Punting in Cambridge is not only so last year, it’s so last century. These days, the cool thing to do on the River Cam is stand-up paddleboarding.

For those in the dark, the cumbersomely named sport involves standing upright on a surfboard, using a paddle to propel yourself over the water.

Originally used by surfers to spot waves, today it’s very much a separate entity with specially developed boards and paddles, and a host of celebrity fans including Kate Hudson, Matthew McConaughey and Jennifer Aniston.

It’s also the fastest-growing water sport in the world.

“(Participants) get the chance to build their core muscles, limbo under bridges and trees or perform 180 or 360 degree spins,” says Roland Turner of Fen Paddle Company.

“The skills they’ll have learned on the river can then be taken to the sea.”

» Amy Adams travelled with Visit East of England and went stand-up paddleboarding with the Fen Paddle Company. A one-hour session starts at £35.


More sport in Cambridge


So it might be a little old-fashioned, but when the Cam is teaming with punts the bumper car element adds a modern twist to proceedings.


Rent a bike and join the students buzzing round the city on two wheels.


Make like Harold Abrahams, whose story was told in the film Chariots Of Fire, and sprint round the Great Court of Trinity College in the time it takes for the clock to strike 12.


Not only for those who fall off their paddleboard, in summer there’s an area of the Cam towards the Fens cordoned off for swimming.


What you need to know about paddleboarding in Cambridge

When to go: Fen Paddle Company operates from April until September.

Getting there:Catch a train from Liverpool Street or King’s Cross stations, which takes 60-90 minutes.

Getting around: You can easily walk the centre of Cambridge, or join the locals who get round by bicycle. Buses run from the station to the town centre. A taxi is about £5.

Going out: A pint costs about £2.80.

Accommodation: Dorm beds from £13.95 at the YHA (yha.org.uk). Doubles from £20.

See: visiteastofengland.com and fenpaddle.co.uk.