Cambridge has for a long time been famous for two things, first its universities which along with those of Oxford have long been thought of as some of the best in the world and secondly it has become famous for its punting on its river, the River Cam. If you are one of the few that have not heard of punting in Cambridge, perhaps you should widen your knowledge by visiting www.puntcambridge.co.uk and learn about what you have been missing. Although Cambridge may now be the most famous city in the country for its punting, punting did originally start, as so many other things, in London, the capital not only of England but also the capital of the United Kingdom.
In the early 19th century, punts were used on the River Thames in London as they have flat bottoms and no keel and so could carry a good weight for their size and could also navigate the shallower waters. Fishermen would therefore use them as offloading platforms and ell fishermen and duck hunters would also use them. By the time these activities started to die out in London, the punts had already found a new use, that of a pleasure boat, allowing people to gently cruise the waters. Punts then became quite popular throughout the country, in the cities as a leisure boat and in wetlands like the fens North of Cambridge, as work boats. Today however they only remain in a few cities like London, Oxford, Canterbury and of course Cambridge where they have become quite famous as a tourist attraction and as a pleasant way for the University students to perhaps relax during slow study days.
Although some people have likened Cambridge with its punts to Venice with its Gondola, there are many differences between the two; the punts for instance have flat bottoms and pointed corners, oblong in shape. Both are powered though by long poles which also have to be used to steer the punts along the River Cam. Many frequent visitors to Cambridge and of course the students will often rent a punt and power themselves with pole whilst most first time visitors would rather hire a punt and a punter so as to more enjoy the relaxation of cruising the peaceful waters.
As well as being relaxing having a punter propel you, the punter will usually act as a guide, giving you facts about the buildings and bridges as you pass them by. To ensure the beauty and interest of one of these punting cruises, the Cambridge authorities have put in place several guidelines and restrictions people have to take in order to make a punting trip as enjoyable and interesting as possible.
The river perhaps plays a large role in University life at Cambridge as, due to their rivalry with Oxford Universities the annual boat race between the two which has become a major event on British calendars is looked on with great esteem and any student featuring in a winning team would certainly catch the faculty’s attention.