Punting at the Cherwell River, Oxford UK- Alive is Awesome

By Mridula Dwivedi October 16, 2012 6 Comments , , ,

It took me three visits to Oxford before I could go punting! When I saw those punt boats for the first time just ahead of the Oxford City Center on the Magdalen River, I wanted to try it. After all, who would not be tempted to view the historic Oxford buildings while gliding through the water?

When I finally got a chance it was just after a conference and I didn’t even have to time to get out of my formal attire! But I never let such minor things stand in my way to experience something new. We were 6 in the group and one of the local professors was a pro at punting. In Oxford if you need to hire an expert to punt your boat you have to give two week’s notice! At least that is what the websites say.

So I asked the professor, “how did you learn punting?” Pat came the reply, “by falling a lot in the river!” Even though it was May and officially summer in UK, I was glad that I was wearing a jacket. The idea of falling into the cold water was not tempting at all!

Punt Boats at the Cherwell River, Oxford, UK
Punt Boats at the Cherwell River, Oxford, UK

A punt is steered with a tall pole because the river bed is quite shallow. If it is not done properly the punt (boat) will get stuck on the shore along the trees and the overgrowth. But the good folks who run this activity have foreseen this possibility and they give you an oar as well to get out of a tricky corner! As we had an expert with us we didn’t use it much. But there was a group who was using the oar much more than the pole and giggling like crazy! Another group was wearing elaborate costumes and having champagne in the middle of the river.

The kind professor invited us all to try our hands at punting. One of our colleagues promptly got us stuck in a corner but we got of it in no time. Then it was my turn. I was really afraid that I will let the pole slip out of my hands and get everyone stranded so I would not let it go and hit the bottom of the river properly. However, with the help of the pro professor I also managed to keep everyone on the punt and didn’t get stuck in the corner! I have to admit we were so caught in keeping things afloat that we hardly noticed the scenery! When we were about to disembark the professor casually remarked, even if you would have dropped the pole it would float on the water!

And what was an Alive is Awesome adventure for us is actually considered to be a very mild activity by the pros where you gently row along the river admiring the architecture and countryside as it rolls by!

This post is part of Alive is Awesome Bathing Experience for Cinthol.

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6 thoughts on “Punting at the Cherwell River, Oxford UK- Alive is Awesome”

  1. I went punting in Cambridge. It’s nice that in Cambridge and I’m sure in Oxford the punters are mostly students trying to earn some extra money. Although just as in your prof’s case our punter informed that its pretty normal for them to fall in the river every few days.

  2. I didn’t manage to go punting in Oxford, but had a lovely time punting in Cambridge, with the punter-guide telling us the most outrageous stories and gossip. It was a lovely experience too 🙂

  3. Now you know Mia!

    Raghav, I guess you have stayed in UK? How did you find the summer? For me it is quite cold so I didn’t want to take a dip at any cost! 😀

    Tushar they also row quite similarly at Chilika lake but the boat looks different.

    Niranjan now you have and at Chilika Lake too they offer something similar.

    Sudha I have not been to Cambridge and I was told by the Prof that Oxford and Cambridge row on different sides! But I am sure the experience is lovely at either place!

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Mridula Dwivedi

I started my India travel blog, Travel Tales from India in 2005. In 2016 I realized Travel Tales from India and Abroad better reflected my writings. I love to walk and ride in metros around the world. I have not been everywhere, I am not even close, but it is on my list. I also quit my job as a professor in 2015, it was a happening year! I did a Ph.D. from IIT Kanpur ages ago!

If you wish to collaborate with me, please check out my media kit. You can write to me at mridulablog@gmail.com

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