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Punting on the River Cam

  • Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, United Kingdom (UK)

  • Bucket List Experience

Last updated: 06 February, 2024

No visit to Cambridge is complete without an hour or two gliding along the River Cam in a punt – a long, slim boat rather like a Viennese gondola. First introduced to Cambridge in Edwardian times, punting has become an iconic pastime in the city.

It’s also the best way to enjoy the spectacular architecture of the university colleges and the ‘backs’ – the gardens that stretch from the colleges down to the river.

Logistics

Price from: £20
Minimum age: 0
Age suitable: 13+
When: All year around
Duration: 2 hours

Getting there & doing it

There are two options; you can either punt yourself – which involves propelling the boat along by plunging and pulling a ten-foot pole in and out of the water – or hire a crewed boat. If you’ve never punted before, or simply want to sit back and enjoy the experience, this is the better option – the river can get quite crowded, and it’s far more relaxing to be in the hands of an experienced crew,

Several companies operate along the riverbank – book in advance, or turn up and hire for an hour or more (on weekends and in the summer, it’s worth pre-booking).

Hire a punt in the afternoon and head upriver for afternoon tea in the shady riverside garden of the Granchester Tearooms, once home to the poet Rupert Brooke.

When to do it

Punts are available to hire all year round; the river gets very busy in the summer months, and week days are always quieter. 

Who to go with: organised tours

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Our selection of the best Viator tours of this attraction or activity

Punting Tour in Cambridge

  • Cambridge

Enjoy a 45 minute shared punting tour of Cambridge, this is a must do when visiting the city. See the sublime architecture and pristine gardens of one of the most beautiful stretches of river in the United Kingdom.

Price £70

Min age 0

Rating 4.58 / 5 [1562 ratings]

Tour supplied by:

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Shared | Cambridge Alumni-Led Walking & Punting Tour W/ Opt King's College Entry

  • Cambridge

This combined package has it all. Enjoy a graduate-led walking tour & punting tour showing you the most famous and prestigious Cambridge University colleges and landmarks. Your walking tour is led by Cambridge University students and graduates and your punting tour is guided by professionally trained local guides. You also have the option to enter King's College chapel for the ultimate Cambridge experience!

Price £60

Min age 0

Rating 4.70 / 5 [515 ratings]

Tour supplied by:

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Shared Punt Tour - Cambridge

  • Cambridge

Customers can purchase tickets for up to 3 or 6 people on a shared tour. Enjoy the College Backs of Cambridge on a guided punt tour. Up to 3 people will have an entire row, up to 6 people will have an entire section. These tickets comply with the government guidelines on social distancing. To avoid a long wait time please ensure you call us in advance to secure your booking time.

Price £40

Min age 0

Rating 4.90 / 5 [421 ratings]

Tour supplied by:

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Shared Guided Punting Tour of Cambridge

  • Cambridge

****This Tour is SHARED with other customers - NOT A PRIVATE TOUR**** Boats leave at the scheduled times. LATE ARRIVALS WILL BE REQUIRED TO PURCHASE NEW TICKETS. WE DO NOT HOLD BOATS TO WAIT FOR LATE CUSTOMERS. You will receive a personal and detailed historical tour from our knowledgeable guides. You will be told about all the bridges and buildings you pass. Hearing about the famous colleges, their history, some funny anecdotes and all about our famous University Alumni. Our guides will be happy to answer your questions on the town, colleges and whatever else you are curious about. The tour covers the 1-mile stretch of the River Cam, known as The Backs. It will last approximately 45 mins.

Price £20

Min age 0

Rating 4.82 / 5 [364 ratings]

Tour supplied by:

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Private Cambridge Punting Tour

  • Cambridge

Sit back, relax and enjoy the views from the comfort of your own punt. Your private chauffeured punt tour for up to 12 people will last for approximately 50 minutes and cover the college "Backs". Whilst punting your chauffeur will provide and interesting an informative tour. During the tour you will pass famous sights including Kings College Chapel, The Bridge of Sighs, The Wren Library, New Court St Johns and the Mathematical Bridge. Punting is a very relaxing way to see the seven riparian Cambridge University colleges which are steeped in fascinating history and the majestic Kings College chapel which provides the most iconic visual imagery for one of the most esteemed educational institutions in the world. COVID-19 - Under current guidelines groups should be a maximum of 6 unless all of the same households. Boats are fitted with perspex screens to meet social distancing guidelines.

Price £109

Min age 0

Rating 4.92 / 5 [298 ratings]

Tour supplied by:

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