Before we get well into spring, I want to share some of the fantastic winter woodland walks in Oxfordshire UK that I went on with Lucy and Wilbur. There are three woodland walks that we went on in February/March of this year. All of them are in Oxfordshire and I would say that two of the three walks are accessible for buggies or people with mobility difficulties. Just to note, there are no toilets on site, but there is free parking. Dogs can be off-lead if well-behaved.
Getting outside in winter is so important for mental health. I find that walking in a forest is a perfect way to de-stress and briefly escape the chaos of modern life. Wilbur also loves wandering around in the forest. There are many fun smells to sniff and he darts around following his snoot while Lucy and I walk together. The world is a very worrying place at the moment and at times it can feel overwhelming. Taking a short break to go for a walk in the woods is a great selfcare technique, and I highly recommend giving it a try. For more on mental health care, see: Tips for Winter Wellness
I am absolutely in love with Bernwood Forest. It’s located between Oxford and Aylesbury and is managed by Forestry England. This was once a royal hunting forest and is massive with 61 miles of trails within the ancient forest boundary. The car park is small, so get there early! It was a bit boggy in early spring, especially in the aftermath of Storm Eunice, so I recommend wearing wellies. Wilbur needed a bath when we got home. 🙂 There is also a dedicated butterfly trail, which is a perfect half term/ weekend kids activity.
Stoke Wood is located near Bicester and is managed by the Woodland Trust. It is a great place to visit with dogs and kids! The routes are flat and well-marked and this ancient woodland is home to lots of butterflies and carpets of bluebells in May. The Woodland Trust’s website says that the Wood was once part of the Swift’s House estate in 1800. I think it only took us 30-40 minutes to do the full perimeter walk (2.8 miles of paths in total) so this is a good place to visit for short walks, or for exploring with kids.
After we visited Stoke Wood, we stopped off at Kirtlington Quarry. The Quarry is a great spot for fossil hunting in the clay from the Middle Jurassic period! There is also a canal walk nearby. Some of the paths are accessible, but there are also lots of steep steps. Wilbur needed to be carried up these steps, and I got quite the workout!
For more walks see:
Whoever and wherever my readers are, I hope you are well and looking after yourselves!