The Cherwell Boathouse is one of the more "out-of-the-way" places to start your punting experience, but it is also one of the more beautiful and tranquil starting points. It has the advantage that you are more likely to be able to hire a punt here because it is not so easy for tourists to get to. Furthermore, if you work up an appetite on the river - which is highly likely in our experience - the Cherwell Boathouse is also an exquisite restaurant.
One of the most popular punting trips from the Cherwell Boat house is to punt to the Victoria Arms pub. To do this punt you just need to head up stream from the punting station. It normally takes 20-30 minutes to reach the Victoria Arms pub depending on your punting skills, or lack of them! When you reach the Victoria Arms it is just a short walk up the garden to reach your refreshment of choice. The Victoria Arms pub also serves pub style food.
Punting Video - click the triangle to play
Weekdays: GBP12 per hour / GBP60 all day
Weekend: GBP14 per hour / GBP70 all day
Deposit of 1 days hire.
The Head of the River pub is a good place to start your punting trip as well as to quench your thirst. There are actually two punting stations here, one by the pub and the other side of the road under Folley Bridge. This has the advantage that you are more likely to get a punt on a hot sunny day!
When you start punting from this location you will be on the river Thames (or the Isis as this stretch of the Thames is locally known) which is quite fast flowing and quite hard for a learner to punt. There are also larger powered boats to avoid. If you head downstream you pass Christchurch Meadow where you can punt away from the Thames up a smaller tributary where you are sure to find many other punts.
Tel: 01865 721600
Oxford OX1 4LB
Magdalen Bridge Boathouse
The "Home of Oxford Punting", situated by the famous Magdalen Bridge, off of which Oxford University students have traditionally jumped on May Day mornings - risking life and limb!
Traditional flat-bototmed punts are available for hire, as are rowing boats and pedalos for those hoping for an easier ride. Booking is advised.
From the Magdalen Bridge Boathouse you will be punting on the River Cherwell, offering fantastic and lush scenery both up and downstream from the bridge. Your journey can take you past the famous Botanic Gardens and then through the unspoilt Christchurch meadows, where Lewis Carroll wrote Alice Through The Looking Glass, and past St. Hilda's College.
10am to dusk
Tel: 01865 202643.
Magdalen Bridge, Oxford.
Oxford Hotel Accommodation
If you decide you would like to spend a little longer in Oxford to soak up the atmosphere and visit a few more attractions why not check out some of the Oxford Hotel Deals and see if anything takes your fancy?
Voted as one of the best road races in the UK, the Oxford Town & Gown is a fast and unique course which allows you to pace the closed streets of Oxford city centre, passing historic buildings and ending in the beautiful University parks.