Punting has been a popular pastime on the River Thames for over 150 years since the first punts were built as small cargo boats or platforms for fishermen on the Thames.
Pleasure punts were introduced between 1860 and 1880. Punts are still built on the Thames today and you can purchase or hire one from Salters Steamers. A punt can be punted either way in either direction which is handy for turning round in narrow streams. You can join specialist clubs on the lower Thames to race punts.
Hiring a punt in Oxford allows you to glide by history through Christchurch College Meadows where Lewis Carroll taught and was inspired to write Alice in Wonderland (1865). Or for those more adventurous explore the Isis (the name for the Thames as it passes through Oxford).
Visit Thames recommends Salters Steamers, this family business has provided boats on the Royal River Thames for over 150 years. Boats are hired on a first-come-first-serve basis, children are welcome and life jackets are available.
Explore the beautiful, relaxing and inspiring
From historic royal palaces to thrill-filled theme parks, the River Thames is surrounded by lots of exciting attractions.
The River Thames offers fantastic leisure facilities for boating. Whether you are looking for a relaxing afternoon, seeing the sights while somebody else drives, or you want to be in charge and hire a boat, punt or canoe for an hour or longer. Read more…
Fancy a quick snack, or a hearty three-course meal? What about a glass of wine by the river? There’s a whole host of pubs, restaurants and tea rooms along the River Thames.