We had such a lovely time exploring Hinksey Heights Nature Trail yesterday that if I don’t share it now I might not get around to it at all! To be brutally honest, we had a fab time until I took us off down a pathway off the circular route by mistake and added lots of extra distance and time to our walk. Ended up a bit hot and bothered but I’d definitely go back.
The Hinksey Heights Nature Trail is a privately-owned permissive path. Circling through the Hinksey Heights Nature Reserve which covers more than 12 hectares, is home to rare plants and a diverse wildlife from Red Kites to deer.
The nature trail passes through 7 different habitats from grasslands to wet woods and reed beds with boardwalks for much of it. The sections with boardwalks would be fine for a pushchair but you wouldn’t be able to explore the whole trail.
There are information boards along the way to tell you about each area and make sure you pause at the start of the trail and look behind you for a stunning view of Oxford before delving into the woodlands. There’s so much variety and it really is a wonderful place to explore.
Cycling or mountain biking is not allowed. This puts a strain on the boards and surface wire netting and damages them. Luckily a group of volunteers called Friends of Hinksey Heights has stepped up to lead the project to repair damaged sections of the boardwalk so that the trail continues to be a safe and enjoyable place for walkers to come. The project includes plans to expand the length of the boardwalk over muddy sections and areas that are less accessible. You can donate here to help support.
How to get to Hinksey Heights Nature Trail
Park at Hinksey Heights golf club car park for free and the entrance to the trail is just to the left of the vets which is on site. Fab view near the start of the trail back over the A34 with a view of the dreaming spires of Oxford.
A few things to be aware of if you visit Hinksey Heights Nature Trail
- No cycling
- Dogs welcome but must be kept in control to protect nesting birds.
- Keep to pathways as there are rare plants as well as boggy areas.
- Picnics allowed by no BBQs (and bring your rubbish home)
- No paddling or swimming in the ponds