Walking in The Oxfordshire Countryside

Oxford City & Oxfordshire | Magazine 

Walking in The Oxfordshire Countryside

Oxfordshire’s beautiful countryside is home to numerous walking trails and routes, making it an ideal destination for walking enthusiasts of all levels. From short and easy strolls to longer and more challenging hikes, there is a path for everyone to enjoy.

Thames Path from Oxford to Abingdon

The Thames Path is a popular walking trail in the UK, providing visitors with an opportunity to explore the natural beauty and rich history of the river Thames and its surrounding countryside. A particularly well-loved section of the trail is the stretch between Oxford and Abingdon, which offers walkers a leisurely stroll through the idyllic landscapes of Oxfordshire.

Starting in the historic city of Oxford, the trail follows the river as it meanders its way through the countryside. Along the way, walkers will be treated to the picturesque villages of Oxfordshire, including the charming town of Abingdon. This town is famous for its beautiful architecture, historic landmarks, and lively cultural scene. As walkers traverse the stunning countryside of the Thames Valley, they will be greeted by lush green fields, rolling hills, and tranquil waterways.

For those in need of a rest or a bite to eat, there are plenty of opportunities to stop and indulge in refreshments at one of the many quaint pubs and cafes located along the route.

Blenheim Palace Walks

Blenheim Palace offers a range of walking opportunities, from gentle strolls through the gardens to longer hikes through the palace’s parkland. Visitors can explore the Water Terraces, Italian Garden, and Rose Garden, and take in stunning views of the palace and its surroundings.

A few suggested walks are the 1.5 mile walk of the Formal Gardens which will take about an hour, the Queen Pool 1.5-mile circular walk (45 minutes). For a longer walk the 4.6-mile Park Perimeter walk will take about 2 hours (with some steep slopes)

Minster Lovell to Crawley

The circular walk from Minster Lovell to Crawley is a popular choice for walkers. The trail follows the river Windrush through tranquil meadows and past charming thatched-roof cottages, providing stunning views of the countryside.

The walking route will lead you past the captivating ruins of Minster Hall, a 15th-century manor house situated in a picturesque location by the banks of the river Windrush, where you can take a break and enjoy a picnic. The trail continues through tranquil water meadows and alongside the stunning River Windrush to Crawley, a quaint Cotswold village, home to a former blanket mill and the charming Lamb Inn at its heart.

Oxford Canal Walk

The Oxford Canal Walk is a 5 mile peaceful and scenic route that takes visitors along the tranquil waters of the canal. The start and finish is at Isis Lock located close to the city. The trail takes you along Frenchay Bridge, Wolvercote Lock, and across Godstow Bridge onto Binsey and passes through charming villages and provides stunning views of the surrounding countryside. The Perch at Binsey is a few minutes walk from the river and a great pub to spot to stop for a great food and drink.

Chipping Norton to Over Norton

Nestled in the beautiful Cotswolds countryside, Chipping Norton is a charming market town that’s steeped in history and surrounded by picturesque landscapes. One of the best ways to explore the area is by foot, and the walk from Chipping Norton to Over Norton is an easy yet rewarding route that’s perfect for a leisurely stroll.

Starting and finishing at The Crown & Cushion Hotel, this 2.5-mile walk takes you through gently undulating countryside and offers stunning views of the surrounding area. As you make your way from Chipping Norton to Over Norton, you’ll pass through fields and meadows, and catch glimpses of traditional Cotswold stone cottages and farmhouses.

Farmoor Reservoir Walk

Farmoor Reservoir is a beautiful nature reserve located near Oxford that offers visitors a chance to immerse themselves in the natural beauty of the area. The 4-mile circular walk is a great way to explore the reservoir, take in stunning views of the countryside, and watch wildlife along the way.

The route takes walkers through a variety of habitats, including wetlands, woodland, and open fields filled with grasses and wildflowers. Along the way, visitors will encounter a wide range of ducks, waders, and other wildfowl, as well as possibly rare gulls on the reservoir. There are also many interesting information boards on the route that explain the wildlife interest of the area and are great for educating the kids.

After completing the walk, visitors can stop by the coffee shop located beside the reservoir for a well-deserved treat before leaving the car park.

Shotover Country Park

Shotover Country Park is a great place for anyone seeking a picturesque and tranquil setting for a walk. Located on the outskirts of Oxford, the park spans over 290 acres of stunning woodland, rolling hills, and open spaces, making it a popular choice for outdoor enthusiasts. Whether you’re an experienced hiker or prefer a leisurely stroll, Shotover offers a range of waymarked trails to cater to all abilities. The park’s diverse terrain, including woodland valleys, hilltop grassland, and scenic landscapes, is home to an array of wildlife, providing an immersive experience for nature lovers.

To begin your adventure, head to Mary Sadler’s Field, near the car park, where the three waymarked trails start. The red trail takes around 30 minutes, the yellow around 45 minutes, and the green around two hours at a relaxed pace. Follow the trails through the park and take in the stunning views of the surrounding landscape. The park’s abundance of varied wildlife adds to the experience, providing the perfect opportunity for birdwatching and spotting local wildlife.

Oxfordshire’s countryside is a paradise for walkers, with a variety of routes and trails to suit all abilities and preferences. Whether you are seeking a peaceful stroll or a challenging hike, the region’s natural beauty and historic landmarks will not disappoint. With a great choice of accommodation book your trip to Oxfordshire today!


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