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River Punting: A Quiet Retreat in Cambridge, England

Cambridge is my quiet retreat, a beautiful town with a hidden gem – river punting. Grass-covered banks are carpeted in Spring with daffodils and crocus. The river flows from Ashwell, Hertfordshire through Cambridge and the Great Ouse before reaching the sea on the Norfolk coast.

Why I love river punting in Cambridge

The country town of Cambridgeshire is surrounded by Gothic architecture, beautiful town villages and ancient monuments. River punting or boating through the meadows is an experience complete with nature, you could hear the sounds of birds chirping and wildlife in their natural habitat. Unadulterated peacefulness with a backdrop of perfect medieval castles made it the perfect spot to unwind.

The traditional Cambridge punt runs through the River Cam and you can see incredible views of classic landmarks and College ‘Backs’. For history, art and architecture lovers, this experience is an absolute-must if you’re near the vicinity.

The surroundings give a hint of familiarity to the victorian buildings found in London, but the trailing terrace flora and calm waters made it a world of its own. If you’re looking to escape the bustle in Central London and enjoy some natural tranquility close by, this should definitely be on your list.

cambridge river puntriver punting in cambridge

How to get here:

  • London to Cambridge: Take the rail from London Kings Cross station and get off at Cambridge. The trains come every half hour and travel time is about 45 minutes.
  • Tickets: There’s no need to book advanced tickets, but planning the route ahead might be helpful.

What to do:

The crewed boat ride begins with a company of 12 people on the River Cam. The cruise begins with a guided tour on the history of Cambridge and its various college houses – Trinity College, Kings College and Bridge of Sighs.

My favourite moment was when we passed the Garden Terrace overlooking the river, it felt like historic sites were coming to life engulfed in mystic flora.

  • Cost – £10.00 per hour
  • Duration – 45 minutes
  • Tour – chauffeured by college kids working there
  • There are extended cruises too which goes further past the city’s boundary, extending all the way to the Ely.

If you have some time to spare, it’s really worth it to visit nearby landmarks:

  • Ely: Definitely visit Ely Cathedral and Stained Glass Museum. It’s a 15-minutes train ride from Cambridge.
  • Milton Village: See the Nine Wells, Beechwoods Nature Reserve and Farmland.
  • Fitzwilliam Museum: Fantastic collection of atifacts, designs and classical art. The experience here might even be better than visiting the British Musuem in Bloomsbury. Fitzwilliam Museum is located in central Cambridge and admission is free. Avoid the cafe though, expect exorbitant prices and below-average coffee.

river garden in cambridge river cam cambridge college

Photography taken with Nikon D7000, edited with Nature Landscape Lightroom Presets.

What’s your favourite moment in Cambridge? Tell us below and we will add it to our list.

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