Picture-perfect villages, babbling brooks, rolling hills, and bucolic countryside. Oxfordshire is quite simply one of the most beautiful counties in England. The region has inspired countless artists, poets, and writers throughout the centuries. But where can you find the very best walks in Oxfordshire?
1. Port Meadow, Oxford
One of the best walks in Oxford is located just outside Oxford City Centre. Running adjacent to the River Thames northwest of the city is Port Meadow. This vast countryside landscape is filled with wild ponies and grazing cows and forms an incredible contrast to the bustling pace of the famous University city. Port Meadow provides stunning views of Oxford’s dreaming spires and is also home to many well-preserved historical remains, such as Bronze Age barrows and Iron Age settlement remains. Once you’ve finished your trek across the meadow, you can enjoy lunch in the famous Trout Inn, located on the banks of the River Thames.
2. Buscot Thames Path
The Buscot Thames Path is a great option for families and for those with dogs. The 3 mile walk will take around an hour and a half to complete and begins in Buscot village car park walk. Walkers move through Buscot village and can discover the smallest lock currently on the River Thames at Buscot Weir. If you prefer a greater challenge, the Thames path is 180 miles in total, so you can take on a larger portion of it.
3. The Oxfordshire Way
This 66-mile walk from the Cotswolds to the Chilterns is a great option for those seeking more of a challenge. The Oxfordshire Way is a beautiful route that winds through the county, beginning in Bourton-on-the-Water in Gloucestershire and ending up on the banks of the River Thames in Henley. The trek passes through stunning Cotswold countryside and the Chilterns, offering up some of the most beautiful views of the English countryside.
4. Witney Lakes and Country Park
Witney Lakes and Meadows is a 37-hectare country park located in Oxfordshire. The picturesque park is home to many walks and hikes, and a great option for dog owners. Interestingly, the Lake is a flooded gravel pit, which was originally dug for gravel used whilst constructing the Witney bypass (A40) in the mid-1980s. Today the Lake is encircled by a footpath, which is the perfect spot for a ramble through the glorious Oxfordshire landscape on offer. The Park serves as a gateway to the Lower Windrush Valley and is open 24 hours a day.
5. Sonning Eye and Shiplake
This beautiful Oxfordshire walk includes a very pleasant section of walking along the Thames Path, followed by a hike across the rolling hills to the north of the River Thames. This 5.6-mile hike will take around 2 hours and 40 minutes to complete and begins in Eye and Dunsden, Oxfordshire. The walk’s highlight is the two-mile section that passes by the islands of Hallsmead Ait and The Lynch.