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Punting on the River Cherwell

  • Oxford, Oxfordshire, United Kingdom (UK)

  • Bucket List Experience

Last updated: 08 February, 2024

Punting – whereby long, slim boats rather like a Viennese gondola are propelled along by plunging and pulling a ten-foot pole in and out of the water – is the quintessential Oxford experience. It’s also an ideal way to see the architecture of the colleges and the surrounding countryside, whilst escaping the crowds.

Punts can be hired in various locations, from Port Meadow, just north of the centre, to Magdalen Bridge, right by Magdalen College or from the Cherwell Boathouse.


Price from: £16
Minimum age: Any
Age suitable: 6+
When: All year around
Duration: 1+ hours

Getting there & doing it

The Cherwell Boathouse has the biggest number of punts and is located to the north of central Oxford, a 10-minute taxi ride from the station. Punts can also be hired from the Magdalen Bridge Boathouse at the end of the High Street, although this stretch of the Cherwell is always much busier.

To punt out of the city and into the countryside, head for Port Meadow, also to the north of town.

Punts are charged by the hour; the time you hire the boat is noted, and then the hours added up when you return – meaning you can be flexible with timings, rather than having to return after a set period.

When to do it

Punts at Cherwell Boathouse are available to hire every day from mid-March to mid-October, from 10am until dusk. Magdalen Bridge Boathouse is open March to October.

Weekends are usually busy all season, so either book ahead online or go early in the day. Weekdays are quieter.

Who to go with: organised tours


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

Shared | Oxford Walking & Punting Tour w/opt Christ Church Entry

  • Oxford

Enrich your visit to the University of Oxford with a graduate/student-led 1.5-hour college walking tour and a 30-minute punting tour. Get entry to some of the most historic buildings on campus.

Price £45

Min age 4

Rating 4.92 / 5 [14 ratings]

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