Summary

A punting tour of the College Backs offering the perfect introduction to historic Cambridge.

Introduction

Cambridge is named after its river, a clear indication of the central role this waterway has played in the history of this ancient university city. The most famous stretch of the River Cam is known as the College Backs and runs from Queens' College to Magdalene College. Set amongst spacious lawns and intimate gardens are some of Cambridge's most renowned sights, including the Mathematical Bridge, King's College Chapel, the Wren Library and the Bridge of Sighs. 

This is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful stretches of river in England and there is no better way to experience it than from one of our chauffeured punts, with one of our knowledgeable guides providing a tour which combines an historical perspective with insights into university life today.

Opening hours

We are open daily throughout the year, except December 25th, from 10:00 until dusk, conditions permitting. We run regular public tours of the College Backs each day. Because of the popularity of these tours reserving places in advance is recommended.

History to the present day

Punts - a brief history

A punt is a traditional square-ended, flat-bottomed boat, usually propelled using a long pole. One such area was the Fens, the marshy flatlands north of Cambridge, where punts were integral to local trades such as eel fishing and reed-cutting, until they died out in the late nineteenth century.

Scudamore's

Jack Scudamore introduced pleasure punting to Cambridge in Edwardian times, pioneering punt hire on the River Cam. Jack founded his business at the turn of the 20th Century, quickly establishing punting as Cambridge's favourite pastime. Today, Scudamore's Punting Company owns the world's largest fleet of punts, with nearly 150 boats available for hire along two routes.

Punting today

Punts today are usually 6 to 7 metres long and 1 to 2 metres wide. They are propelled by means of a 5 metre long wood or aluminium pole, which is also used to steer the boat. This method of propulsion is known as "punting" - just using a paddle to move along doesn't count!

Other facilities

Disability access

We are committed to ensuring that the widest range of people can access our punt stations and enjoy the river. Please call on 01223 359750 with questions regarding access.

Age restrictions

Children welcome

Minimum age 5

4.5/5.0

Based on 24 Reviews
Service 4.5
Website 4.1
Value 4.4
Overall Experience 4.7

A very enjoyable trip on the river Cam. Good value for money. Interesting and informative punter.
Mrs Valerie B

Our punter Levi? (10:05 am punt on 2/7/15) was great. Knowledgeable and fun!
Mrs Lorraine M

One of the best managed punting tours in Cambridge. Our experience wasn't as good, because it started to rain. Scudmores were the only company that provided umbrella's for protection and blankets for warmth.
Ms Karishma P

Really enjoyed this trip and the information provided by our guide.
Mrs Tracy G

I went with a friend and we both thought the whole experience was great - a wonderful way to see the college backs - and as he punted Dan provided us with just the right amount of information - money very well spent
Mr David L

We arrived earlier than our booked time for 12:00pm, but we were happy to know that we could go for punting next run at 10:30am. It has been a very memorable experience.
Mrs Yahong Q

Really funny experience and if you book online it's a bit cheaper than buying insite. During the boat ride the tour guide will tell you about the history of the places with some funny stories!
Miss Patricia R

Very enjoyable, with a very well informed young gentleman punting! Enjoyed it more than ride in a gondola in Venice!
Mr Peter S

unfortunately it was raining, but still enjoyable. the poor young man who took us out was very wet but this did not deter him from giving us an informative enjoyable trip
Mrs philomena P

We enjoyed our punting experience very much - and appreciated the flexibility of being able to start from either location and that we were able to turn up and go earlier than the time we had booked.
Ms shelagh C

Travel Info

Address: Scudamore's Punting Company, Granta Place, Mill Lane, Cambridge, CB2 1RS, United Kingdom

Tour details

The College Tour is approximately 45 minutes, starting and finishing at our Mill Lane station. The tours punts hold up to 12 passengers and come equipped with blankets and umbrellas. Please note that all reservation are for public tours.

Arrival information

Please check in at the Mill Lane punt station to claim a seats on the next departing tour.

To enable a prompt check-in, please bring a print-out of the reservation confirmation.

How to find us

Address

Scudamore's Punting Company, Mill Lane Punting Station, Cambridge CB2 1RS.

Location description

Our Mill Lane punt station is in the southwestern area of the city centre, only a 5-minute walk from King's College, the Market Square and the Tourist Information Centre. 

Travelling to Cambridge

By rail: Cambridge is an hour by rail from London or Peterborough. Buses run every few minutes from Cambridge Station into the centre of Cambridge and our Mill Lane station is about a 5-minute walk from the bus stop next to John Lewis. Taxis are also available at Cambridge station.

By coach: Regular coach services run from central London and the various London airports. The Parkside coach stands are only a 5-minute walk from Cambridge city centre and 10 minutes from our Mill Lane punt station.