Punting in Oxford


So last weekend a friend was down to visit and had never been to Oxford. It was a beautifully sunny day and I thought punting would be a cracking idea.  However, it turned out to be quite the eventful day. If you haven't been to Oxford you can find the boathouse at Magdalen Bridge head out of town and you will soon find it. As a warning there is usually a queue of people, which was true last weekend, luckily for us though it only took as about 10 minutes to get our boat. It is £20 for an hour and you leave ID and a tenner deposit behind too. Then it is all aboard.

Now as there were only two of us, add in the fact we wanted to nibble and drink pimms, the sensible option seemed to be a pedalo punt. These aren't your traditional ones, instead you both sit down then pedal and steer with a rudder. Logically they are meant to be easier than the regular punts!! Within minutes we were struggling (mainly other boats fault I must add) but eventually we made it out into the open water so to speak. We had space, we were cruising, pimms was being drunk and the views were lovely, it was perfect. 

About half an hour in, we became a little stuck. The rudder had completely jammed, meaning if we pedalled we would have just gone round in circles. You can imagine the hilarity, two girls giddy on pimms literally stuck in a boat on a river! At this exact point there was no one around, what to do ! On departing you are provided with a map, handily this had the phone number of the boat house on. I called up and after a bit of discussion it was deemed necessary to send us a rescue punt !!!! By now the sun was shining we were a few drinks down and more than content chilling in the boat. We chatted to passers by who all offered help and too found it quite amusing we were stuck.

Eventually our rescuer came, but no luck in fixing our rudder, so our boats were tied together and we set off back to the boat house. Now with our rudder being jammed it was making it practically impossible to move. Our rescuer also had to call for help. We now had three boats and two crew members on a very busy day!!!!! Quite the situation to be honest. The next chap to come along however managed to fix our rudder. wooppaaaa we were then back on our way.

You will be glad to hear we made it back with no further issues, in fact we were quite the pros by the end! After all the palaver we needed a treat so headed to Quod for a champagne filled afternoon tea. We sat outside to make the most of the glorious sunshine then tucked in to sandwiches, warm scones and miniature cakes. It was a great spot, proper tasty and well worth a visit.

Oxford itself is a beautiful city and one I am fortunate enough to live so close to. I am a regular visitor so I shall take you on a little tour in another post. Have you got any top tips for Oxford ? 

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