We were spending a long weekend in Oxford visiting family and decided that a punt along the river was a treat not to be missed! It was a scorching hot Saturday afternoon when our taxi delivered us to the Magdalen Bridge and after a short wait in the queue watching the mayhem as the brave and/or foolish wobbled off grasping their poles, we decided to pay an additional £5.00 for the services of a "Crew" member to control our punt. This allowed us to sit back on the comfy cushions and, once we had escaped the madness of the launching area, including boatloads of young men resplendent in viking gear, enjoy the passing scenery whilst drinking champagne (well, a very drinkable Prosecco) and nibbling strawberries. As we drifted past historical buildings and sports grounds, accompanied by ducks and coots, we soon decided half an hour was not long enough and were fortunate enough to hold on to our boat for a further half hour (£50 in total for an hour on the river with four of us and a crew member.)
As well as punts, the Boathouse hires out rowing boats and pedalos – the latter are long and thin (rather than the square, dumpy ones used in European beach resorts). All three hold 4-5 people.
A memorable experience overall but a word of warning – you do need your wits about you in the congested areas of the river: punts are very low down in the river making it easy for the bow of an out of control punt to crash into your arm or shoulder. Our crew member looked after us well and gave a couple of inexperienced punters a thoroughly good telling off!