Anyone who knows Oxford will know about Port Meadow. It’s a pretty unique place, where cows & horses graze year round and when its flooded during winter, if it’s cold enough, you can skate on it. It’s a great place for dog walking, especially if you can get there when it’s dry enough that there isn’t any water in it.
We parked in the car park on Walton Well Road. As far as parking in Oxford goes, it’s pretty reasonable. Just £2.10 for 5 hours. There is parking in Wolvercote on Godstow Road, which is free (according to the Oxford City Council website) but we wanted to head into Jericho after our walk.
Cows & horses graze all over Port Meadow so we kept Poppy on her lead while we were walking by them. When we were far away from them and anyone else, we did let her off a little bit. It’s something that we’re working on with her. But whenever we were near the cows, we made sure that we had Poppy on the shortest lead possible. She’s still not sure about cows and at one point we had cows on both sides. Not sure who was most terrified – Poppy, the cows or us! Apart from a few nervous barks from Poppy, we escaped unscathed!
One of the things I love about Port Meadow is that you can completely forget that you’re in a city (apart from the sound of the cars driving along the A34!) Plus it’s big enough that you can have a real trek around it, maybe even walk from the car in Jericho to Wolvercote & back again (though that’s pretty adventurous!) Plus there are lots of walks you can access from Port Meadow so you’re spoilt for choice. Most of the walks also bring you close to very lovely pubs & restaurants so you’re sure somewhere lovely to put your feet up & enjoy some sustenance.
While there is a path at the start of the walk from Port Meadow South, it doesn’t last for long. Good walking shoes are advised as the ground is a little uneven and, unsurprisingly, there are a lot of cow pats all over the place (much to Poppy’s delight, though she quickly discovered that she prefers a fresh cow pat!)
Having lived in Jericho for a few years, going for a walk around Port Meadow is almost like going home for me. I loved living in Oxford so jump at any chance to pop back. Plus walking around Port Meadow gave Poppy a chance to get more used to livestock! It’s a great walk, not too difficult, and there are lots of options to extend your walk, should you choose to do so. Perfect for a Sunday afternoon!
The Walk: Weather permitting, you can walk around the whole of Port Meadow. However, it is a flood plain so sometimes it’s not possible to walk all the way around it. There are lots of other walks accessible via Port Meadow, including walking along the Thames into Oxford.
Car Park: Free parking in Wolvercote on Godstow Road and very reasonable parking charges (for Oxford!) at Walton Well Road in Jericho.
Refreshments: There are lots of great cafes, pubs and restaurants nearby, whether you’ve parked in Wolvercote or Jericho. How many are dog friendly, I’m not sure yet. However I do know that The Gardeners Arms in Jericho serves great veggie food & is dog friendly.
Toilets: As far as I know, there aren’t any public toilets near by, though if you know of any please let me know!