The 10 Best Hikes In Oxford

Published by: Bounce28 June, 2022

Oxford is a university town in England, UK. The famed Oxford University is actually 922 years old making it the world's second oldest university and it is one of the city's top landmarks. Oxford is home to many talented people, including several known authors, and with such an impressive institution this is no surprise. Lewis Caroll, the author of Alice in Wonderland, JRR Tolkien who wrote The Lord of The Rings and the author of The Chronicles of Narnia, CS Lewis, are some of the names that you might recognize. Oxford has also been a filming location in the Harry Potter films, namely the Christ Church Cathedral, and the actor who played Hermione Granger, Emma Watson, even studied in this city.

Aside from being a gorgeous city, Oxford is also surrounded by landscapes with outstanding natural beauty. If you ever want to take a break from the city streets you can go out and find a hiking trail or walking route in the nearby wilderness. But don't bring your extra bags and gear on your hike. Leave everything that you don't need at a baggage locker in Oxford. Travel light and enjoy the natural beauty that surrounds Oxford.

Our Top Hiking Trail Picks in Oxford

Blenheim Park and Woodstock

This is where you can find one of the top hiking trails in Oxford. If you want to do some sightseeing while enjoying the fresh air out in nature then you should head to Blenheim Park. The grounds are home to a lake, gorgeous old oak trees, sprawling fields as well as the magnificent Blenheim Palace, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the birthplace of Winston Churchill.

Your walk will begin in Woodstock, which is an old market town, and if you have some extra time after your hike you should explore the town. The palace has beautiful formal gardens that you can discover, although you will need to pay an entrance fee. Fans of Harry Potter will have a blast on this walking trail since you will pass by the Harry Potter Tree that was a filming site in The Order of the Phoenix movie. This hike is not far from central Oxford and can be reached in about 20 minutes by car.

Oxford City Wall Walk

This is a great option for tourists or anyone who wants to see the city and also get in some exercise. This City Walls Walk will bring you around the centre of the city and to many of the historic attractions and landmarks. Although much of the ancient walls are destroyed you can still see some parts of it standing around the perimeter of Oxford, and if you keep your eyes peeled you can almost see where these hundred year-old walls once stood all the way around the city.

Begin your hike at Folly Bridge and continue on to other significant locations, like St Michael at Northgate which is where the old entrance to the gates once were. Make sure that you reserve some extra time in your schedule since you won't want to be rushed. Some areas, like the Christ Church Meadow, should be enjoyed at your own pace. You won't need a car to reach this walking route, since it is directly inside the City Centre. Wondering how to make your way here? Read our guide, compiled by Bounce, on how to get around Oxford.

Warburg Nature Reserve and Chiltern Hills

You can have a delightful walk around Oxford at the Warburg Nature Reserve and Chiltern Hills. This ancient woodland is the perfect spot to take a stroll, and if you continue for long enough you will reach a country pub from the 16th century that you can stop by for a drink. Your walk will take you through a gorgeous grassland decorated with wildflowers of all kinds that are home to many insects and butterflies.

From the car park in the nature reserve, you will have a choice between two routes; one is steeper than the other so you can decide which one you are up for. Once you reach the pub you will be rewarded with spectacular views of the valley below. You can reach this hike in a bit over half an hour by car.

The Trout Inn Loop

If you are looking for walking routes in North Oxford consider strolling along the Trout Inn Loop. You can start your adventure at the Clifford Place Bus Station and follow the road heading to Port Meadow. You will eventually end up at the ruins of Godstow Abbey that was constructed on one of the small islands between the river streams.

After wandering around the area you will reach the Trout Inn Pub which can be a fantastic place to enjoy a drink and a bite to eat. You won't have to drive for long to reach this path which is about 15 minutes away by car.

Uffington White Horse

The area of Uffington White Horse is a great spot for a hike in Oxford. This trail makes a circular path that will take you to ancient remains and monuments, so if you are interested in the history of the city this can be a good hike for you. The area dates back to the bronze age and is home to old structures like the Uffington castle, which is the perfect example of an iron-age hillfort.

Make sure to take a break atop the White Horse Hill to capture the beautiful views as well as the chalk-cut hill figure in the valley which is somewhere near 3,000 years old. This hike is dog friendly so feel free to bring your furry friends with you. The drive to this trek is a bit over half an hour by car.

Chipping Norton and Over Norton

You will be rewarded with some very nice views if you take the time to navigate the trails in Chipping Norton town. This is one of the best walks near Oxford simply because of how stunning the area is. The whole region is gorgeous, so make sure that you bring a camera to capture all of the amazing moments on your hike.

Begin your walk at the Crown and continue on to the town's High Street, then to Over Norton and back. If you ever need a break during your walk you can always stop for refreshments in one of the local pubs. If you drive to this hiking spot it will take about 40 minutes to reach.

Henley-On-Thames

Looking for something fun to do with the kids? The Henley-On-Thames path is a spectacular hiking trail in Oxford and also a great place for a picnic or family outing. You will be following the stream for the first part of the hike and the river Thames is often buzzing with action, whether it is small boats or different kinds of wildlife like geese, ducks or swans.

On your walk, you will pass by the Hambledon Mill and eventually a pub once you reach the village of Aston. The Chiltern path also passes through here and if you follow it, it will take you through some nice fields and woodlands. You can drive to this hike in between half an hour and 45 minutes depending on what route you take.

Abingdon

Not too far away from the city centre of Oxford is a small town called Abingdon, which is actually one of England's oldest market towns. You can use the area to create several different walks depending on how long or short you want to be hiking. Some of the areas that you can visit include the Rye Farm Meadow or the Abbey Gardens.

You can explore the shops and pubs in the centre of the village or take the paths passing over bridges and to the other side of the River Thames. Once you cross the water you should follow the Thames Path going either to the West or South which will both bring you to interesting parts of the town. Abingdon is a bit over a 15 minute drive away.

Windrush Valley and Burford

Make your way to Burford for another fantastic hike in Oxfordshire. The path begins in a charming medieval town and follows along the beautiful River Windrush. On your hike you will experience fields and water meadows in the nearby countryside, but before you leave the village reserve a bit of time to stroll around it. Burford is one of the most picturesque towns in Oxford and has a fantastic High Street lined with bars, pubs, shops and restaurants.

After admiring the classical architecture of Burford you can have a quick history lesson by visiting the remains of the old Widford town which did not survive the Black Death in the 17th century. Windrush Valley is about a 45 minute drive from the Oxford City Centre.

Folios and Fossils Walk

The Folios and Fossils walk was created by the Oxford Civic Society and does its best to teach people about the city and its history, making it a spectacular route for tourists. They have created a map with a course for you to follow to make sure that you see the best of Oxford.

The Radcliffe Camera, parts of the Oxford University, Ashmolean Museum and Bodleian Library are some of the places that you will pass by. If they interest you, you can definitely come back to explore them, since they are some of the finest examples of tourist attractions in the city. This is a great option for a spontaneous walk since it is right inside of the city and you won't need to go far to reach it. After a terrific Oxford brunch, why not make your way here?

Easy Hikes in Oxford

Folios and Fossils Walk

The Folios and Fossils Walk is great for hiking newbies since it is not too difficult and won't make you sweat. It is also a great way to see the best of Oxford as a tourist!

Oxford City Wall Walk

A great way to do some sightseeing is to take an easy walk around the ancient Oxford city wall, and since most of the hike is on a broad street or through the city it will not be too tough for anyone. You can see all of the top monuments in Oxford and enjoy some fresh air at the same time!

Windrush Valley and Burford

Make your way to the beautiful Windrush Valley in Oxfordshire for an easy and pleasant walk. It is not too challenging and a great option for beginner hikers.

Intermediate Hikes in Oxford

Abingdon

You can find some great intermediate hikes around Abingdon. This area has several trails so you can choose whether you want to go on a short trek or longer walk.

Blenheim Park and Woodstock

A nice place for everyone to go hiking is at Blenheim Park and Woodstock. The trails here are not super easy but they aren't too challenging either, so anyone can give them a go.

Henley-On-Thames

If you don't have much experience hiking and want to take it to the next level we recommend that you try finding hiking trails around the Henley-On-Thames path.

Chipping Norton and Over Norton

Chipping Norton is a peaceful small town in Oxford and its surrounding area has some great hikes. They are suitable for people of all difficulty levels and for families, too.

Difficult Hikes in Oxford

Warburg Nature Reserve and Chiltern Hills

If you have been hiking for a while now and are ready to challenge yourself, then you will enjoy the trek at Warburg Nature Reserve and Chiltern Hills. This area has some steep parts that can be tiring, so be prepared!

The Trout Inn Loop

The Trout Inn Loop can be long and difficult for new hikers, so we recommend trying it only if you have a bit of experience.

Uffington White Horse

The hike at Uffington White Horse is more challenging than some of the others listed above, but if you push through to the end you will be rewarded with beautiful views of the rolling hills.

Where to Find the Best Views in Oxfordshire

Spending time outdoors can be a great way to connect with the environment and to decompress, and getting some fresh air is healthy for both the mind, body and soul. Whether you want to stay inside the city limits or venture out into the wilderness, Oxfordshire has the perfect hiking route for you. These trails will bring you through gorgeous meadows, peaceful woodlands and rolling hills in the countryside, and the paths located inside the city will expose you to some stunning views of Oxford.

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