Oxford Is a City of Many Traditions and Punting is One of The Favourites:
Oxford University has a longstanding affinity with water sports and the River Isis (the Oxford name for the River Thames) and the River Cherwell have featured prominently in Oxford city’s history. A pleasurable thing to do in Oxford, which will allow visitors to enjoy the sights of Oxford from the river, is to partake in the quintessential Oxford tradition of punting.
Punting provides a timeless escape from the hustle and bustle of the city centre during your Oxford holidays. On a punt boat, you can drift quietly down the River Cherwell and travel through the English countryside down to the River Thames. On the way you will glide past the Botanic Gardens, Christ Church Meadows, Magdalen College tower and other interesting sights. And as you enjoy the serenity of the river cruise, look out for kingfishers along the river or kites overhead. Occasionally, only the pedaloes will disturb your tranquillity. The punting season is from mid-March to mid-October.
Where to Hire Your Punt Boats
You can hire the punt boat and do your own punting or go for the chauffeured option. For the beginner punter, basic training is provided. There are a few outfits that offer punting in Oxford:
- Magdalen Bridge Boathouse on High Street offers punts, chauffeured punts, rowing boats and pedalos for hire on the River Cherwell. The most popular circular route, past the Botanic Garden and Christ Church Meadow takes approximately 30 minutes to an hour. The other direction offers a more rural and slightly more challenging route towards University Parks. (www.oxfordpunting.co.uk)
- Cherwell Boathouse on Bardwell Road offers punts, rowing boats and Canadian canoes for hire on the River Cherwell, for a secluded route favoured by the locals. Although the punting season is from March to October, the Cherwell Boathouse restaurant is open 7 days a week all year round. (www.cherwellboatbouse.co.uk)
- Salter’s Steamers Ltd at Folly Bridge offers punts, day and rowing boats for hire on the Isis. (www.salterssteamers.co.uk)