August 23, 2011


Punting is a very popular activity in university towns like Oxford and Cambridge. "Punting" refers to boating in a punt. A punt is a long flat-bottomed boat. The punter propels the punt by pushing against the river bed with a long pole. The punter stands on a little platform at the back of a boat. Like most things in England, punting has been around for a long time.

We took off from Cherwell Boat House, which is only a mile from where we live.

It has a large garden leading to the river. 

Cherwell Bridge
The pole is 16 feet long. You are given a choice of a wooden pole (for experienced punters) or aluminum (or beginners).  
Cherwell Boat House
The Cherwell flows through Oxford's protected green belt of fields and woods for the last few miles before it joins the Thames, so the scenery is rural and secluded.

I have to say that punting is fun but is more difficult than it looks. As long as you are going straight its fine, but its almost impossible to maneuver or turn.  Also, when there are a lot of boats on the water they are constantly bumping into each other, which can knock the punter off balance.