Its traditional to go punting along the river (Cam at Cambridge and the Thames in Oxford), but inspite of having a family of marine engineers, Brajesh and me knew we would not be able to steer one of these craft ourselves, so we settled for taking a guided tour by a punter.
We prebooked our tour with Scudamore’s Punting and I have to say that they are one of the best managed punting tours in Cambridge, they were the only company that provided umbrella's for protection and blankets for warmth on their boats.
All the craft and companies follow the same path along the River Cam which takes in all the main colleges of Cambridge - King's College, St John's. Trinity and St Catharines And the bridges - Bridge of Sighs, Kitchen Bridge, Mathematical Bridge.
The river is filled with punters reeling out facts, figures and fiction and bantering with each other along the trip. But sometimes that gets a bit noisy, when there is a lot of crowd at a particular spot.
There are multiple options for punting and you will be assailed with offers from the time you start approaching King's College. We found Scudamore's the best equipped, even though there are many cheaper options around.
Scout for online offers before you head there. National Rail is currently offering a 2FOR1 deal with them.
Personally, our experience wasn't as good, because it started to rain
mid-way through the tour. The umbrellas did help keep us dry(ish), but
we couldn't see the sights along the river as well, with the umbrellas blocking our view.
We hope to be able to make this trip again when the weather isn't so bleary. The trip takes about an hour from the time you "Check In"
Word of Warning : Don't be fooled by how effortless the professional punters make it look!