Oxford has plenty of pretty gardens and parks amongst its historic buildings, and it’s also on the doorstop of the Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. BabyBreaks has done the hard work for you and put together a selection of the best outdoor activities in Oxford with kids. So whether you want a sunny spot to picnic, swings and slides for the kids or 2,000 acres of a palatial estate, we’ve got you covered.
1. Oxford Botanic Garden and Arboretum
Established in 1621, this is the UK’s oldest Botanic garden – it is an oasis of biodiversity in the heart of the city. There are nearly 6,000 species of plant here, from fragrant herbs in the immaculately kept borders to tropical orchids in the beautiful glasshouses. In addition, the kids can follow special children’s trails, while you enjoy the peaceful atmosphere and lovely cafe.
Address: Rose Lane, Oxford OX1 4AZ
Opening Hours: Open daily 9am – 4pm / 6pm (Winter / Summer)
2. Walk to Iffley Lock
Take a riverside stroll from Oxford City Centre to the pretty village of Iffley, where you’ll find charming pubs and quaint cottages. This is a popular route for locals, so you’re likely to meet cyclists, dog walkers, joggers, and families enjoying the beautiful scenery. The walk takes around 45 minutes at a leisurely pace.
3. Blenheim Palace
This UNESCO World Heritage Site is just 10 miles from Oxford city centre, and a must visit if you are in the area. The birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill, Blenheim Palace is a stunning example of Baroque architecture which boasts ornate interiors and magnificent grounds. In addition, the 2,000 acre estate encompasses formal gardens, a butterfly house, a miniature train ride and the Marlborough Maze.
Moreover, Blenheim plays host to numerous events throughout the year including an Easter Egg hunt, flower shows, concerts and food festivals.
Address: Woodstock OX20 1PP
Opening Hours: Opening times vary, check the website for more info.
4. Cutteslowe Park
This is the biggest park in Oxford and arguable the most popular with families, thanks to its great offering of activities. There’s a mini golf course, miniature railway, sandpit, duck pond, skate park, tennis courts and more! Loads of space for the children to let off some steam, and a nice place to escape the city’s crowds.
Address: Elsfield Way, Oxford OX2 8NP
5. Boat Hire
Admire the scenery whilst gliding down the River Cherwell on a sunny day – the perfect outing in Oxford with kids. Head to Magdalen Bridge Boat House to hire a rowing boat, a pedalo or to go punting. You can choose to hire your boat with a guide or do the hard work yourself! So make a day of it and bring a picnic, and don’t forget the camera and the suncream. However, it does get busy in the summer so get there early to avoid a wait.
Address: Magdalen Bridge, Oxford, OX1 4AU
In summary, visiting Oxford with kids is a great idea for a Family City Break. Firstly, the city features great child-friendly restaurants and indoor attractions for young children. In addition, there is a great selection of accommodations that will satisfy children and parents alike.
At BabyBreaks, we have shortlisted a choice of activities, restaurants and hotels so that you can plan your trip with ease. So if you are looking for inspiration for your next family weekend, just visit our different Oxford pages for recommendations.
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