Other than bicycles, the university and Rory Mcgrath, Cambridge is also known for the punting industry. A punt is a bit like less curvy gondola – the Gwyneth Paltrow to a Marilyn Monroe. It’s a small flat boat powered by a person at the rear with a giant pole.
It can be great fun, but it’s not really something that locals do regularly – i.e. we don’t traverse the city in punts. It’s pretty much targeted at tourists and is undoubtedly a lovely thing to do when the sun is smiling.
For example ‘the backs’ is a truly beautiful and majestic area where drifting lazily down the river can be an amazing experience. There are lots of sights to see such as King’s College, the mathematical
A bit further from the town centre is a quieter but more natural beauty of the Grantchester area. Weeping willows and more aggressive meanders will lead you all the way up to the more rural part. It’s quite a long journey from town, so put aside a good few hours to enjoy it.
However, punting can be expensive and the punting touts can be anything if not persistent.
Most companies start at about 9am in the day and offer tours, where the chauffeur will ferry a group of you around for a designated cost, time and route. They’ll tell you a bit about Cambridge history, most of it factual, some of it fabricated for their own amusement.
However, pretty much all companies will offer private hire, where you give it a go yourself. This is highly recommended if you’re hands-on and fancy a challenge.
Fees : Ranges from about £14 - £18 per hour for private hire