If you’re looking to get out for a great day out with the kids on a family walk in Oxfordshire, I’ve got lots of ideas for places to go. From river walks to exploring woodlands and paddling stops or stepping stones, check out all these ideas.
Best Family Walks in Oxfordshire
Thames Path – FREE
You don’t have to do the Thames path all in one go. You can pick a stretch, enjoy the fresh air and maybe even fit in some geocaching.
Upton to Didcot Art Trail – FREE
A car-free trail all the way to Didcot as well as some beautiful countryside and some interesting art benches along the way. The full walk or bike ride from Upton to Didcot is around 3-4 miles.
Kilkenny Lane Country Park – FREE
There are 2.5km of footpaths which were ideal for a buggy walk and a long enough route for my older kids to razz around on their bikes. We really love stopping off to marvel at the two huge metal shire horse sculptures with their amazing texture.
Kirtlington Quarry – FREE
Once a busy quarry, Kirtlington Quarry is now a nature reserve. It’s not specifically set up with any kids activities but I think this is it’s great appeal as kids imaginations can run wild and they make up their own games.
Sydlings Copse – FREE
A lovely little wildlife nature walk with high bird watching posts that you can climb up.
Shotover – FREE
There are a number of trails through the park which leave from the main car park. If your kids are like mine and not that keen on just going for a walk, following the coloured markers is a great way to keep them motivated.
Minster Lovell Ruins – FREE
An English Heritage site, the old manor house ruins date back to the 1440’s and is free to visit. They have a beautiful setting right next to the River Windrush with a path running from the village to the ruins.
Cutteslowe Park – FREE (parking charges apply)
There’s lots of pathways and places to explore in Cutteslowe Park in North Oxford. It also has a play park, duck pond, cafe and the miniature steam railway runs on selected dates.
St Mary’s Fields – FREE
There’s a little circular walk from behind St Mary’s Church in Kidlington or for those with longer legs, lots of pathways across the fields and right up to Thrupp.
Ardington Woods & Millennium Sundial – FREE
If you’re on the hunt for somewhere new to explore outdoors with your kids then the Ardington Woods near Wantage are wonderfully tranquil with the added excitement of finding the Millennium Sundial.
Wychwood Wild Garden – FREE
Forget formal stuffy gardens where children are restricted, Wychwood Wild Garden lives up to it’s inviting name. With 12.5 acres you can explore everything from a weaving maze of woodland pathways to pottering around on the edge of the large pond.
Bure Park Nature Reserve – FREE
The nature reserve at Bure Park in Bicester covers around 25 acres and includes some very important habitats. The River Bure, wet woodland, mature trees, meadows and a number of ponds. With lots of wide semi paved pathways it’s an easy walk around with a buggy or on bikes. There are also little nature trails through the wooded areas for adventurous kids.
Wittenham Clumps – FREE
The Wittenham Clumps in South Oxfordshire are an iconic landmark and great for a family walk. There are lots of trails and you’re likely to see a Red Kite flying overhead.
Hinksey Heights Nature Trail – FREE
The nature trail passes through 7 different habitats from grasslands to wet woods and reed beds with boardwalks for much of it.
Blenheim Palace Grounds
Blenheim Palace is one of my favourite and very regular places to visit. They have really extensive grounds. The pleasure gardens, maze and palace must all be paid for if you visit. However, if you just want some wide open space there are a couple of gates you are allowed to enter by for free. Drive through Woodstock and just before the Black Prince Pub (Manor Road, OX20 1XJ) there’s a large green gate that you can enter by.
Tar Lakes – FREE
Within easy reach of Witney, Tar Lakes are perfect for a little scoot or bike around for kids or a pushchair walk if you have a tiny one.
CS Lewis Nature Reserve – FREE
A wonderfully tranquil spot on the edge of Oxford with a children’s nature trail andgreat pond for pond dipping.
Bernwood Forest – FREE
On the Oxfordshire & Buckinghamshire border, this is the perfect place for a tranquil family woodland walk with the added bonus of a butterfly trail.
Dry Sandford Pits – FREE
Dry Sandford Pit is only a couple of miles north west of Abingdon and is a great place to for a little circular walk that mini intrepid explorers will love and us big ones too. The half mile wildlife walking trail is perfect for families as it’s takes in a flavour of everything that Dry Sandford Pit nature reserve has to offer.
Grey’s Court – National Trust
There are fantastic longer routes through the Beech Woods surrounding the estate with a 1.2km loop and a more adventurous 3km loop. There are also stunning bluebell walks here towards the end of April.
Basildon Park – National Trust
Basildon Park has 400 acres of parkland and stunning views over the Oxfordshire countryside. There is a lovely short woodland walk from the main carpark to the house. There are also excellent trees for climbing along this walk. Around the grounds, try building a den or play tic-tac-toe in the woodlands. Younger children might enjoy playing make-believe games in the clearing where there are different sizes seats and thrones carved out of tree trunks.
Wroxton Abbey Grounds – FREE
The gardens at Wroxton Abbey are perfect for a little circular route suitable for all ages. The highlight is the large lake with stepping stones and waterfall.
If you’re reading this towards the end of April then the bluebells should be full bloom with a wonderful bluey purple carpet covering ancient forest floors.
Photo Credit: Alexandra Tandy Photography