The Cherwell Boathouse, Bardwell Road Oxford OX2 6ST

While punting may not be Oxford’s best-kept secret, the Cherwell Boat House is – until now. Skip the queues at Magdalen Bridge or Folly Bridge in town and head to the Cherwell Boat House, where you can have a Pimms beside the river before your trip, then climb aboard your flat-bottomed boat and either head south into the town or north up to the fabulous Victoria Arms pub (locally known as the Vicky Arms). On both routes, perfect English picnic spots are plentiful. Swimming in the river is optional, if chilly.

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