Green Spaces in Oxford
Enjoy the green spaces in Oxford – parks, gardens and meadows
There are plenty of green spaces in Oxford including parks and gardens if you tire of historic buildings. Close to the city centre are wonderful green spaces and gardens to relax and enjoy the beautifully maintained surroundings. Even the parks further out of the city are equally attractive, with vantage points providing views of the city centre with its historic spires and towers of Oxford University.
Six of the city’s parks and green spaces have also been recognised as among the very best in the world. St Sepulchre’s Cemetery, Hinksey Park, Florence Park, Cutteslowe and Sunnymead Park, Bury Knowle Park and Blackbird Leys Park all receiving a Green Flag Award status. This is the mark of a quality park or green space in recognition of the highest possible environmental standards, maintenance and excellent visitor facilities.
Below is a small selection of green spaces in Oxford from parks, gardens and meadows in and around Oxford for you to enjoy. Don’t forget lots of the colleges have their own gardens as well, but some charge a small entrance fee.
Christ Church Meadow
Entrance via St. Aldate’s towards the river Thames. Paths follow the river towards the boathouses, which makes the Meadows a popular place to view the boat races during University term times. Another path follows the back of Merton College to the Botanic Gardens. Along this walk is a plaque commemorating the balloon flight of James Sadler in 1784.
During term-time it loses some of its air of calm as devoted rowers jog their way towards the boat houses by the river. A great place to watch the races though in the spring and summer terms.
Opening times: Daily, 8am until dusk.
Access: Wheelchair access from St. Aldate’s via St. Aldate’s Lane, at side of Christ Church College.
Port Meadow and Wolvercote Common
Entrance from Walton Well Road in Jericho, north Oxford, or from the canal and riverside tow-paths. Used for horse racing in the 17th and 18th centuries, as well as grazing land for cattle and horses – the latter still taking place today.
A popular walk (of about an hour) leads to the village of Wolvercote and the Trout Inn for refreshments. Also along the way is the Perch pub, and nearby a pick-your-own farm in Binsey Lane.
Be wary of the Meadow in winter and spring, as flooding is frequent.
South Park & Headington Hill Park
Oxford’s largest parks often play host to open-air concerts and circuses. South Park is located alongside Headington Road, and St Clement’s links the park with central Oxford. A 19th-century bridge links the park with Headington Hill Park. On the southern boundary is the gently curving Morrell Avenue, named after a local brewery family.
University of Oxford Botanic Garden
Located just off the High Street opposite Magdalen College, and along the river Thames.
It can also be reached from Christ Church Meadow.
Founded by the Earl of Danby, Henry Danvers as a physic garden in 1621, this is the oldest botanic garden in Britain. It houses a good collection of trees and plants, has tropical greenhouses, a Bog Garden and a Rock Garden.
November – February: 9am to 4pm, last admission 3.15pm
March – April: 9am to 5pm, last admission 4.15pm
May – August: 9am to 6pm, last admission 5.15pm
September – October: 9am to 5pm, last admission 4.15pm
Access: Wheelchair access to all areas with ramp access to glasshouses.
Hidden in the very heart of Oxford, between Beaumont Street and Little Clarendon Street, a favourite haunt of office workers at lunchtime.
In amidst the leafy roads and Victorian houses of north Oxford is this pleasant green space. In summer you can watch cricket for free, or just walk by the river-side at any time of year. A footpath carries on to Wolfson College and a nature reserve in north east Oxford.
Royalist troops used to exercise here during the Civil War.
Opening times: Daily, 8am until dusk. Closed on the Monday of St. Giles’ Fair (in September).
Access: Wheelchair access via gates in Parks Road and South Parks Road.
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