Staying Active in Oxford’s Parks

Posted by on Saturday, June 29, 2013

oxford south park

Long regarded as a charming and historic area, Oxford is also a place of natural wonder and clean air where outdoor enthusiasts can enjoy the sights, activities and games. The Oxford City Council oversees the administration of 7 large City Parks, 26 local parks and 22 Neighbourhood Parks. Many of these are great for taking your fitness activities outdoors!

The goal of the Council is that outdoor enthusiasts will have access to safe, clean parks that will encourage their outdoor enjoyment. It is safe to say that if you reside in or are visiting Oxford, there is a park that offers everything you desire and more.

South Park
Diversity is the key to Oxford’s network of parks. The town’s centerpiece park is the 50 acre facility known as South Park. This park is open year round and all day long. South Park offers some of the greatest views in Oxford in addition to many other appealing amenities. South Park is a comfortable 5 minute walk from Cowley Road in East Oxford.

Children enjoy both the dedicated play area with zip wire and the wide open spaces. The park features a delightful, year-round fitness trail and family picnics are always welcome. As with all Oxford City Council parks, barbecuing is not permitted.

For such a popular venue, it is always surprising how peaceful this park is. Set high on the hill, this is a great place to enjoy the countryside and unforgettable views that we sometimes take for granted. This is a great place to relax after a jog.

But, South Park comes to full life many times a year. Between April and October, the park is the site of air balloon launches by Adventure Balloon.

The following annual events are staged at South Park:

  • Lord Mayor’s Parade
  • Annual fireworks display in November
  • Foodies Festival
  • Film locations
  • Fairs
  • Circus
  • Music concerts

Arrangements for your special events can be made with the city council. Regularly scheduled events include play by the Oxford Rounders, always a good draw.

Car Parks for South Park can be found at St. Clement’s and Union Street. Both areas are a close walk to enjoy the magic that is South Park.

Other Parks in Oxford
With an abundance of parks and sporting facilities, it seems that people gravitate to certain parks that have features they can enjoy. There is plenty of space and many activities to be enjoyed. The city council maintains 5 public tennis court locations sprinkled around the city.

Of course football pitches are always busy. The Oxford City Council maintains football pitches at Blackbird Leys, Cowley Marsh, Botley Park, Rose Hill Park, Horspath, Cutteslowe and Sunnymead Park. Reservations for practice or games can be made by contacting the city council. All that’s missing are the players!

Oxford is also proud of its many cricket, mini-golf, bowls and skating park facilities. In Oxford, the sentiment is that a healthy body makes for a healthy mind.

Every park has special attractions.

Frys Hill Park
Here a stellar climbing rock overlooking Kassam Stadium provides a good workout that can be enjoyed by adults and children alike.

Hinksey Park
From Oxford Centre walk about 15 minutes to enter Hinksey Park and enjoy a tour around a peaceful lake. Great for getting away from it or getting your thoughts together. This is a jogger’s paradise.

Florence Park
Another quiet park highlighted by gorgeous flowers and an antique wobbly wooden bridge.

Hundred Acre Park
It’s big, it’s filled with play equipment and this is usually the favorite for active kids.

Quarry Hollow
Quarry Hollow has a massive slide and loads of bumpy hills. Something for everyone here.

Cutteslowe and Sunnymead Park
Just north of Oxford proper, these parks offer rides on the miniature railway.

There’s something for everyone in the Oxford park system. Come find out for yourself.

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