There are plenty of parks and gardens to visit in Oxford if you tire of historic buildings.
Don’t forget lots of the colleges have their own gardens, but some charge a small entrance fee.
Christ Church Meadow
Entrance via St. Aldate’s towards the river Thames. Paths follow the river towards the boathouses, which makes the Meadows a popular place to view the boat races during University term times. Another path follows the back of Merton College to the Botanic Gardens. Along this walk is a plaque commemorating the balloon flight of James Sadler in 1784.
During term-time it loses some of its air of calm as devoted rowers jog their way towards the boat houses by the river. A great place to watch the races though in the spring and summer terms.
Opening times: Daily, 8am until dusk.
Access: Wheelchair access from St. Aldate’s via St. Aldate’s Lane, at side of Christ Church College.
Port Meadow and Wolvercote Common
Entrance from Walton Well Road in Jericho, north Oxford or from the canal and riverside tow-paths. Used for horse racing in the 17th and 18th centuries, as well as grazing land for cattle and horses – the latter still taking place today. A popular walk (of about an hour) leads to the village of Wolvercote and the Trout Inn for refreshments. Also along the way is the Perch pub, and nearby a pick-your-own farm in Binsey Lane.
Be wary of the Meadow in winter and spring, as flooding is frequent.
South Park & Headington Hill Park
Oxford’s largest parks, over Magdalen Bridge past the plain, often play host to open-air concerts and circuses.
University of Oxford Botanic Garden
Located just off the High Street opposite Magdalen College, and along the river Thames.
It can also be reached from Christ Church Meadow.
Founded by the Earl of Danby, Henry Danvers as a physic garden in 1621, this is the oldest botanic garden in Britain. It houses a good collection of trees and plants, has tropical greenhouses, a Bog Garden and a Rock Garden.
Opening times (from 2013)
Jan, Feb, Nov and Dec - 9.00am until 4.00pm, last admission 3.15pm.
March, April, Sept, and October - 9.00am until 5.00pm, last admission 4.15pm.
May, June, July, Aug - 9.00am until 6.00pm, last admission 5.15pm.
Access: Wheelchair access to all areas with ramp access to glasshouses.
Admission (from 2013) - includes Harcourt Arboretum
Day Ticket - £4.50
Cons Day Ticket - £3.00
Annual Pass - £15.50
Cons Annual Pass - £13.00
Children in full-time school, accompanied by an adult family member - Free
Disabled and Carer - Free
Member of the University of Oxford, and Brookes University (conditions apply) - Free
Hidden in the very heart of Oxford, between Beaumont Street and Little Clarendon Street, a favourite haunt of office workers at lunchtime.
In amidst the leafy roads and Victorian houses of north Oxford is this pleasant green space. In summer you can watch cricket for free, or just walk by the river-side at any time of year. A footpath carries on to Wolfson College and a nature reserve in north east Oxford.
Royalist troops used to exercise here during the Civil War.
Opening times: Daily, 8am until dusk. Closed on the Monday of St. Giles’ Fair (in September).
Access: Wheelchair access via gates in Parks Road and South Parks Road.
Visit our tourist attractions pages for links to more detailled information on things to see and do in and around Oxford City.