Although punting in the UK used to be more widespread than it is today, it can still be enjoyed in Oxford, Canterbury and Stratford as well of course as Cambridge which is perhaps famous for its punts. Punts were first designed though as working boats on the River Thames in London and then were started to be used, as working boats, in areas of shallow waters elsewhere around the country such as the Fens North of Cambridge. Before their usefulness as working boats subsided though, they had already become popular as leisure boats and so their existence remained but for a different use.
Today though even as leisure boats their popularity is on the decrease and so punts can now rarely be seen outside of Oxford, Cambridge, Stratford and Canterbury but even in Oxford, Canterbury and Stratford, people go punting only if they have time after visiting other attractions. In Cambridge though, it is often the punting that attracts tourists and so they only visit other attractions if they have time after having had their fill of punting.
Cambridge punting UK is therefore considered a tourist activity and is advertised as such all over the country and perhaps even overseas. This means it is one of Cambridge’s main tourist attractions and so local government enforce the protection of punters and their punts, ensuring that tourists can have as a relaxing and enjoyable punting break as possible. The gondolas of Venice are however perhaps more famous than the Cambridge punts but they have several things in common and among those things are the fact that they are now, today, designed for use as leisure boats and second, they are both powered by poles, in the case of the Cambridge punts, 15’ poles. There are differences between them though as the punts are oblong shaped with square corners and the gondola is oval shaped with pointed ends.
Many of the students of the Cambridge universities enjoy leisure time punting but it is not perhaps the greatest of the river activities that Cambridge Universities are known for as they are also well-known for their participation in the annual University Boat Race help every year on the River Thames in London. This is a race between the two famous university cities of Oxford and Cambridge with the stakes being high as they are the bragging rights for the next year. There is a lot of rivalry between these two cities universities as they are both known for housing some of the best universities in the world and this rivalry culminates in the annual boat race on the Thames.
So many of the students from some of the world’s best universities have close connections with the River Thames because of the race and their own rivers, the Thames for Oxford and the River Cam for Cambridge. In Cambridge though the many students may have even close ties though due to them often taking up casual employment as guides on some of the tourist punts.