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Parks and nature in Oxford

Top parks

Park
“70 acres of riverside parkland with areas for sport, plus a large collection of landscaped flora”
  • 40 locals recommend
Field
“Port Meadow is a large meadow of open common land beside the River Thames to the north and west of Oxford, England. Horses in the mist on Port Meadow. The meadow is an ancient area of grazing land, still used for horses and cattle, and according to legend has never been ploughed, at least for around 4,000 years. It is said that in return for helping to defend the kingdom against the marauding Danes, the Freemen of Oxford were given the 300 acres (120 ha) of pasture next to the River Thames by Alfred the Great who, legend has it, founded the city in the 10th century (although Alfred actually died in the 9th century). The Freemen's collective right to graze their animals free of charge is recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086 and has been exercised ever since. The meadow runs from Jericho to Wolvercote (where north of the Shiplake Ditch it becomes Wolvercote Common) along the east (left) bank of the River Thames, with the Cotswold Line railway, the Oxford Canal and the suburb of North Oxford further to the east, and the village of Binsey to the west. Access to Port Meadow is via Walton Well Road or Aristotle Lane in the south (or from the south via Roger Dudman Way or the Thames Path) or from Godstow Road, Wolvercote via Wolvercote Common in the north. It is a typical English flood-meadow and is a favourite area for walking, with easy access from the city of Oxford. It is also a Site of Special Scientific Interest. At the southern end of the meadow is Fiddler's Island in the River Thames. In the winter the meadow sometimes floods; if frozen it forms a huge and relatively safe area for skating. In late spring vast areas are carpeted with buttercups. Horses, cattle and geese graze the meadow and many birds can often be seen. At the eastern edge of Port Meadow, just north of the entrance from Aristotle Lane, is Burgess Field, a reclaimed landfill site and home to a nature reserve. It covers an area of about 85 acres (34 hectares) and a circular path around the edge of the reserve takes you through some small copses.”
  • 39 locals recommend
Botanical Garden
“The University of Oxford Botanic Garden is the oldest botanic garden in Great Britain and one of the oldest scientific gardens in the world. The garden was founded in 1621 as a physic garden growing plants for medicinal research. Today it contains over 6,000 different plant species on 1.8 ha (4 1⁄2 acres). It is one of the most diverse yet compact collections of plants in the world and includes representatives from over 90% of the higher plant families. Simon Hiscock became Horti Praefectus in 2015. His predecessor, Timothy Walker, served from 1988 to 2014.[3”
  • 26 locals recommend
Park
“Open green space over 50 acres with paths and children's playground, plus views over the city”
  • 15 locals recommend
Trail
“A large reserve of natural hilly woodland overlooking Oxford, great for walking, hill running and trail biking. ”
  • 14 locals recommend
Park
“Its a super lovely local park for a walk (about 10-15 mins from the home). But you can also get drinks/food, play tennis or table tennis, bowls. ”
  • 12 locals recommend
Park
“A great local park on the left as you leave the shopping area of Headington, opposite the Cooperative Food store. It has an enclosed children's area, and a wide open area for strolling. It also has public toilets by the roadside entrance, which are not very pleasant but serviceable and can be useful with little children in tow. ”
  • 9 locals recommend
Park
“Cutteslowe Park is 42 hectares of well kept park, proudly flying the Green Flag which rewards the best green spaces in the country. It has something for everyone. There is a children's pool, crazy golf, a small aviary, a garden centre with lots of surprises, a duck pond, a cafe, sports facilities, tennis courts and lots of space to walk and play. A miniature steam railway is run in the summer by the City of Oxford Society of Model Engineers - see their website for timings (www.cosme.org.uk/timetable.html). The park is open all day, every day although some activities do have time restrictions.”
  • 5 locals recommend

Trails

Trail
“A large reserve of natural hilly woodland overlooking Oxford, great for walking, hill running and trail biking. ”
  • 14 locals recommend