PUNTING IN CAMBRIDGE

October 01, 2014

Punting in Cambridge - The Wayfarer

Cambridge is a beautiful university town that sits right on the River Cam.  It has gained notoriety for being home to Cambridge University which is among the top five elite educational institutions in the world and has refined some of the greatest minds in history which has helped to put it well and truly on the map.  In addition to this, it's one of the most picturesque, idyllic towns in the UK.  If there's one thing to do whilst in Cambridge, it's take a tour of it from the water...on a punt!

A punt is a small wooden boat designed for shallow water which is propelled forward using a long wooden pole. Essentially, the punt is to Cambridge what the gondola is to Venice. Punt tours usually takes around 30 minutes and cover the mile long stretch that goes through the College Backs. It will usually set you back around £10 - £15 per person depending on which punting company you go for. If you get quoted a price well north of this sort of amount then you can usually haggle, which is all part of the fun! 

Punting in Cambridge - The Wayfarer
Punting in Cambridge - The Wayfarer

For those who are brave and have good balance, you can hire out a punt of your own and try your hand at it.  It's an incredibly tranquil experience and some people like to bring a couple of drinks or a picnic on board. 

Punting in Cambridge - The Wayfarer
Punting in Cambridge - The Wayfarer
Punting in Cambridge - The Wayfarer
Punting in Cambridge - The Wayfarer
Punting in Cambridge - The Wayfarer
Punting in Cambridge - The Wayfarer
King's College
Punting in Cambridge - The Wayfarer
Punting in Cambridge - The Wayfarer
Punting in Cambridge - The Wayfarer
Punting in Cambridge - The Wayfarer
Punting in Cambridge - The Wayfarer
Punting in Cambridge - The Wayfarer
Punting in Cambridge - The Wayfarer
Punting in Cambridge - The Wayfarer
Punting in Cambridge - The Wayfarer
Punting in Cambridge - The Wayfarer

As delightful as punting is, I also highly recommend exploring Cambridge by foot or by bike. There's a whole load more to discover than what can be witnessed on a punt tour. 

Punting in Cambridge - The Wayfarer
Emmanuelle College

Cambridge has some of the most stunningly grand buildings that I've ever seen.  A lot of Cambridge epitomises 'picture perfect' and it all looks even better in the flesh.  It's a real hotspot for architecture lovers. 

Punting in Cambridge - The Wayfarer
Punting in Cambridge - The Wayfarer
Inside King's College

When in Cambridge, taking a look inside King's College is an unmissable thing to do.  It's unique, Gothic interior is a spectacular sight. 

Punting in Cambridge - The Wayfarer

The Round Church is one of the oldest and prettiest buildings in Cambridge. 

Punting in Cambridge - The Wayfarer
Punting in Cambridge - The Wayfarer
Jester, By Wendy Taylor. Emmanuelle College gardens. 
Punting in Cambridge - The Wayfarer

Cambridge has an abundance of perfectly pruned gardens and immaculate grassy expanses.  In the summertime it's even more blooming spectacular (haha sorry).  I highly recommend checking out the Cambridge University Botanic Gardens too, which I have written about separately.  

If you are visiting Cambridge during the summer months, I highly recommend going to one of the open air Shakespeare performances which are put on as part of the Cambridge Shakespeare Festival.  The performances are done in full period costume by Cambridge students.  I went to see a performance of Much Ado About Nothing, which unfortunately I was not allowed to photograph but it was a real highlight of my visit.

Punting in Cambridge - The Wayfarer
Punting in Cambridge - The Wayfarer

When you visit Cambridge, it will soon become apparent that the city is full of bike lovers.  You will find bikes chained up to almost every available piece of fence and railing in the city.  It really adds to the unmistakable Cambridge charm. 

Punting in Cambridge - The Wayfarer
Punting in Cambridge - The Wayfarer
Punting in Cambridge - The Wayfarer
Punting in Cambridge - The Wayfarer
Punting in Cambridge - The Wayfarer
Corpus Clock.

The Corpus Clock which was engineered without hands is perhaps one of the strangest looking clocks ever created.  What's even more strange is that it's actually only accurate once every 5 minutes.  The 'time eater' as it is also known, is coated in gold and is worth £1,000,000.  It can be seen outside Corpus Christi College.  It's best to check it out at night when it is illuminated with snazzy blue light. 

Punting in Cambridge - The Wayfarer
Punting in Cambridge - The Wayfarer
Punting in Cambridge - The Wayfarer

The Fitzwilliam Museum is a must see, even if it's just to get a glimpse of its stunning architecture.  It also showcases some fascinating exhibitions and is spectacularly grand from within.  

Punting in Cambridge - The Wayfarer
Punting in Cambridge - The Wayfarer
Punting in Cambridge - The Wayfarer

There's a lot to be seen in Cambridge; whether you are exploring it by foot, bike or even punt, it will inevitably work up an appetite.  I recommend concluding any sunny day in Cambridge by sprawling out on the grass at Parker's Piece with a 'big ass' burrito from Nanna Mexico and cold ginger beer in hand - which is exactly what we did.

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