Where can you go punting in Cambridge?

January 18th, 2020

Thanks to @bendavisphotography for the photo of the punting

Where can you go punting in Cambridge?

CAMBRIDGE has one river which flows from south to north. The river is divided into three parts. The Granta, which flows from the Village of Granchester into Cambridge, the Upper Cam which flows through the City Center and the Lower Cam which flows out of town. People don’t generally punt on the Lower Cam because it had a lot of rowing boats. You can rent punts on the Granta and the upper Cam.

The Granta

This part of the river is 2 miles in length and forks for a small section in Granchester where a water mill used to be. It is predominantly countryside with just a few houses set back from the river, there are no buildings or bridges of particular historical importance or beauty with the possible exception of the watermill. In total there are five bridges.

The main attraction of punting on the Granta are the meadows which start just outside of Cambridge. There is also an attractive wooded area in Newnham, a small village between CAMBRIDGE and Granchester. It’s traditional to punt to Granchester and stop off for a picnic or have afternoon tea at the Orchard Tea Rooms.

Where can I rent a punt from to go to Granchester?

It is only Scudamores who have a punt station based on the Granta. As a result, most other pint companies only offer Tours as opposed to self-drive on the Granta. Specifically, this is due to the difficulty and expense of effectively transporting the punt up the rollers which link the two sections of the river.

Where is the Granta located?

This is the most southern part of the river. CAMBRIDGE south train station is the closest (approximately 1km). It is slightly closer than the Upper Cam, however, there is only a few hundred-meter difference. The nearest parking varies depending on where you meet the Granta, however for punting from the town the nearest parking would be Queens Rd for access to the most Central part of the Granta. The bus station is roughly the same distance from all three parts of the river.

The upper Cam

The upper Cam is by far the most popular part of the river for punting in Cambridge. It gives access to the main punting sites such as Kings College Chapel and the Bridge of Sighs. This is an area of great historical importance. This part of the river is only 1km in length.

Where can I rent a punt from on the upper Cam?

All of the punting companies in Cambridge are based on this part of the river. It doesn’t particularly matter where you start from as it is normal to punt on a round trip covering the whole 1km. Inexperienced Self-drivers may choose a central punt station like Trinity as they need to cover less distance in order to see the main sites.

Where is the upper Cam located?

This is the most central portion of the river. Depending on the punt station that you choose to depart from, you could choose any of the city centre car parks. CAMBRIDGE south railway station is the closest, it’s approximately 1mile to the most southerly part of the upper cam at Silver street. The river runs in an ark around the bus station, so every point is approximately 800m away. Coaches can drop off and collect from either Queens road or Arundel House coach stops. Queens Road is best for CCP, Granta and Scudamores Bridge Street. Arundel House is favourable for the remaining punt companies.

The Lower Cam

The Lower Cam is mainly used by rowing clubs who train for competitions. Punting, especially self-drive would likely cause hazardous congestion. It is rare that punting goes on here, there are no punt stations based on this part of the river.

The buildings are a combination of residential and rowing houses. There is common land on the East side of the river. We suggest this area for walk rather than a punt. The best time to visit is in June when the Colleges rowing clubs compete in the annual bumping races.