Escape to the countryside: Walks in East Oxfordshire
Top walks in the area
|Brill Windmill and Hills
Set at the edge of Brill Common, the windmill affords magnificent views of the surrounding countryside. The disused clayworks are now grassed over; the hillocks and dips are a favourite of picnickers, kite flyers and mountain bikers. Afterwards we strongly recommend a coffee and cake and the fantastic Flower Pot cafe in Long Crendon, which is 4 miles from Briil.
The Phoenix Trail, a shared-use path for cyclists, walkers and horse riders, runs along the old railway route between Thame and Princes Risborough. Sit on the sculptures to admire the magnificent views and observe the red kites that thrive in the area.
Near J5 of the M40 is a beautiful wood atop the Chilterns. Head north on the A40 for 1 mile then take the Christmas Common road. After 2 miles, you'll see a car park in the woods: this is the start. There are loops and pathways which run a full circle and the wood really comes into its own during spring and autumn. Afterwards, turn left out of the car park and in 2 minutes the Fox & Hounds will appear for a well-deserved drink.
Park your car at the Crazy Bear farm shop and start the 2-mile circular walk around the historical trail in Stadhampton. Ascott Park was once the home of the Dormers, one of the great County families of Oxfordshire. The grand house, built by William Dormer in 1662, burnt to the ground just as it was finished - its exact whereabouts still remain a mystery. You can use the information points around the trail to speculate on where the house may have been.
Watlington Hill has a fantastic circular walk, great for dogs and kids too, with panoramic views from the top of the hill. It's a nationally important wildlife site, home to wild flowers, butterflies, birds, (especially red kites), mosses, lichens and fungi - many of them rare or scarce. The whole area is protected as a 'Site of Special Scientific Interest' and owned by the National Trust. Great for sledging if we get snow too!