Green Spaces

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

Port Meadow

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

South Parks – Eric Gill’s pillar

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

November - February: 9am to 4pm, last admission 3.15pm
March - April: 9am to 5pm, last admission 4.15pm
May - August: 9am to 6pm, last admission 5.15pm
September - October: 9am to 5pm, last admission 4.15pm

Access: Wheelchair access to all areas with ramp access to glasshouses.

Admission (includes Harcourt Arboretum)

Day Ticket - £4.50
Concessionary Day Ticket* - £3.00
Annual Pass - £15.50
Children in full-time education accompanied by an adult family member - Free
Registered disabled and Carer - Free
Oxford and Oxford Brookes students and staff - Free
Friends of OBGHA, Kew, Edinburgh, Wales, Ness and Birmingham Botanic Gardens - Free
Annual Pass (valid for 1 year from date of purchase) - £15.50
Concessionary Annual Pass* - £13.00

* Senior citizens, unemployed, University of Oxford Alumni, non-Oxford students.

Harcourt Arboretum, Nuneham Courtney

Opening times

December - February (Mon - Fri): 10am to 4pm, last admission 3.15pm (CLOSED AT WEEKENDS)
March: 10am to 4pm, last admission 3.15pm (Sundays from 11.00am)
April - October: 10am to 5pm, last admission 4.15pm (Sundays from 11.00am)

Admission (includes University of Oxford Botanic Garden)

Day Ticket - £4.50
Concessionary Day Ticket* - £3.00
Annual Pass - £15.50
Children in full-time education accompanied by an adult family member - Free
Registered disabled and Carer - Free
Oxford and Oxford Brookes students and staff - Free
Friends of OBGHA, Kew, Edinburgh, Wales, Ness and Birmingham Botanic Gardens - Free
Annual Pass (valid for 1 year from date of purchase) - £15.50
Concessionary Annual Pass* - £13.00

* Senior citizens, unemployed, University of Oxford Alumni, non-Oxford students.

Wellington Square

Wellington Square

Hidden in the very heart of Oxford, between Beaumont Street and Little Clarendon Street, a favourite haunt of office workers at lunchtime.

University Parks

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.