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College Backs Punt Hire
Punt Hire on the College Backs
To seek a dream?
Just to pole a boat upstream
To where the green grass is more verdant
From Farewell Again, Cambridge (Xu Xhimo)
If you're looking to have your very own Cambridge adventure on the river then hiring one of our rental punts is just the thing! Take out a self-hire punt and head along the College Backs for a sense of grandeur. For sights that once inspired the poets Lord Tennyson and Xu Zhimo and many more.
Tickets from just £37.50
Easy online booking
Guaranteed entry time
College Backs 90 Minute Punt Hire
Do you want to experience the best sights of Cambridge and have a go at punting? The 90 minutes College Backs punt rental is a great way to navigate Cambridge's heritage.
- See the Mathematical Bridge
- Pass by the world famous King's College Chapel
- Admire the Wren Library
- Punt under the Bridge of Sighs
- Go under the “Cam Bridge” at Magdalene College
Know before you buy ▾
COVID-19 Safety ▾
Getting here ▾
- The minimum age for hiring a boat is 16 years old.
- The maximum capacity of a self-hire punt is 6 people (5 passengers + 1 punter).
- Aim to arrive 10 minutes before your booking slot to allow time for checking in. At check-in you'll be asked to leave a contactless card hire deposit, then read and electronically sign our Conditions of Hire.
- Once you've boarded your punt you'll receive a hire handover briefing from a member of our staff, after which your hire commences.
- Any additional hire beyond your allotted time will be calculated at the usual hourly hire rate of £33 (standard) or £27 (concession), broken down to the nearest 6 minutes.
- We ask that you do your best to return your punt on time at the end of your hire slot to avoid potential delays to other customers who may be waiting.
- Punt hire on the College Backs takes place between our Mill Lane and Quayside punt stations and boats can't be taken on the upper river towards Grantchester. To see Grantchester and its meadows you can book our Grantchester self-hire boats.
Please call us on 01223 359750 if you have any questions about your purchase.
What we’re doing differently
- Requiring visitors to book in advance to avoid crowding and limiting numbers on each punt.
- Thoroughly sanitising all equipment (boat, cushions, pole and paddle) before and after each use.
- Implementing designated pedestrian route layouts and signage on site, along with dedicated members of staff to monitor the flow of people.
- Conducting briefings and hire handover procedures from 2 metres away.
What we ask of you
- Only punt with members of your own household or one additional household - including each household's support bubble.
- Bring your own hand sanitiser (and other PPE if you want to of course).
- Be confidently mobile as we have had to adapt how we hold the boat to get you on and off and are unable to offer you a supporting hand or arm.
- NOT to participate if you / anyone in your household have been infected or displayed any coronavirus symptoms, or have been in contact with anyone that has the virus, within the last 14 days.
During your visit
- In order to maintain social distancing and process your booking, please arrive 10 minutes before your hire. Sadly, if you're more than 15 minutes late, we won’t be able to guarantee you entry. Your entry will be at the discretion of the Duty Manager, who will base their decision on visitor numbers and the ability to maintain social distancing.
- Have your booking confirmation ready to show the Scudamore’s staff member at the front entrance, preferably on your mobile device, to minimise contact.
- To help keep everyone safe, please follow social distancing, and government guidance throughout your visit. Please look out for our staff and any signs around the site, taking care to follow their guidance.
- Be aware that, as a safety precaution, we are currently unable to provide any customers with personal floatation devices.
- You are encouraged to clean or sanitise your hands immediately before and after your trip. Hand sanitiser will be available on site for the use of any customers who don’t have their own.
We have two locations in the city centre which you can book from:
Mill Lane Punting Station
Quayside Punting Station
Parking and Public Transport
More information on Cambridge parking and public transport to our locations can be found here.
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Have a question?
Do I need to pre-book?
Yes. We’ve introduced an advance booking system for our self-hire punts. This system enables customers to book a specified time slot to help us manage visitor numbers and maintain safe social distancing.
What if I just turn up?
If you haven't booked before you arrive you’ll be asked to do so via our website or over the phone with our bookings team before we're able to let you onto our premises. For those that unable to pre-book we may have walk-up availability at the kiosk at our standard rates.
Can I change my booking time?
Yes. The time and date of your booking can be changed up to 1 hour in advance. Just follow the unique link in your e-booking confirmation where you can select a new date and time.
How many people can go in a punt?
Currently, all of our self-hire punts are limited to 6 people (5 passengers + 1 punter).
What should I wear?
We suggest that you wear something you don’t mind getting a little wet. Dress for the weather so bring along a mac if the forecast is for rain. You need to make sure you have the correct footwear, which is non-slip, stable, can’t fall off easily and offers protection to your toes and heel. Please do not punt in bare feet or wear sandals, flip-flops, slip-on, leather-soled or high heel shoes.
Are dogs allowed?
Yes, we are decidedly dog friendly, so feel free to bring along your four-legged friends! In our experience, dogs love a day out on (and sometimes in) the river every bit as much as their owners.
Can I book a kayak or a canoe?
Our kayaks and canoes are not available along the College Backs. They'll be available to book towards Grantchester from our Boatyard punt station once COVID-19 restrictions allow us to do so.
Any other questions?
Phone: 01223 359750