July's Day Trip | Punting in Cambridge
One of the best ways to cope with life in a big city is to make sure you leave it as often as possible. With this aim in mind we have created a new series of Bleak House guides called ‘An Hour and A Million Miles’. This is a set of twelve day trips from London designed to inspire you leave the city for a few hours and soak up some countryside. Each trip is only an hour from London but you will feel like you’ve travelled a million miles, and possibly back a couple of centuries too.
The first of our new guides, perfectly judged for July, is a trip to Cambridge for a spot of punting and hunting down the world’s best Chelsea buns. This day trip is perfect for this time of year as the students have gone down for the summer and so the colleges are open. Plus the summer is still young and Cambridge is achingly pretty at this time of year.
Take a train from Kings Cross or Liverpool Street or zip up the M11 and you will be in Cambridge in no time. The station is a little way from the action (owing to nineteenth century concerns about the corrupting influence of the railways on students) and so a cab is advisable unless you feel like making the long march into town.
Punting is a must. It is unbearably romantic and bloody brilliant fun. Plus you get to see the ‘Backs’ (literally the backs of the colleges where their gardens stretch down to the river) from a unique vantage point. And you get some exercise too.
Punting is not as difficult as you might think, as long as you approach it with determination. Punting in Cambridge is always done from the large flat surface to the rear of the boat. It feels weird standing on it at first, but you will find you get your balance very very quickly. If you are a novice, ask for an metal pole as the wooden ones are heavy and can be difficult to manoeuvre. I could describe the action of punting for you but Scudamore's have made a great tutorial so I suggest you take a look now, and perhaps take it with you on your phone just in case you need to reminder on the day.
Everything you need to know for your trip to Cambridge including where to park, where to hire the boats, where to punt, where to picnic and where to buy your refreshments is in our guide which you can download by clicking any of the images below. Or you can download here.
We hope you love our new series of guides. Please do let us know about any trips you take. Tag us in your photos on instagram @bleakhouse.london to join in the adventure.
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