The Oxfordshire Way, a long distance walking trail, starts at Bourton-on-the-Water and wends its way through west and south Oxfordshire to Henley-on-Thames, taking in two Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the Cotswolds and the Chilterns, along the route. The trail follows public footpaths and bridleways and passes through some of the loveliest parts of England’s green and pleasant land.
Starting in Bourton-on-the-Water in the Cotswolds, it first visits quiet villages with ancient churches built from honey coloured limestone. The trail then passes through the magnificent park around Blenheim Palace, which was landscaped in the 18th century by the famous gardener, Capability Brown. The Palace, a world heritage site, is the home to the Dukes of Marlborough (now the 12th) and is also where Sir Winston Churchill was born.
After crossing rural south Oxfordshire dotted with picturesque villages, the Oxfordshire Way climbs the chalk escarpment of the Chiltern Hills. Their stunning beech woods and quaint flint and brick buildings are in complete contrast to the countryside encountered earlier along the trail. The woodlands are at their best in early spring, when carpeted with bluebells, and again in the autumn, when the leaves of the beech trees turn a stunning bronze colour.
Once over the Chilterns, the trail drops into the Thames Valley and ends in Henley-on-Thames, the home of the British Rowing Regatta.
If you’d like to see some photos of our winter hike along The Oxfordshire Way, check out our album on Flickr.
Route Details for the Oxfordshire Way
Distance: 68 miles (108 km) from Bourton-on-the-Water in the Cotswolds to Henley-on-Thames.
Grade: Moderate with two short ascents of around 500ft (150m); one at the beginning when leaving Bourton-on-the-Water and the other near the end when ascending the escarpment onto the Chilterns.
Average duration: 5 to 7 days
Time of year: The Oxfordshire Way can be walked at any time of the year but it is probably best from late April to October. During wet periods, which of course are more common in winter, there are muddy sections of the trial.
Prices: Starting from £85 per person per night based on two people sharing a room. Prices include bed and breakfast in good quality accommodation, luggage transfer, a guidebook and map, and support in the unlikely event of an emergency.
Here are some of the lovely rural towns and villages that you will discover along the Oxfordshire Way
If you think the Oxfordshire Way is for you, please contact us here to book or to discuss your individual requirements.