fun. Don't punt if you're completely weak like me - let someone else do it and then you can relax and enjoy the views whilst they either punt merrily or swear like a tart because the pole's floating in the water. Hiring a punter is expensive BUT if you're elderly or can't be bothered to do it, then it's a nice option. One old school friend works as a punter - Tom Billinger. If you see him, ask for a discount!
As of 1st Sept. 2004 - Michelle and Stewart from Big Brother went punting here last Thursday. Woo hoo!
If you are prepared to wrap up warm then even in December it is possible to hire the services of a punt and boatman from Scudamores on the Cam near Queens College - see the photo.
The boats have blankets and most people we saw were taking advantage of the extra layer of insulation they provided on this cold day. However we saw several separate boats and all of the occupants seemed to be really enjoying their tour along the River Cam that takes them along the back of the colleges.
The boats were all propelled by the paid puntsmen who would use their long poles to push the flat bottomed punt along. I'm told that in the summer it is possible for visitors to hire a punt for the day and to take it down to the meadows at Grantchester for a picnic. The visitors would have to do the poling themselves and I daresay a few get into difficulties but it would make a great story to tell the folks back home!
I would strongly recommend the Treasure Hunt Punting organised by the Scudamore’s punting company.
To answer as many cryptic questions/clues in two hours dividing time from punting and walking. Your team will be expected to punt themselves, using skill and navigation to reach your destination before heading on foot to the finishing line.
Cameras are available on request at a charge of £15.00 per team with 10 pictures available. A must when collecting evidence!
I would recommend booking your treasure hunt to avoid disappointment as it can be very busy during tourist season and you may have to wait for punts to come back before you set off onto your adventure.
£13.50 per adult and £6.75 for children.
During our visit to Cambridge we had two teams of 6 people who contributed to the treasure hunt for two hours and everyone had a good time. The questions, combined with clues (I.e. Have your picture taken with a live animal – no birds) make it exciting and the questions were well thought off and the company so professional. I would recommend the £15.00 for the Polaroid camera to ensure you collect as much evidence as possible for the bonus questions.
Punt Tour - see the colleges from the river - a really great way to travel!
The commentary by our guide really made the trip for us. I suppose it's possible you might get a duffer, but let's hope not!
This was from my second visit, when I went to Cambridge with the Oslo Cathedral Choir. We performed a concert at the Claire College Chapel.
A boat-ride to explore the channels is a must. Touristic maybe, but we enjoyed it a lot.
It was a warm day and we thought it would be cooler on the water. Wrong thinking! All the buildings left and right kept the heat in and the wind out. Also we were sitting in the sun without shade.
It is a nice trip though. The guide will tell you all there is to know about the colleges left and right. And I must say they do look different from the water.
Even if you think that this is way too touristy, punting is THE not-to-be-missed thing in Cambridge. Punts are for rent at several places on the river Cam (such as Scudamore's on Mill Lane or Cambridge Chauffeur Punts on Silver Street), and I suppose that prices will be pretty much the same everywhere as competition is fierce. We were lucky enough not to spend any money as our host could hire punts from her college for free.
Punting looks easy, but it can be quite tricky to actually manoeuvre the punt in a straight line. Instead of doing what would be the most logical thing (meaning: going straight forward), it tends to zigzag across the river, bumping into other punts, the walls or - particularly unpleasant - the branches of weeping willows... In any case, this is a lot of fun, unless you actually want to move as fast as possible from A to B. But who would actually want to do that?
The punts float slowly past the Backs, the majestic meadows and gardens of Cambridge's most impressive colleges. This is very beautiful, especially when the sun is about to set and the sandstone facades of the colleges reflect its light. Now and then ducks and geese swim next to your punt, quacking demandingly in case you have some breadcrumbs. Academics and tourists stroll over the low bridges spanning over the river and on the well-kept college lawns students play frisbee or study for their exams.
For those of you who prefer to see all that without the hassle of actually punting themselves, punts with chauffeurs are available. Unlike in Oxford, these are well-informed guides and tell you a lot about the colleges and their traditions. Altogether an unforgettable experience - even as it is very touristy!
Summer in Cambridge simply wouldn't be complete without punting. You can hire a boat for groups, you can hire a boat just for yourself and do all the hard work too, trying to get to the other end of the river while holding on to that long pole (can be very romantic if you know what you are doing, if not you might even get divorced), or you can have it the fun way and get a boat just for yourself and with it a person that has done the trip many times before and knows how to control the boat and at the same time that person will be your guide and tell you interesting stories about the place itself. Of course, you pay accordingly.
I was too scared to actually punt the boat...but it looked fun while everyone else i knew did it!! You see, I'm clumsy so I didn't want to risk falling in!! But the view from sitting down was really good too!! You get to see a lot of the Cambridge colleges, as Cambridge has a very student culture.
Punting is basically using a very large stick to maneouvre the gondola in the water. The procedure is to 'dig' the stick into the ground and push the gondola via that method, the angle you push it in is the opposite direction of movement....
I definately recommend it :)
If you go to Cambridge for a visit then you should try punting on the River Cam...it's really peaceful and relaxing... We saw heaps of different companies offering punting trips and after walking around the city a bit we decided to give it a go. It costed us 8 pounds each for about an hour on the boats...