Oxfordshire – A Weekend road trip paradise for dogs and campervans

oxfordshire

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One of the hardest things we find when going on a road trip is finding great areas to walk the dog.

The walks either contain a lot of road walking where she needs to be on a lead, there is livestock everywhere, beaches that aren’t dog friendly or sheer faced cliffs around every corner just waiting for her to run off the edge!

But not in Oxfordshire – oh no – here there are only gentle rolling hills filled with fields of, not sheep, but crops, just crops, as far as you can see! If we want an easy weekend of exploring – we make a beeline for Oxfordshire!

Our perfect weekend road trip to Oxfordshire includes great pubs, great food, great walks, a trip into the stunning university city of Oxford itself and of course easy going roads for older or larger campervans. Really what is there not to like?

Day 1 in Oxfordshire

Get as close as you can and find a campsite, pub or parkup

red sky at St Peters campsite

Friday night – you’re out the door and on your adventure.

We’d recommend finding a great BritStop on Friday night if the weathers a bit rank or you’re in the dark depths of winter. There is little point in finding the greatest campsite on earth if it’s going to be dark, cold or raining for Friday night. We’re going to be heading for the Thames by Farmoor reservoir on Saturday so aim to get as close to there as possible.

We’ve stayed at the Swan pub before and they are dog friendly, do great beer and we shared a camembert starter platter as well which was very nice. 

 Valley Farm Campsite has a lovely laid back vibe and allows campfires – so if you can get a space in there we’d fully recommend it. 

day 2 in Oxfordshire

Walk into the City along the Thames and exploring Oxford

river Thames walk

Today it’s a walk into Oxford following the river Thames. 

If you stayed at Valley Farm last night then great – leave the van there and make sure you’ve booked on for tonight as well. If not then find a parking spot in either Swinford or Farmoor.

The walk we recommend is pictured below as it follows the Thames all the way into Oxford itself and is a really easy and flat walk with great scenery and wildlife on the river. It should take you about 3 hours and it’s about 8 miles from Farmoor into Oxford centre. 

Most of the way should be fine for dogs to be off lead although you may stumble across the odd cow here and there! If 8 miles is a bit much then start from Oxford and head out of town for as far as you feel like and then turn back. 

oxford walk

Once you’ve arrived in Oxford spend the afternoon exploring this beautiful city. Visiting the university and the parks is an absolute must and we’d recommend hiring a Punt from Magdalen Bridge Boathouse as well – it’s a lot of fun, low cost and a little scary!

For food and drink the choices are endless, but if you’re after something a little more lively then head up into the Jericho area for drinks and something to eat from one of the many brewpubs and cocktails bars on Walton Street. 

Once you’ve had your fill of Oxford, grab yourself a taxi back to wherever you left the van, it’s not too expensive and should be around £10 if you parked around the Farmoor area. 

If you are not staying at Valley Farm Campsite tonight, then we’d recommend heading south of the city and finding another cracking BritStop or campsite.

We’ve previously stopped at St Peters campsite, which we liked. It’s very much a back to basics site without facilities but for us a field where we can have a campfire is all we want out of a pitch. Note – if there’s been a lot of rain this site can and will be very muddy! Be warned. 

day 3 in oxfordshire

Watersports!!!

Your final day on your little tour of Oxfordshire sees a day out to Hi5 water sports, or Wet N Wild. They offer all sorts of water sports from water skiing and wake boarding, to SUP hire and a water based assault course which is what we did and was a lot of fun! We were a little apprehensive to begin with as it looked a little disappointing from the shore but we had a total blast and fully recommend it to everyone. 

If you have a dog that needs walking prior to after your water sports then this there are plenty of lovely walks through fields of corn and rolling Oxfordshire countryside – have a look on AllTrails

And there you have it – our mini Oxfordshire road trip complete with adrenaline inducing water sports, cultured city break and scenic walks – all over the course of a single weekend! What an efficient way to have an absolute blast of a weekend.

Alternative activities

Don’t fancy water sports – QuadNation is just down the road.

Don’t fancy outdoor pursuits type activity? What about a Spa Day?

An alternative site idea is The Pig Place. It is a really interesting site on a small holding on the banks of a canal with an outdoor ‘bar’ and a farm shop onsite. 

Go Explore!

Have you been to Oxfordshire in your van? What did you get up to – let us know in the comments!

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