River Isis

Oxford Circular.

04-Nov-07 • msganching on Flickr

autumn river walks oxford isis swc swcwalks tocw113

Wolfson College

Wolfson College designed by Powell and Moya opened in 1974. This is a beautiful example of 1960s/70s architecture.

04-Nov-07 • msganching on Flickr

architecture building walks tocw113 oxford swcwalks book1 powellandmoya modernism midcentury


Oxford Circular.

04-Nov-07 • msganching on Flickr

blue sky animals walks oxford swc eyewashdesign swcwalks tocw113

Book 1 Walk 13 (Oxford round)

Oxford Canal. D.Allen Vivitar 5199mp

01-Jan-08 • magyardave2002 on Flickr

canal oxford book1 walk13 swcwalks

Seed Head

Oxford Circular Book 1 Walk 13

26-Jul-09 • msganching on Flickr

plant garden head seed book1 allium wolfson swc walk13 swcwalks tocw113 20090728

The Thames in Oxford

12-Sep-10 • JonCombe on Flickr

thames oxford book1 walk13 swcwalks

The Thames in Oxford

12-Sep-10 • JonCombe on Flickr

thames oxford book1 walk13 swcwalks

Oxford Circular walk

Rivers Isis and Cherwell, Commons, a ruined Abbey, a Norman Castle compound and a stroll around Oxford and its historic colleges


This is a list of previous times this walk has been done by the club (since Jan 2010). For more recent events (since April 2015), full details are shown.

Date # Post
Fri, 29-Dec-17 3

Friday walk: Oxford Circular - Port Meadow, Rivers Isis and Cherwell, and University Colleges

Book 1, Walk 13 - Oxford Circular

Length: 15.2 km (9.4 miles) or 11.3 km (7 miles)
Toughness: 1 out of 10 (more if muddy)

London Marylebone: 10-06 hrs Oxford service
Arrive Oxford: 11-09 hrs

Return: Oxford to Marylebone: 15-43, 16-11, 16-43 and 17-41 hrs
Oxford to Paddington: 15-31, 16-01, 16-31, 17-01, 17-30 and 18-01 hrs

This is an easy, relaxing walk which in the morning takes us on the flat over Port Meadow via the River Isis to the village of Wolvercote, where we will stop for lunch in the "library" of the cosy Plough Inn.
After lunch, we set off along the Oxford canal back towards the centre of Oxford. Those happy with a short(ish) walk today, particularly if the weather is inclement, stay on the canal tow path all the way back to the railway station. Those wanting a longer walk can divert from the canal to Wolfson College to then follow the Walk Directions for a walk on an often muddy path beside the River Cherwell to the University Parks. Here, you can either embark on the Tour of the University Colleges (recommended if time and daylight permits) or you can head back through town to the railway station. Again, you don't have to decide until you reach the Parks.
Walk Directions are here: L=1.13
Because of the heavy rain in Central London early in the morning, the bad weather forecast and the dire traffic warnings, I was not expecting anyone else to venture out on today's walk. So it was a nice surprise to spot two fellow SWC walkers at Oxford station, so that made 3 for today's adventure.
Lady luck was with us today: either Oxford has its own micro climate, or we just happened on a five hour respite in the bad weather all around us, for we enjoyed a mostly sunny day with higher than forecast temperatures: in fact, lovely winter walking conditions.
Near the start of the walk the River Isis had burst its banks and flooded the tow path in two places. We managed to negotiate the shin deep stretches of water without taking on board too much water: fortunately we were all wearing good leather walking boots: canvas jobbies, favoured by many a SWC walker, would have been hopeless.
On across a soggy Port Meadow to the Plough Inn where we all enjoyed an excellent lunch. I always like stopping at this cosy pub.
After lunch, my colleagues departed to visit family on the outskirts of Oxford, and I headed back to the railway station via the Oxford Canal, to complete a relaxing, non strenuous day's walk, and an ideal leg stretcher before the New Year festivities kick in.
Home by 5 pm for an early bath.......
Glad you had company, Marcus. Happy New Year.
Sat, 31-Dec-16 4

Saturday Third Walk : Rivers Isis and Cherwell, Oxford Canal, Wolvercote Common, the City Centre & its Colleges, Oxford Castle and its Mound

Book 1 Walk 13 – Oxford Circular (revised route with options to extend) [planned for 29 Dec, moved due to railworks]

Length: 16.3 km (10.1 mi) [longer walk possible, see below]
Ascent/Descent: a few steps up from street level to the station and several arched footbridges
Net Walking Time: ca. 4 hours
Toughness: 1 out of 10
Take the 10.05 Oxford train from Marylebone, arrives Oxford 11.09.
Return trains: 15.09, 15.43, 16.11, 16.42, 17.11, 17.41, 18.07… (from 65 minutes journey time).
This is an undemanding but enjoyable short Country Walk, ending in an exploration of this historic university city, with its University’s Colleges and the Norman Castle compound.
The walk starts along the Isis River to Binsey, a favourite walk for the poet Gerard Manley Hopkins. With Port Meadow on the other side of the river, you walk to the ruins of Godstow Abbey, before coming to the Trout Inn at Wolvercote (a lunch option) then take in a bit of Wolvercote Common before coming to the Plough Inn (a second option for lunch).
After lunch the walk heads south along the Oxford Canal, past some houseboats, then across town and via a footbridge by Wolfson College to go along the River Cherwell through its Nature Reserve, where buttercups are abundant in May. Going through the University Parks, you come to the Pitt Rivers Museum. From here you start your walking tour of Oxford’s historic colleges and famous buildings, winding in and out of lanes and small streets as the walk fits in many of the colleges as well as the Norman Castle Compound with the Castle Mound and the former Victorian Prison (now a hotel), before you stop for tea and finally head for the railway station.
Three separate Short Extensions to the route are possible:
--- an out-and-back in the morning to Binsey Village with its lovely church and well adds 2.0 km (1.3 mi);
--- a loop around lunch through the Wolvercote Lakes, a Nature Reserve owned by the Oxford Preservation Trust, adds 0.5 km (0.3 mi);
--- a loop after lunch through the Trap Grounds, a local Wildlife Site, adds 0.6 km (0.4 mi).
If you are fast enough, you can visit Modern Art Oxford, a renowned art gallery open to 16.00 hours today, for their Kaleidoscope exhibition, celebrating their first 50 years.
There are four good pubs en route, before you get to Oxford, the two best positioned ones for lunch are some twenty minutes apart. The first of those is The Trout Inn in Wolvercote (4.4 km/2.8 mi). This pub enjoys a lovely setting beside the River. On the other side of Wolvercote Common is The Plough Pub & Restaurant in Wolvercote Green (6.2 km/3.9 mi). This pub is more homely than the Trout Inn and less touristy. For tea, you are spoilt for choice for cafes, restaurants and pubs in the city centre. For details consult the Walk Directions.
For walk directions, map, height profile, photos and gpx/kml files click here. T=1.13
Expect very long queues at the Marylebone ticket office over the holiday period (there were on Thursday) so leave plenty of time before your stated departure. Your Oxford train will also be bombed out by Far Eastern visitors heading for Bicester Village so be close to the barriers when the train is announced: it's along way to stand before you reach Bicester.
On arrival at Oxford station you may find the start of the Thames path at the beginning of your walk closed, with its diversion poorly marked. So I suggest the following: coming out of the station, turn left. At the end of the concourse keep ahead on a green coloured cycle path, which soon swings to the right. Now pick up signs to the Thames Canal, and follow them through a residential area until you come to the canal. Here turn left and head down to go under the railway (restricted headroom) and keep ahead for the short distance until you reach the Thames path, with a footbridge on your left. Turn right onto the path and continue with the Book's directions.
For lunch on Thursday, the Plough at Wolvercote Green looked after my family very well.
From Ealing: 09.18 direct, arr. 11.06 or 09.33 via P'ton and Reading
The Tames Path diversion is a bit more straightforward from memory, having walk checked my writeup a few weeks ago, it's only 100m or so that are affected due to some housebuilding. Take the residential road to the right just b4 the Thames and turn left in 100m or so to join the Thames Path. Just follow me...
Just 4 walkers on this today, in gloomy but dry weather, who did the extension to St. Margaret's church and well, had an ultra fast lunch at The Plough, and then split in Oxford, with 3 going to Modern Art Oxford, 1 following the route straight to the train. The 3 then also climbed the Castle Mound (well worth the £1 fee). 16.30 train.
...oh, and the outbound train was only half full, despite Bicester Village being open all day...
Sun, 06-Dec-15

An easy Oxford amble

Book 1 Walk 13, Oxford circular
Length 15.2km (9.4m); toughness 1/10. completely flat
Trains: 09.34 London Paddington (Slough 09.54) arrives at Oxford 11.00
Return trains: xx:09 direct slow stopping trains to London
xx:51 direct faster trains to London
xx:16 fast trains to Reading where you change for a fast train to London
I’m taking a bit of a risk with this Book 1 walk as it has not been done for almost 3 years and has rather fallen out of favour. It was originally designed as an easy, flat walk for visitors to London and a chance to amble around Oxford colleges.
However the route is redolent with history and interest and Oxford should be buzzing with Xmas shoppers and “end of term” students. (You may care to do a bit of Xmas shopping yourself!) You can do the college tours if you wish but you may prefer to amble round the city centre and take refreshments at one of the many bijou cafes or pubs.

The walk has been rewritten and up-dated so don’t use the book but see here for more information about the walk, refreshment options, and detailed walk directions.
It is the CHRISTMAS PARTY on Thursday don't forget!! See listing below
Intend going
is it suitable to bring a four legged creature on this walk ?
Yes well behaved dogs are welcome on these walks. We've had a few canine friends along in the past.
Did anyone go on this walk? Numbers much appreciated.
Sat, 16-Feb-13 8 Oxford Circular
Sun, 15-Jan-12 Oxford Circular
Sat, 26-Mar-11 Oxford Circular
Sat, 04-Sep-10 Oxford Circular
Sat, 28-Mar-09 Oxford Circular
Sun, 06-Apr-08 Oxford Circular
Sat, 19-Jan-08 Oxford Circular
Sat, 01-Dec-07 Oxford Circular
Sat, 31-Mar-07 Oxford Circular
Sun, 08-Oct-06 Oxford Circular