4 min read

Port Meadow Walk

Not quite the walk we were expecting

Our youngest was invited to an ice skating party in Oxford so we planned a nice little walk with the pooch after dropping her off for her fun and games. I’d plotted a route that would take us along the Thames Path to Godstow, up to the Oxford Canal and back to Oxford.

The traffic into town was mental, all caused by people queueing into the Westgate shopping centre, meaning we just about got there in time to drop Eleni off for her party. After that could we find a parking space? Nope! So we drove round to the station car park and saw that it was pretty empty, which became clear once we’d parked, downloaded the bloody app to pay for the parking, and then got stung £15 for a day’s parking as you couldn’t pay for less time! What a rip-off!

Boots on and the stress of the journey and parking behind us, we headed out to the Thames Path and started to head away from the noise of the traffic in the brilliant sunshine and blue sky.

After not too long we came across a barrier over the path with a sign saying that the path was closed due to flooding. We couldn’t see any flooding, and also spotted a couple of people walking towards us, so we ignored the sign and carried on. Sadly, it wasn’t long before we hit the flooded path, attempted to get through it without soaking our feet, but gave up and turned around and headed back the way we came, a little bit annoyed.

I checked my GPS and spotted a road that ran parallel to the path and hoped that there would be able to walk along there and pick up the path a bit further on.

Fortunately, after walking past what looked like student digs, we got to Port Meadow – hurrah! Looking at the meadow though we could see that a lot of it on our left (the side next to the Thames) was completely covered with water. What to do? Seeing as there was a raised path that other people were using we decided to follow that and see where we ended up.

The views over the meadow [water] were stunning as we headed towards Burgess Field.

Because of the amount of water on the meadow we had no choice but to head up into Burgess Field, which itself was lovely to walk round. It wasn’t open like the meadow but had paths through trees, criss-crossing through the field.

We followed a path up to the top end of the field and began to head back again, not that Shelli would have you believe as she thought we just carried on in one direction and was a bit surprised when we reached the gate back at the meadow!

The sun was beginning to make its way to the horizon and I wished I’d had my big camera with me to catch the sun and its reflection in the water as it was beautiful. My phone didn’t do too bad a job but I would have loved to have seen the results using my other camera. Ho hum.

We headed over the railway and picked up the Oxford Canal back to Oxford railway station and the car.

Even thought it didn’t end up being the walk we’d originally planned, the stroll across the meadow – more like water meadow! – and around Burgess Field was beautiful with the setting sun.

I guess we’ll have to do the original walk we’d planned another time? Shame!


Route Details

If you’re interested you can download the GPX file of the plotted route. Please be aware though that the route was hand-plotted and so may not be 100% accurate.

Walk Statistics

Miles Start (HH:MM) Finish (HH:MM) Breaks (HH:MM) Walking (HH:MM) Pace (MPH)
5.17 14:10 16:00 00:00 01:50 2.81

Route Map

Elevation Details

Start Elavation (m) End Elavation (m) Max Elevation (m) Min Elevation (m) Total Climb (m) Total Descent (m)
59 60 63 56 38 -37