Days Out Oxford

Gardens & Natural Beauty Spots

Protect Precious Little Eyes on your road trips with Car Shades

Car Shades are the award winning, vehicle specific car sun blinds that cover all rear windows of a car – even the boot! Being a tailored fit means they leave no gaps, which prevents dazzling sunlight getting into the precious eyes of your little ones resulting in a stress-free journey for the whole family.

A perfect edge-to-edge fit compared to alternative sun blind solutions, they fit to the window frame instead of the glass so that they don’t fall off and still allow full operation of the rear passenger window to get fresh air into the car when needed.

Car Shades are a simple, home-fit solution that can be installed within 10 minutes making these a fantastic travel accessory for families who like to be out and about.

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Badbury Hill

A National Trust woodland most visited late April to early May when you can enjoy the carpet of bluebells amongst the beech trees in the area known as Badbury Clump – once an Iron Age hill fort. Peak times for visiting to see the bluebells in flower are usually weekends and Bank Holidays from late morning to early afternoon. Visit Badbury Hill outside of these times to enjoy a more relaxed experience.

Great Coxwell, Faringdon, SN7 7NJ

Batsford Arboretum and Garden Centre

The collections at Batsford cover a wide range of plants from around the world but have an emphasis on the Far East. Our children’s trail is a fun way to explore the Arboretum and every child gets a prize! Children’s play area, cafe adn shop. Open Monday to Saturday 9.00-5.00 and Sundays and bank holidays 10.00-5.00.

Batsford, Moreton-in-Marsh, Gloucestershire GL56 9AT

01386 701441

Bernwood Meadows

This is a wonderful nature reserve to visit from April to early July when the wild flowers are in bloom and butterflies abound. Over 100 plant species have been recorded here, and it is worth just standing quietly for a moment to take in the buzz and hum of the insects and the spectrum of colour.

7 miles north-east of Oxford, 1 mile south of Horton-cum-Studley, OX33 1BJ

Christ Church Meadow

Christ Church meadow is a rare open space at the heart of Oxford, open to the public all year round. Though seemingly tranquil, the meadow is highly variable, with seasonal flooding and a variety of wildlife that comes and goes. The meadow is enclosed by the rivers Cherwell and the Isis.

St Aldates, Oxford, OX1 1DP

01865 276150

CS Lewis Nature Reserve

This tranquil woodland and large pond used to belong to celebrated Oxford author CS Lewis. It was said he enjoyed wandering here while writing his children’s book series which includes The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. The pond, a flooded Victorian clay pit, is full of aquatic plants and wildlife.

Risinghurst, Oxford, OX3 8JD

Harcourt Arboretum

The Arboretum is a fantastic place for a family visit, with lots of space to run around, exciting habitats to explore and wildlife. Bring a picnic and enjoy a day in nature!  Ask at the ticket office to borrow a trail, spotter sheet or Explorer Backpack.

Please check Arboretum website for opening times – varies throughout year.

Oxford Lodge, Peacock Gate, Oxford, OX44 9PX

01865 610305

Otmoor Nature Reserve

Otmoor is a haven for wildlife in the heart of Oxfordshire. The visitor trail leads you alongside an expansive floodplain grazing marsh, home to wading birds and wildfowl year round. Hedgerows, bustling with warblers and songbirds, and the rustling reedbed add to the immersive experience of being on the “moor”. The reserve is open from dawn to dusk.

Otmoor Lane, Oxford, OX3 9TD

Oxford Botanic Garden

The Botanic Garden is a beautiful green space to explore with a family. Visitors are welcome to picnic on the lawns, relax under the shade of a tree or travel through the glasshouses. Ask at the ticket office to borrow a trail or Explorer Backpack. Cafe in summer.

Opens at 9.00am Tuesday to Sunday and closes 4.00-6.00pm depending on time of year. Monday opens at midday.

Rose Lane, Oxford, OX1 4AZ

01865 610300

Oxford’s Community Eco Park at Hogacre Common

Bounded by streams on three sides and only accessible by foot, Hogacre Common features field, woodland and aquatic habitats and hosts low carbon community activities and events. Café open Sundays in summer 12.00-5.00.

Oatlands Rd, Oxford, OX2 0ET

Port Meadow

A beautiful water meadow next to the River Thames. Ponies graze on the meadow and it’s a popular spot for bird-waters. Swimming in river in summer.

Access to Port Meadow is via Walton Well Road or Aristotle Lane in the south or from Godstow, Wolvercote in the north. There is unrestricted access across the whole site.

Shotover Country Park

Shotover Country Park is a place of beauty and history right on the edge of Oxford. Covering 117 hectares on the southern slopes of Shotover Hill there are spectacular views from the top. Shotover is open to everyone to enjoy throughout the year free of charge. For children, the most popular haunt is a natural sandpit.

Old Road, Headington, OX3 8TA

01865 252240

Sydlings Copse

The diversity of this small nature reserve is quite staggering. Boasting ancient broadleaved woodland, limestone grasslands, reedbed, fen, a stream and rare Oxfordshire heathland, the reserve supports over 400 plant species. The site is also teeming with birds and insect life; butterflies include the purple hairstreak, brown hairstreak, common blue and marbled white.

3.5 miles north-east of Oxford, OX3 9TY

The Diocese of Oxford Nature Hunt

The Diocese of Oxford recently launched a nature hunt resource for churchyards aimed at children and young people. The free and downloadable resource offers a great way for children and families to engage with the rich variety of nature in their local churchyards such as flowers, birds, trees, hedgehogs, insects, and more.

The link to the resource is here.

The Living Rainforest

The Living Rainforest has over 700 species of plants and animals to discover across three glasshouses. Watch birds, butterflies, lizards and a two-toed sloth roam free in our tropical glasshouses. In addition, there is a ‘Human Impact’ exploration space, children’s play area, cafe and shop. Open daily 10.00-5.00.

Hampstead Norreys, Berkshire, RG18 0TN

01635 202444


The Trap Grounds

The Trap Grounds lie between the Oxford canal and the railway line, immediately south of the Frenchay Road canal bridge. An information board marks the entrance to the site, at the start of a track called Frog Lane. The Trap Grounds consists of three acres of reed bed (a rare fragment of a type of wetland habitat once common around Oxford) and four acres of scrubland — formerly waste-ground, and now a rich mosaic of wildlife habitats.

University Parks

Offering an escape from the hustle and bustle of the City, but conveniently located right at its heart. The park boasts a choice of walks, a large collection of trees and plants and space for informal games and picnics. Open daily from 7.45am to dusk.

South Parks Rd, Oxford, OX1 3RF

01865 282040

Warburg Nature Reserve

High up in the Chiltern hills, Warburg Nature Reserve is a remote and magnificent place, rich in exciting plants and animals all through the year. The flower-rich grasslands in the valley bottom give way to extensive woodlands rising up the valley sides. It is the richest BBOWT site in the three counties for orchids.

4 miles north-west of Henley-on-Thames, RG9 6BJ

Waterperry Gardens

Eight acres of beautifully landscaped ornamental gardens, a quality plant centre and garden, shop, gallery, children’s play area, gift shop, museum and tea shop. Charge for the gardens, but access to the rest of the estate is free.

Open everyday 10.00-5.00/5.30 except between Christmas and New Year. Museum open 2.00-5.00pm Tuesday to Sunday.

Nr. Wheatley, OX33 1JZ

01844 339254

Wendover Woods

800 acres of woodland in the Chiltern Hills, with walking trails (including the Highway Rat), cafe, BBQ area, Go Ape, toilets and children’s play area (though this is currently closed for building work). Highway Rat activity pack available from the visitor centre for ÂŁ3.

Open everyday except Christmas Day. Opens at 8am. Locking times vary throughout the year. Parking charge per car

Wendover, HP22 5NQ

White Horse Hill

The internationally-renowned Bronze-Age Uffington White Horse can be seen for miles away leaping across the head of a dramatic dry valley in the Ridgeway escarpment. Enjoy a walk across the ancient chalk downs of Oxfordshire and absorb the history found along this enigmatic stretch of the ancient Ridgeway, passing by the White Horse, Dragon Hill and Ashdown. National Trust.

Uffington, Oxfordshire, SN7 7UK

01793 762209

Wittenham Clumps

The much-loved Wittenham Clumps are one of South Oxfordshire’s most iconic landmarks. Standing proudly beside the Thames they offer stunning views over the surrounding countryside; they are the most highly visited free to access greenspace in the region. Enjoy a figure of eight walk around the hilltops or head between them and down into Little Wittenham Wood.

Little Wittenham, Didcot, OX14 4QZ

Wytham Woods

Wytham Woods is a 1000 acre ancient semi-natural woodland, which has been owned and maintained by the University of Oxford. Walking in Wytham Woods requires a walking permit, these are free and the application process is simple. To apply please call 01865 726832.

The Woods are open every day of the year including bank holidays, unless essential management work is being undertaken.