Punts were originally cargo boats, used for fowling and angling – and were not introduced as pleasure crafts in Cambridge until Edwardian times. Since then however, they have become one of the favourite past-times of those on the River Cam – and iconic of a trip to Cambridge, which would be incomplete without going punting. That is of course, not counting on the winter and rain spoiling your fun! |
The most famous and popular route is from Jesus Green to the Mill Pond, which passes through the area known as The Backs. This affords some stunning views of the University lawns, bridges, and King’s College Chapel. Be warned however, this area is crowded in tourist times and could result in a few harmless collisions with other punters! For those who do not want to end up in the Cam fully clothed, let me give you an insider’s tip and say that the area further upstream affords some truly beautiful countryside in a much quieter setting.
The till of a punt (the deck at the back of a punt), was not originally designed for standing on. However, it is said that the practice of reinforcing the decks to stand on and punt for your passengers was begun by the first female students of Cambridge University at Girton College – because they were eager to show off their ankles!
There are several companies you can hire punts from , with or without a chauffeur. Most of the University’s colleges keep punts for the use of their students, but Trinity College hires out to the public.
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