How to hire the punts
Updated: Jun 30
What-ho! Punt Admiral at your service! For your pleasure, the CR has three punts – Edmund of Abingdon, Richard Laws, and a new punt. They are moored in St John’s College and are available for use by student members of the College in spring and summer months. The maintenance and running costs of the punts come directly from the CR fee.
Edmund of Abingdon (CC792)
Similar to the college, this punt is named after St Edmund of Abingdon (1175–1240), the first known Oxford Master of Arts, the Archbishop of Canterbury (where punting is also popular!), and our college’s patron. However, much like the red-billed chough’s that adorn the Coat of arms of Saint Edmund of Abingdon, and can be found on the top left-hand corner of our college arms, let yourself glide over the water, onwards to happier, more peaceful times on the river, of course always with friends!
Richard Laws (CC151)
Our second punt on offer is named after Richard Laws, the former Director of the British Antarctic Survey, Master of St Edmund’s College, and Secretary of the Zoological Society of London. Much like any trepid explorer, seize that spirit within you (or in your hand), and set your sights on finding the semi-aquatic life that can be found on the Cam… who knows?! Maybe you’ll see great whales and elephant seals, just as Richard did on his tours of the Antarctic!
Grace Lake (CC1589)
The final punt, I am incredibly excited about… our final punt is named after an Eddie’s alumna: poet Anna Mendelssohn, or rather by her nom-de-plume: GRACE LAKE. In case you wanted to check my thinking: Lake – Water – River – Cam – Punting – Punt, plus Grace is something we all need a little of, and certainly helps of the River! She may have had quite a rocky time before coming to Cambridge (as you may on the river), but hopefully, much like her you can come to appreciate poetry at St Edmund’s College, and devote your time on the river to poetry and art as you push yourself peacefully!
Booking the Punts
To book the punts, visit the CR BOOKING PORTAL.
Punts can be reserved up to seven (7) days in advance, for up to four (4) hours per day. Each person is only permitted to make one reservation per day. The punts are available from 8 am-8 pm. NB: You cannot set off after dark even if you can reserve for this time.
To reserve a punt, you will need to log in to the portal, select ‘Punts’ from the drop-down menu at the top if it isn’t already selected. Here you can see the availability of the punts. To make a booking, click and drag over your chosen time slot for the selected punt. The ‘Create a new reservation’ page will then open. Check that your chosen times are correct, and hit ‘Create’.
You will not receive a confirmation email unless you change your ‘Notification Settings’ under the ‘My Account’ tab. It is recommended that you change these settings, so you can show the St John’s porters your confirmation email.
Please cancel any reservations which you do not intend to use.
Students are automatically added to the booking system at the start of the year. Please contact the Punt Admiral (email@example.com) if you experience any problems.
Fellows and Staff
Fellows, staff and other members of College may request to use the CR punts. These, and any other special booking requests, should be directed to the CR Punt Admiral (firstname.lastname@example.org) so that your CRSid can be added to the booking system.
Collecting the Punts
Before your reservation:
Collect the punt cushions and a paddle from the St Edmund’s Reception desk. Two big cushions to sit on, two smaller for your backs, and one paddle.
Collect the punt keys. You must show your University Card and a proof of booking (either printed out or on your phone).
Collect the punt from the moorings in the Cripps Quay (St John’s rear Porter’s Lodge in Cripps Court (the ‘PL’ next to number 20 on the map of St John’s)). The St Edmund’s punts are in moorings Z9, Z10 and Z11 on the far side of the quay. If in doubt, ask the Porter to give you directions. Please make sure you take the specific punt you booked.
When arriving at the punts, they should both contain:
A punt pole or quant (this may be on the bank above the quay)
A padlock – this goes through the chain to keep the punt locked to the bank. We recommend leaving the padlock locked to the hook on the mooring station. It significantly reduces the risk of losing the padlock! Plus, rival punters steal poles!
A bailer in case you need to remove rainwater from the bottom of the punt. We recommend that a dry punt is a lot more fun than a wet punt.
If you are using the punts after a period of rain, keep in mind that they are likely to contain water! There should be a bucket or bailer at the quay to bail out the water.
Returning the Punts
Please make sure to return the punts back to St John’s on time and ensure you allow enough time to do so. Please check the following:
The punts are returned to the correct mooring stations. These are clearly marked inside the back of the punts in black plastic lettering. If there is already another punt on your station (and it isn’t the other St Edmund’s punt) please inform the Punt Admiral.
All equipment is locked to the punts/through the chain.
Make sure the punt is secured to the quay – a good tug on the chain should check this.
Take all your rubbish with you.
Return the key to the St Edmund’s Reception desk.
Take all the punt cushions out of the boat and return them along with the paddle to the Reception in St Edmund’s. They cannot be left at St John’s.
St John’s College have stated that St Edmund’s College students are not allowed to wander around St John’s College due to COVID-19 risks. After your punting session you must leave promptly and safely, otherwise we may all lose the ability to punt.
If there are problems
If you experience any problems while trying to book a punt, please contact the Punt Admiral (email@example.com) including your name and CRSid.
In the event that something is damaged or lost when punting, please report it to the Punt Admiral as soon as possible. This allows people with later reservations to be notified if there is a problem.
Please understand that failing to comply with the above may result in you being prevented from hiring punts in the future; especially if that involves quarrels with St John’s Porters and St John’s College, coming back late, or not reporting damaged equipment.
We have been given strict instructions. Failure to comply may result in the punts not being allowed to return to the river immediately and/or in subsequent years.
Booking can be done online up to 7 days in advance.
Punt cushions and paddle can be collected from Reception in St Edmund’s before your reservation and should be returned here immediately afterwards. We recommend 3 or 4 cushions per punt.
Punt keys – the punts are stored in Cripps Court in St John’s and the keys can be collected from the St Edmund’s Reception desk.
Keep to time.
Keep the punts tidy and take any rubbish with you.
If there is any equipment missing or damaged, please let the Punt Admiral know as soon as possible.