15 Best Walks In Oxfordshire (Hikes & Nice Walks)

15 Best Walks In Oxfordshire (Hikes & Nice Walks)

By will

Oxfordshire is a beautiful county with some of the most stunning walks in the UK. Whether you’re looking for a challenging hike or a leisurely stroll, you’ll find plenty of options here.

I’ve put together a list of 15 of the best walks in Oxfordshire, from the famous Ridgeway National Trail to the lesser-known Thames Valley Walk.

I’ve written detailed descriptions of each walk so you can easily pick out the perfect one for you.

So grab your walking boots and let’s start exploring Oxfordshire’s stunning countryside!

The Ridgeway National Trail

On part of the Ridgeway National Trail north of Overton Hill, Wiltshire
Photo by Jeremy Bolwell

Stretching 87 miles from Overton Hill in Wiltshire to Ivinghoe Beacon in Buckinghamshire, the Ridgeway National Trail is a great way to explore the beauty of Oxfordshire!

This ancient path has been used for centuries and is now considered to be the oldest road in Britain. It’s a unique and beautiful walk that takes you through stunning scenery, including rolling hills, beech woods, and expansive views of the Oxfordshire countryside.

Along the way, you’ll come across interesting historical sites such as the Iron Age Hill Fort of Uffington Castle, the ancient burial mounds of Wayland’s Smithy, and the Neolithic White Horse of Uffington. There are also plenty of opportunities to spot wildlife, including deer, foxes, and a variety of birds.

The Ridgeway National Trail is a great way to experience the natural beauty of Oxfordshire and to immerse yourself in its fascinating history.

The Oxfordshire Way

Tree-lined stretch of the Oxfordshire way
Photo by SA Mathieson

Discover the Oxfordshire Way, a scenic path perfect for exploring the beauty of Oxfordshire!

This 83-mile walk follows the Oxfordshire countryside, leading you through a range of terrains and landscapes. It begins in Chinnor and follows the Thames Valley, skirting around the North Wessex Downs and the Chiltern Hills before arriving in Henley-on-Thames.

Along the way, you’ll experience the rolling hills, spectacular views, and historic monuments of Oxfordshire.

You’ll pass through a variety of interesting and picturesque villages, including Faringdon, Abingdon, and Wantage. These villages feature a variety of pubs, shops, and cafes, adding to the charm of the walk.

As you make your way through the Oxfordshire countryside, you’ll be able to enjoy the stunning scenery and diverse wildlife.

Whether you’re looking for a leisurely stroll or a more challenging hike, the Oxfordshire Way is a great way to explore the beauty of Oxfordshire.

The Thames Path

The Thames Path heading towards Oxford
Photo by Steve Daniels

Meandering through the heart of Oxfordshire, the Thames Path offers a tranquil escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. This delightful walk meanders along the banks of the River Thames for over 160 miles, taking you through quaint villages, sweeping countryside, and some of Oxfordshire’s most historic landmarks.

The Thames Path is full of surprises and offers something for everyone. Why not try a spot of bird-watching and take in the sights of the many species that inhabit the area? Or take a moment to admire the beautiful wild flowers that bloom along the river’s edge.

There’s also plenty of opportunities to explore the local history, from the ancient ruins of Godstow Abbey to the legendary Isis Lock – a popular spot for locals and tourists alike.

The Wychwood Way

Embark on an unforgettable journey along the Wychwood Way, a scenic trail that takes you through some of Oxfordshire’s most scenic landscapes.

This 34-mile trail starts in the town of Shipton-under-Wychwood and takes you through the Oxfordshire countryside, passing through charming villages, lush meadows, and forests that are full of wildlife.

Read  15 Best Walks In Penrith (Hikes & Nice Walks)

As you make your way along the trail, you’ll get to experience some stunning views of the Oxfordshire countryside, including the rolling hills and the River Evenlode.

You’ll also get to explore some of the area’s historic sites, such as the ruins of the old military camp at Sarsden and the medieval village of Stonesfield.

The Wychwood Way is an excellent choice for both avid hikers and casual walkers, offering a variety of terrain that will satisfy everyone’s tastes.

Whether you’re looking for a leisurely stroll or a challenging hike, the Wychwood Way is sure to provide an unforgettable experience and a beautiful introduction to Oxfordshire.

The Icknield Way

Venture along the Icknield Way for an unparalleled experience through the Oxfordshire countryside.

This ancient track dates back to the Iron Age and is thought by some to be the oldest road in Britain.

It stretches from the Midlands to the Southeast of England, traversing through Oxfordshire and passing through some of the most stunning landscapes in the area.

The route is marked by Iron Age earthworks, burial mounds, and monuments, so adventurers can explore history as well as the natural environment.

The Icknield Way has been used by farmers and locals for centuries but has only recently become part of the public domain.

It is an ideal spot for walkers, as there are plenty of well-marked trails and paths to explore, with a range of terrain from easy paths through woods and fields to more challenging routes across hills and along ridgelines.

The views are spectacular, with rolling hills, ancient woodlands, and open fields.

There are plenty of places to stop and take a break, with plenty of pubs and cafes along the way.

For those who want to take their time, the Icknield Way is the perfect way to explore the Oxfordshire countryside.

The Oxford Canal Walk

Stroll along the Oxford Canal Walk for an unforgettable journey through the picturesque English countryside.

This canal walk in Oxfordshire stretches from the city of Oxford to Hawkesbury, providing a stunningly scenic view of the English countryside.

The path follows the course of the Oxford Canal, winding through the Chiltern Hills and lush countryside, passing quaint villages along the way.

There’s plenty of wildlife to spot, from birds to otters, and the whole trail is extremely peaceful and tranquil.

The walk is perfect for a leisurely stroll, with plenty of places to pause and take in the views.

There’s also plenty of pubs and cafes along the way, making it an ideal spot for a picnic or a spot of lunch.

The walk is around 25 miles in total, and can be tackled in sections or all in one go.

Either way, it’s an unforgettable journey through the beautiful English countryside.

The Oxford City Walk

From the leisurely strolls of the Oxford Canal Walk, let’s take a step up and explore the Oxford City Walk.

As a local resident, I’m always amazed at the sheer amount of history and culture that have been preserved in this city. Oxford has an incredible range of sites to visit, from old colleges to ancient churches.

The Oxford City Walk takes you on a journey through the city’s past, allowing you to explore its architecture, culture, and history. You will pass through parks, gardens, museums, and galleries, and get a glimpse of the city’s bustling student life.

You can also take a break and enjoy a delicious meal in one of the many restaurants and cafes.

Whether you’re a first-time visitor or a seasoned traveler, the Oxford City Walk is an absolute must-do.

The Hill of the White Horse

Discover the ancient chalk carving of the White Horse on the Hill of the White Horse, a stunning example of British folklore and an incredible sight to behold! This ancient carving dates back to the Iron Age and was created in the style of an Uffington White Horse.

Read  15 Best Walks In Doncaster (Hikes & Nice Walks)

Located in the Vale of the White Horse in Oxfordshire, the Hill of the White Horse is a great spot for a leisurely walk or a more challenging hike. The White Horse is a great source of local pride throughout the region, and a great photo opportunity for visitors.

The Hill of the White Horse is a great spot for a romantic stroll or a family outing, with plenty of stunning views, local history, and folklore to be found. It’s a great way to get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life and to soak up some of the incredible scenery and culture that Oxfordshire has to offer.

The Cotswold Way

Embark on a journey along the Cotswold Way, a stunning 102-mile National Trail that passes through some of the most spectacular landscapes in Oxfordshire.

This ancient path stretches from the picturesque town of Chipping Campden in the north, to the city of Bath in the south, taking in some of the best views in Oxfordshire.

It’s a great route for hikers and walkers of all levels, with plenty of hills and valleys to explore, and plenty of opportunities to take in the local wildlife and history.

Along the way, you’ll pass through charming villages, immaculate countryside, and historic sites, including the remains of an Iron Age hill fort.

The trail is well-marked and easily navigable, so it’s easy to find your way around, even if you’re unfamiliar with the area.

Whether you’re looking for a long-distance trek or a leisurely stroll, the Cotswold Way is sure to provide an unforgettable experience.

The Chilterns Way

Exploring the Chilterns Way is a great way to experience the beauty of the Oxfordshire countryside. It takes you through picturesque valleys, rolling hills, and quaint villages. This long-distance path spans from Aston Rowant National Nature Reserve in the south to Ivinghoe Beacon in the north.

Along the route, you’ll find vibrant woodlands, rolling chalk grasslands, and heathlands. You’ll also get to experience historic sights such as the Iron Age hillforts, Roman roads, and medieval churches.

The Chilterns Way is suitable for a range of levels, from beginner to experienced hikers. It’s easy to navigate, with clear waymarking and an official guidebook. The route is split into ten sections, each around 10 miles long. So, you can choose to do a day’s walk or complete the entire route.

Whether you’re looking for a leisurely stroll or a challenging trek, the Chilterns Way is a great way to explore Oxfordshire’s stunning countryside.

The Monarch’s Way

Take a journey along the Monarch’s Way – a 620-mile trail that follows the path of Charles II as he escaped after the Battle of Worcester in 1651.

This long-distance walk branches out in different directions, providing a wealth of opportunities to explore Oxfordshire’s finest countryside. There are a number of sections within the vast trail network, all of which offer stunning views and a unique insight into the county’s vibrant history.

One of the most popular sections of the Monarch’s Way is the route from Oxford to Chipping Norton. This trail follows undulating ridges and passes through ancient woodlands, with the route taking in some of the county’s most picturesque villages.

Along the way, there are plenty of chances to take in the stunning countryside, with plenty of opportunities to take a break and enjoy a picnic or a cream tea. At Chipping Norton, the route culminates in a breathtaking panoramic view of the Cotswolds.

The Thames Valley Walk

Stroll along the picturesque Thames Valley Walk, and experience the beauty of Oxfordshire.

Read  15 Best Walks In Bakewell (Hikes & Nice Walks)

Spanning a distance of approximately 136 miles, this route takes you from the source of the Thames in Gloucestershire right through to the estuary in London.

Along the way, the trail passes through some of the most beautiful landscapes in Oxfordshire, with plenty of wildlife to observe and stunning riverside views.

Irrespective of whether you want to do a leisurely stroll or a more challenging hike, the Thames Valley Walk offers something for everyone.

The trail is well-marked with signposts, and the path is easy to follow.

You can take your time to explore each stage, and take in the beauty of the area at your own pace.

If you’re looking for something a bit more strenuous, or a longer hike, you can join sections together to create a larger route.

There are also some fantastic pubs along the way, so you can stop for a rest and a bite to eat.

The Thames Valley Walk is a great way to explore the stunning Oxfordshire countryside.

White Horse Hill

Leaving the Thames Valley Walk, the next stop in our Oxfordshire journey is White Horse Hill. Situated in the Uffington area, White Horse Hill is an ancient monument that has been around since the Iron Age and is known for its striking chalk figure of a horse.

This area is perfect for a leisurely walk, with a variety of paths to explore and views of the surrounding countryside. I’ve personally taken many walks in this area and the scenery never gets old. The steep slopes of the hill offer an excellent vantage point and a chance for some wonderful photographic opportunities.

There are also plenty of places to stop for a picnic and the nearby village of Uffington is a great place to take a break before continuing on.

The Ridgeway Hillfort

Heading just a few miles south of White Horse Hill, you’ll find The Ridgeway Hillfort – an Iron Age fort built around 800BC. It’s an incredible historical site, with evidence of human habitation stretching back over 3,000 years.

The hillfort was built with an impressive double rampart, enclosing an area of around five acres. There’s a deep ditch encircling the inner rampart, which would have made it difficult to breach the defences. The ridges and ditches of the hillfort can still be clearly seen, making it an impressive sight.

The Ridgeway Hillfort is also a great spot for a leisurely stroll. There are nice views of the surrounding hills and countryside, and it’s a great place to take a picnic.

You can also visit the nearby Uffington Castle, which dates back to the Iron Age.

With its stunning views and historical significance, The Ridgeway Hillfort is a great destination for a day out.

The Wittenham Clumps

The Wittenham Clumps are an awe-inspiring sight, offering breathtaking views of the Thames Valley. Situated just outside of Oxford, in the heart of the Oxfordshire countryside, the Wittenham Clumps are two Iron Age hill forts which offer a unique glimpse into the past.

The two forts, Castle Hill and Round Hill, are linked by a ridge of land, and are surrounded by rolling hills and beautiful woodland. The area is perfect for a leisurely stroll, or a more challenging hike, with plenty of trails to choose from.

The views from the top of the Clumps are stunning, with the Thames Valley stretching out below. The area is also rich in wildlife, with foxes, deer and badgers all making their homes here, and a variety of wild flowers providing a splash of vibrant colour.

The Wittenham Clumps are an ideal spot for anyone looking to explore the Oxfordshire countryside.

Conclusion

I’ve now shared with you some of the best walks in Oxfordshire.

From the Ridgeway National Trail to the Wittenham Clumps, there’s so much to explore and enjoy.

Every walk has something special to offer, whether it’s a stunning view or a unique wildlife experience.

Whichever one you choose, I’m sure you’ll have a wonderful time.

So don your hiking boots, grab your walking stick and get ready to explore the beauty of Oxfordshire!

You may also like:

About the author

Will is an avid hillwalker and traveler. You may find him surfing in Cornwall or hiking in the Yorkshire Dales.