Oxfordshire Way

This article is an itinerary.
Route map

The Oxfordshire Way is a 68-mile (109-km) long-distance footpath in Oxfordshire, with short sections in Gloucestershire and Buckinghamshire.

Understand

The Oxfordshire Way near Christmas Common

The Oxfordshire Way is a signposted walking route, using existing rights of way, largely (as the name suggests) in the county of Oxfordshire. It runs in an arc to the north of Oxford, from Bourton-on-the-Water in the west to Henley-on-Thames in the southeast, connecting the Cotswolds and the Chilterns. It connects with the Heart of England Way at Bourton and the Thames Path at Henley. It is 68 miles long and is usually walked in 4 to 6 days from west to east (the direction in which it is described in the official Walker's Guide).

Although relatively flat and unspectacular, the Way passes through some pretty villages and varied and attractive countryside. Landscapes include honey-coloured Cotswold villages, the fine parkland of Blenheim Palace, the Oxford Canal, quiet hamlets on the Oxford Plain and the chalk-and-flint woodlands of the Chilterns.

Prepare

Accommodation is mainly in small villages and towns, where the choice may be limited—particularly between Islip and Watlington—so you are advised to book ahead. Oxfordshire is relatively flat, so fitness is not a major issue, but you should possess the necessary equipment (walking boots or shoes, waterproof clothing, maps, rucksack, etc.). Although the route is signposted, either the official Walker's Guide, or the relevant OS maps (see below), are essential to avoid getting lost.

Get in

Bourton-on-the-Water can be reached by bus from Moreton-in-Marsh (25 min) and Cheltenham (50 min) via Pulhams 801 service (Timetable). Henley-on-Thames has links to Reading and London Paddington by train, and to Reading, High Wycombe and Maidenhead by bus.

There is no direct public transport route from the city of Oxford to either end of the Oxfordshire Way; you'll have to change at least once. The best options from Oxford: for Bourton catch a train to Moreton-in-Marsh (c.35 min) and continue by bus to Bourton (25 min); for Henley take the train, changing at Twyford (c.90 min total journey time). Bourton is 30 miles from Oxford by road; from Henley to Oxford is 23 miles. There are rail stations en route at Ascott-under-Wychwood, Charlbury, Tackley (near Kirtlington) and Islip, all with quick and direct connections to Oxford: with careful planning, using these stations and local bus services, it would be possible to stay in Oxford each night and travel to and from your start and end points each day by public transport.

Walk

Approaching the village of Stonesfield

The route passes through the following places (split into six suggested day-long sections):

Sleep

Most of the places named above have accommodation, though in all but the largest places you are advised to book in advance.

Other accommodation possibilities are listed here:

Read

The route is marked on Ordnance Survey 1:25000 maps (recommended), but the Walker's Guide is near indispensable.

The Walker's Guide contains adequate strip maps, but the following Ordnance Survey maps are easier to read, and will be useful if staying off route, for excursions, and in case the route changes:

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Tuesday, February 09, 2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.