Lye Valley Nature Reserve is Oxford’s hidden gem, which I did not even know existed until recently, even though I used to live at its doorstep but is now our firm family favourite.
It is not the easiest to find! We parked on girdlestone road and walked past the park (after playing in it ofcourse). As you turn around the corner and go down the Slade, you will find the entrance on the right (marked with a sign board) between the houses. You may miss it if you are not looking for it.
There is a boardwalk at the entrance with a small stream running by the side, which is always a hit with my son. We went there to find frogs, as I was told there are plenty around, being mating season. I saw a couple but they were camouflaged in the water, and so still (as it was really cold) that Ay couldn’t see them “ribbiting”. He was very disappointed but only until he had a chance to get into the stream and have a water fight with me. The water is not too deep and the surroundings just perfect! There are a few wooden bridges and also a tree trunk fallen right over the stream to make a perfect crossing for the more adventurous.
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🗺 OX3 7HP
🚘 We parked on girdlestone road (2hrs free), where this is park on that road, so ofcourse had to go there first (OUR POST HERE). As you turn around the corner and go down the slade, you will find the entrance (marked) between the houses
🚻 No toilets on site
🍕 No refreshments but you can drive to headington (London road) where you’ll find plenty options
🧺 Picnics possible in the park but not the most ideal conditions on the walk itself
🦽The board walkway is somewhat buggy accessible but once you get in, it’s your usual muddy terrain of a countryside, so best avoid
🐕 Dogs allowed