Punting is a truly timeless, slightly eccentric, quintessentially oxford, idyllic pleasure: sailing leisurely upstream or down river, trailing fingers in the silky water, admiring the wildlife, picnicking on a river bank, dropping in at the Vicky Arms or drifting downstream past the University.
We will be renting a couple of hand crafted punts. Life-jackets(all sizes) are available if required.
Charge = £5.50 fee charged in order to cover the costs of running the meet up and organising the events. Please make sure you have cash for the boat and for the deposit. Punting boats take up to 5-6 people and cost around £16-£20.00 per hour.
We will take the train at 11:20am. We will arrive in Oxford at 12:18pm The ticket is £22.50 return, with a group saver option it could be £11.25. Please make sure you arrive on time so that we can get into the groups and buy the tickets. We will make our way to the platform at 11:05am. Please note, the train ticket is not included.
We can fit a maximum of 6 people per punt. A sport for all ages from 7 to 77, from enthusiastic athletes to partying groups, punting pleases everyone. It would be great if we bring with us some food and wine/Pimms to share.
Punting is easy. The theory: Pushing a boat with a stick . However please note that we will have to do it ourselves so if you don’t want to do it please don’t book on this trip. I'm not an expert, but I have been reassured that we will be shown how to do it on the day and no prior knowledge is necessary.
Training video: http://cherwellboathouse.co.uk/index.php?page=how+to+punt
All you need to know for a successful trip on the river Cherwell:
Getting on a Punt: The person using the pole stands at the back of the boat, this is the end that is tied to the jetty . The punter should ideally board last (lay the pole on the jetty within easy reach of the punt ), you can now offer your passengers a supporting hand as they board with the cushions, strawberries and Pimms . Having boarded yourself with the pole, untie the painter (posh word for rope ) stand about two feet from the end facing the front of the boat , holding the pole vertically drop it to the bottom of the river beside you . Lean the pole slightly forward and gently push straight behind the punt, work your way up the pole hand over hand when you get to the top with the pole trailing behind you, the boat and the pole should be in a straight line. The pole has become a rudder at this stage , keep holding the end of the pole leaving as much of the pole floating as possible, so making the rudder as long and efficient as possible. To turn right sweep the end of the pole in the river through the water to the right and vice versa.
When you are pointing in the desired direction raise the pole through your hands to vertical , drop to the bottom and repeat . Keep watching the front of the boat .
Some parts are muddy, if you feel the pole sinking in to soft mud don’t push too hard, give the pole a twist and yank out, if you need to let go do so otherwise punt will leave you slowly sliding down the pole into the river. You can always recover the pole with the paddle.
Health and Safety:
All non swimmers make themselves known to the punt office staff . Life jackets (all sizes)are available.
When hiring punts on behalf of a group, each member of your party should be aware of the terms and conditions of hire :
In the interests of health and safety:
No more then 6 people per punt.
No punt racing, splashing, or boarding of other punts as equipment can be easily lost or damaged and personal safety can be put at risk. Additional charges may be incurred if boats are sunk or wet.
Although punting, in general, is a safe and pleasant past time , the consumption of excessive amounts of alcohol can lead to difficulties. Anyone suffering from the effects of excess alcohol should not go on the river. We reserve the right not to hire to anyone we feel is unfit to punt. Please enjoy alcohol in a responsible manner.
The University Parks prove to be a popular picnic place.
Parsons Pleasure is where the university Dons would traditionally sunbathe nude but is now a secluded picnic area. The Rollers enable you to move your punt overland and down to the Lower Cherwell and the town centre. They can however be hard work.
Past The "Vicky Arms",or more sedately, The Victoria Arms, is a beautiful, peaceful waterland meadow area with an abundance of wildlife. The Vicky Arms offers refreshments and a play area for children to stretch their legs. It's about half an hours punt upstream from The Cherwell Boathouse. Light cafe food and drinks,sandwiches and salads,sweets and icecream picnics and pimms are also available from The Cherwell Boathouse Teahut by the riverside terraces .
The river Cherwell offers ideal conditions for punting, rowing, and canoeing. The slow moving current and exclusion of all powered craft maintains a peaceful environment in which wildlife thrives.