Once belonging to the famous Oxford author CS Lewis, the CS Lewis Nature Reserve in the Risinghurst suburb of Oxford is a small but peaceful woodland with a beautiful large pool.
Pond Dipping at the CS Lewis Nature Reserve
After parking and entering up the little pathway between houses, the pond was our first sight and it’s so tranquil. There’s plenty of flat space on the edge so you can get close to the water where kids have been pond dipping since 1969! We’d been recommended to visit by a follower on Red Kite Days facebook page and luckily remembered to bring a net to see what we could find.
There were lots of Mallard ducks quacking and swimming about too and it was great to just stand and watch nature before our eyes.
CS Lewis Nature Reserve Walking Trail
Before leaving, I had printed off a handy map of the CS Lewis Nature Reserve so that we could follow the trail and spot. You can find it on The Wildlife Trust website and it’s been designed especially with kids in mind. My boys are not great at ‘just going for a walk’ but give them a trail to follow and they love a family woodland walk. The pathways are not suitable for pushchairs and do involve a little bit of clambering here and there.
As we started on the trail we noticed a fairy door and kept our eyes open to spot a few more. I think there was a more extensive trail set up previously so great to see some of them still here.
Round past the pond and on into the woodland, we managed to spot the doggers which were marked on the map. These are big, round sandstones which are so old they’re covered in moss. I can just imagine them being inspiration for CS Lewis as he worked on his famous series of stories of Narnia.
I love that there are plenty of spots with log piles to create natural mini beast houses. Gently lift one up for a fun minibeast hunt.
The full loop is not too extensive so an easy length of walk for my boys aged 3, 7 and 9 with plenty of natural woodland space to explore. We even spotted a great woodland den to play in.
The children’s walking trail at the CS Lewis Nature Reserve takes you back round to finish off at the pond again. Keep an eye out for CS Lewis seat which is a tranquil spot to stop, rest and enjoy your surroundings or try a little more pond dipping like we did.
Despite being surrounded by houses and on the edge of busy Oxford, I loved how quiet and restful it was to visit. My boys were most taken with the pond dipping and their highlight was spotting the biggest worm they’ve ever seen!
CS Lewis Nature Reserve Parking
There is NO car park at the CS Lewis Reserve. There are a few entrances and we accessed it from Lewis Close. This is a small residential cul de sac with very limited spaces to park. Please be considerate of local homeowners when you park, not to block driveways or make it difficult for them to get in and out of driveways.