Walking routes around Oxford

In this page you can find a variety of walking routes around Oxford, that you can try follow yourself. These routes were kindly put together by several members of the club, so please feel free to send some of your own too! If you have any comments or suggestions you can email the Webmaster at webmaster@ouwc.org.

You can download these routes via the plotaroute website as .GPX files, which can be loaded on most phones by a suitable application (by the Ordinance Survey app, or look for a GPX viewer on the Play/Apple Store). More information for each route is provided further down the page.

If you try these routes, please make sure to carry enough layers, food and water, and be prepared for muddy terrain and wet weather. We also recommend telling a friend that you’re away, along with when you expect to return.

You’ll find many of these routes do overlap a lot, so feel free to adapt them and use them as a starting point to explore the surrounding countryside! In a similar vein since all of these walks are circular, you can start/end them at the most convenient point, and also do them in reverse if you wish.

Please note that not all these routes have actually been tested! They pass through public footpaths indicated on the OS maps and other publicly accessible areas, but you may find you need to backtrack and/or find alternative routes if the path has been altered. Additionally some routes pass through some of the university-owned parks which are only open during the day, and visits to the Wytham woods will require a permit (which you can apply for free here).

Oxford Circular (11km / 7mi)

Plotaroute link

An adaption of the slightly longer Oxford Green Spaces Walk, and passes by many of the parks and paths near the city centre. Note some of the parks may be closed in the early morning and late evening.

Iffley Meadows (10km / 6mi)

Plotaroute link

A walk exploring the southern section of the Thames path, featuring the Iffley meadows. The route can be optionally extended by simply walking further down the river, but remember you’ll have to come back the same way!

The River Cherwell (7km / 4mi)

Plotaroute link

A shorter walk starting and ending at the university parks. The route follows the river Cherwell upstream, and returns via small footpaths around Marston.

Hinksey and the Electric Road (6km / 4mi)

Plotaroute link

A shorter walk down to Hinksey Park, getting there via the electric road and returning via the Castle Mill Stream. Can be extended by following the canal upstream further to Port Meadow, and returning via the Thames path.

Port Meadow Circular (10km / 6mi)

Plotaroute link

A classic circular walk around Port Meadow, passing through Burgess Field and returning via the Thames Path. Can be extended by aimlessly walking through the meadow, or by following the Thames Path further upstream.

Along the Boundary Brook (11km / 7mi)

Plotaroute link

The walk loosely follows the Boundary Brook, which starts north of South Park and passes below Cowley and Iffley road to join with the Thames. See this page for more information about this brook.

Kidlington to University Parks (13km / 8mi)

Plotaroute link

The walk starts in Kidlington, and follows the river Cherwell downstream towards Oxford, finishing by the University Parks. You can take the bus to Kidlington, or walk there view the canal for a long circular route. Please be careful when crossing the ring road (A40), as there is no proper pedestrian crossing!

Shotover Walk (16km / 10mi)

Plotaroute link

The walk explores the Headington area, passing by South Parks and Lye Valley towards the Shotover Country park.

Oxford to Wytham via Farmoor (15km / 9mi)

Plotaroute link

Starting in the western outskirts of Oxford, the walk follows the river Thames up towards Wytham, passing by the Farmoor reservoir. Please note you will need a permit to enter the Wytham woods, and make sure to check their website in case you need to book your visit, or in case the Swinford Gate is closed. Also you can walk to/form the starting points of this walk, but you can also catch the bus to/from Dean Court and Wolvercote.

CS Lewis and Shotover (15km / 9mi)

Plotaroute link

Another walk around the green spaces in Headington, featuring the C.S. Lewis Nature Reserve and the Shotover hill. Walk can be shortened of extended depending on how much time you spend exploring the Shotover Country Park.

Oxford Jubilee Walk (15km / 9mi)

Plotaroute link

An adaptation of the Jubilee walk of the Oxford Ramblers, featuring Boars Hill. The original route appears to pass through a path which is no longer a public right of way, so the route has been modified accordingly. Direction of the original route can be found here, and there is also a flyer containing points of interest.

Cutteslow and Elsfield (18km / 11mi)

Plotaroute link

An exploration of the northern outskirts of Oxford, which passes by the Cutteslowe park and heads towards Elsfield. Note the return from Elsfield involves a fair bit of road walking; this can be avoided by returning via Barton, but will make the route a bit longer.

Begbroke and Yarton (19km / 12mi)

Plotaroute link

Passing through Port Meadow the route follows the Shakespeare’s way to the outskirts of Yarton, before turning off towards Begbroke. From there we turn back and return via the canal.

Up to Kidlington (20km / 12mi)

Plotaroute link

For those wishing to venture further out, this walk visits the neighbouring town Kidlington. Route route loosely follows the Cherwell river up to Kidlington, and loosely follows the canal on the way back.

Wytham Woods and the Thames (21km / 13mi)

Plotaroute link

Starting in central Oxford, this walk follows the Thames upstream towards the Wytham woods, circling around it. On the way back we pass through Wolvercote and return via the canal. Please note you will need a permit to visit the Wytham woods, and make sure to check their website as you may also need to book in advance.

South Oxford Circular (23km / 14mi)

Plotaroute link

We explore the lesser known paths of South Oxfordshire, passing by the Lye Valley and towards Horspath and Garsington. We reutnr by joining the Thames at Sandford before heading back to the city centre.

Thames, Reservoir and Cumnor Hill (24km / 15mi)

Plotaroute link

We follow the Thames path upstream, which passes by Port Meadow, the outskirts of Wytham, and the Farmoor reservoir. Breaking away from the river we return to Oxford via Cumnor hill.

Thames Exploration (24km / 15mi)

Plotaroute link

Once again exploring the Thames river, this time we head downstream to visit Radley. We then return via Boars Hill and Botley.

Otmoor Walk (30km / 19mi)

Plotaroute link

A longer walk to the RSPB Otmoor Reserve, following the river Cherwell to Islip and passing by the Waterperry woods on the way back.

Blenheim and Back (37km / 23mi)

Plotaroute link

A classic long walk to the Blenheim grounds, following the Shakespeare’s way on the way there and returning via the canal.

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