Wednesday 10 June 2015

Punting on the River Cherwell, Oxford

I had a unique experience of punting once when a friend of mine in Oxford invited me to do punting on the Cherwell River in Oxford. I had never done this before.

Trying my hand at punting on the Cherwell River, Oxford

A punt is a flat bottomed boat with a square bow and punting is boating in a punt by use of a long pole to push against the river bed to push the boat. 

Now Cherwell is an ideal river for punting, rowing and canoeing as the water current is slow and there are no power boats. River Cherwell is a tributary of Thames and meets Thames at Oxford.

Getting stuck due to inexperience!

It may seem easy to punt but in reality it is very difficult to steer and keep it in the right direction if you are not experienced and may very well take your punt into very shallow area or the bushes. Also though going downstream is easy but taking the punt upstream needs lot of strength.

Victoria Arms, a pub on the Cherwell is popular halting point

About 30 minutes upstream of the Cherwell boat House is the Victoria Arms, a pub where punters stop by to relax and have a beer or other refreshments. Oxford being a student-centric town punting is a fun activity for the students and I saw several punts in which people were having fun and taking alcoholic beverages.

Punting and having a good time!

The Cherwell Boathouse has over 70 handcrafted punts that were made here itself. Rowing boats and canoes are also an option. One can hire a punt for about 12 to 14 pounds per hour. Each punt can accommodate a maximum of six persons.

The Punts at the Cherwell Boarthouse, Oxford

It was a real good experience of punting in the picturesque locale of Oxford as on both sides of the river you see green stretches and there are ducks floating on the river!

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