Fancy a punt up the Avon?

Fancy a punt up the Avon?

Fancy a punt up the Avon?

First published in News Salisbury Journal: Photograph of the Author by

SUMMER in the city will soon have an elegant new attraction to offer visitors and residents alike – punting on the River Avon.

Passengers will be able to relax in style aboard the purpose-built Spirit of Salisbury, with champagne an optional extra, as they take in the idyllic views through the water meadows to the Cathedral Close.

They’ll be steered along by one of three enterprising teenagers – Theo Daniel, Cameron Wishart and Dominic Pemberton, all 19.

Theo and Cameron are former Bishop Wordsworth’s pupils from Harnham, while Dominic studies at Surrey University with Cameron.

The trio will launch their venture on Saturday at the Rose & Crown in Harnham, and will also operate from the Grasmere Hotel, going upriver to Arundells and back.

If there is enough interest, they hope to offer punting at weekends throughout the year, with tailor-made excursions tied in with events such as fireworks displays and festivals, and romantic trips for couples using the hotels’ wedding services.

The boys credit Cameron’s father Gavin with the brainwave behind the business after he came across old photographs of punting in Salisbury at the library.

With backing from their families and friends, they invested £4,000 in their 21ft craft, hand-built by Stephen Lowings at St Neots, near Cambridge, where punting on the Cam is a lucrative business.

“It’s such a beautiful boat,” said Theo, who takes up an engineering apprenticeship at QinetiQ after the summer holidays. “We hadn’t actually ever punted before and we had to do a bit of a crash course. It’s not as easy as it looks, but Stephen gave us a lot of tips.”

The boys found no shortage of volunteer passengers while they perfected their skills and now, fully insured, they are ready to offer 45-minute trips for five people, with a special saver rate for families.

They are also seeking a landing point alongside the Close so they can offer trips combining punting with entry to its historic attractions.

To find out more go to salisbury punts.wix.com/salisburypunting or phone 07538 000597.

Comments (5)

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7:56am Thu 17 Jul 14

hillyanne says...

Sounds idyllic.However,when I moved here a few years ago I was told I would not be allowed to canoe along the river through Salisbury.Licence/in
surance,etc.
Has this changed?If so,the rivers's going to get very busy!
Sounds idyllic.However,when I moved here a few years ago I was told I would not be allowed to canoe along the river through Salisbury.Licence/in surance,etc. Has this changed?If so,the rivers's going to get very busy! hillyanne
  • Score: 7

8:23am Thu 17 Jul 14

Bournemouth Ohec says...

I wish them well.
I wish them well. Bournemouth Ohec
  • Score: 2

3:46pm Thu 17 Jul 14

Old Salisbury Boy says...

The Boathouse at the Coach station (actually owned by the Council?) a long time ago hired out rowing boats and one could row as far as Stratford sub Castle. I understood the sole rights to boat hire rested with the councils leaseholder of the boat house building.
The Boathouse at the Coach station (actually owned by the Council?) a long time ago hired out rowing boats and one could row as far as Stratford sub Castle. I understood the sole rights to boat hire rested with the councils leaseholder of the boat house building. Old Salisbury Boy
  • Score: 5

3:49pm Thu 17 Jul 14

Old Salisbury Boy says...

hillyanne wrote:
Sounds idyllic.However,when I moved here a few years ago I was told I would not be allowed to canoe along the river through Salisbury.Licence/in

surance,etc.
Has this changed?If so,the rivers's going to get very busy!
Indeed, I was told the same and in my canoeing on the Avon days was quite forcefully told by the Salisbury and District Angling club officials that any boating below Elizabeth gardens was strictly forbidden.
[quote][p][bold]hillyanne[/bold] wrote: Sounds idyllic.However,when I moved here a few years ago I was told I would not be allowed to canoe along the river through Salisbury.Licence/in surance,etc. Has this changed?If so,the rivers's going to get very busy![/p][/quote]Indeed, I was told the same and in my canoeing on the Avon days was quite forcefully told by the Salisbury and District Angling club officials that any boating below Elizabeth gardens was strictly forbidden. Old Salisbury Boy
  • Score: 7

8:42pm Sun 20 Jul 14

journalist1 says...

Well, let's all just keep quiet then and not spoil things for them!
Well, let's all just keep quiet then and not spoil things for them! journalist1
  • Score: 2

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