Punts moored at Magdalen Bridge
Punts moored at Magdalen Bridge

Thames, Isis, and Cherwell Rivers


Oxford grew up at the conjunction of two rivers, the Thames and the Cherwell (pronounced Char-well). Indeed, the very reason for Oxford's existence was the presence of a ford for oxen crossing the Thames (that ford was located near the present Folly Bridge).

Confusing the issue of two rivers is the fact that the Thames is also called the Isis within Oxford's boundaries.

Punting on Oxford's rivers is a popular recreational activity, conjuring up images of Edwardian picnics with men in white flannels poling daintily clad companions along the tree-swept waterways. The punt is a shallow-bottomed boat propelled with the aid of a long pole.

Punting and Rowing
Cherwell Boathouse, Bardwell Road
Punts for hire on the River Cherwell
Available: daily, mid March - mid October, 10.00-dusk. Contact: 01865 515978

IPG Marine, Boat Station, Head of the River Pub, Folly Bridge
Punts, rowing boats and outboard motor boats for hire on the River Thames.
Available: mainly weekends April, May and October; daily June -- September (subject to weather) 11.00-18.00. Contact: 01865 243421

Magdalen Bridge Boathouse, The Old Horse Ford, Magdalen Bridge, High Street
Punting (and chauffeured punting) on the River Cherwell from the boathouse past the Botanic Gardens and Christ Church Meadow. Also electric boat rides from Magdalen Bridge on the river launch Magdalena.
Contact: 01865 202643

River Cruises
Salter Brothers Ltd, Folly Bridge, St Aldate's
Scheduled passenger boat services on the River Thames to Abingdon (2 hours each way) and round trips from Folly Bridge to Iffley Lock (20 minutes each way). Contact: 01865 243421

Oxford River Cruises
A variety of cruises including lunchtime, sightseeing, and sunset picnic cruises. Boats depart from the moorings beside the restaurant at 'No. 1 Folly Bridge', Folly Bridge, Oxford, OX1 4LB (beside Magdalen College, on the north west side of the bridge).

Narrow Boats
College Cruisers, Combe Road, Oxford Contact: 01865 554343

More Oxford Attractions