Health walks in Oxford

Walking is a fantastic way to build exercise into your day, meet new people and take in the great outdoors. 

There are many beautiful parks and open spaces waiting to be explored in Oxford, and to help you along the way we have set up our our Oxford Health Walks programme. 

Whether you are a keen walker or you are considering starting some gentle exercise, why not join our walk leaders on a walk around the city, and 'Let the Good Times Stroll'?

Oxford Health Walks:

  • Tuesdays - 10am - Countryside 'n' Cobbles - Meet outside Oxford Town Hall
  • Tuesdays - 10am - Summertown - Meet at NOA Community Centre
  • Wednesdays - 10am - Hinksey Park - Meet in the car park
  • Fridays - 10am - Bury Knowle Park - Meeting outside Headington library
  • 3rd Saturday of every month - 10.30am - Blackbird Leys - Meeting outside Leys Pools and Leisure Centre

Take the next step up from Health Walks with our Up For It Walks. These more challenging walks are up to 3.5 miles and are taken at a slightly brisker pace. Every 1st Thursday of the month, 10am. Meet at the bottom of Headington Hill Park.

The Oxford Health Walks are accredited by Walking for Health.

How do I join in

There is no need to register to take part in a Health Walk, just turn up on the day!

We do recommend however that you arrive 5 minutes before the walk is due to depart as walks will leave promptly.

How much does it cost to join in

The great thing about walking is that it is completely free of charge! All we ask is that you wear comfortable clothing and suitable shoes to walk in.

Regular Health Walker, Gill says:

I really do enjoy these walks and have discovered parts of Oxford that I never knew existed even though I have lived here all my life.

Not only that; I have also made some new friends and improved my fitness levels no end. Long may they continue, as they have become an important part of my life.

Is there anything else I need to know

  • Anyone is welcome to take part in the walks and it will be clearly communicated when the route is wheelchair/pushchair accessible.
  • Unfortunately, dogs are not invited to the walks as other participants may not feel comfortable around animals.
  • We do ask that any young children are accompanied by an adult.
  • Walks will be led by qualified Health Walk leaders to ensure your safety and enjoyment.
  • All walks will be of a distance and pace suitable for everyone.
  • All routes are fully risk assessed.
  • You will be asked to complete a very short questionnaire when you attend your first Health Walk. The purpose of the questionnaire is for Health Walk leaders to be aware of any previous injuries or illnesses which will be used for emergency purposes only.  Once completed, the forms will be safely and confidentially filed by Oxford City Council. You are welcome to download our Health Walk questionaire form (PDF) and bring it along to your first walk.

Would you like to become a health walk leader

We are always looking for enthusiastic volunteers, with a passion for the great outdoors to lead our walks in the city. 

If you are considering becoming a health walk leader we can arrange for you to attend a free day of training, provided by Ramblers, and we will also support you to set walks up and promote them. 

Read about Oxford Spires student Matyas Hanisch and his experience of volunteering with us as a Walk Leader assistant!

My name is Matyas Hanisch and I chose these walks originally to do my 10 hour volunteering work for my HSLA course.

During my hours my duty was to be the back marker (making sure no one gets left behind) which was a great task as all I needed to do was to make sure we kept up with the rest of the group and meanwhile we had some great conversations!

The walks took routes that avoided the main roads and tried to include special places. For example before these walks I had no idea that J. R. R. Tolkien lived in Oxford! You can even find some green parts in the middle of Oxford where you literally will think that you are in a forest far away from any towns which I found fascinating.

After the walk we would always go either to the cafe or a community building where we ate and drank a bit while continuing to talk with one another.

During this time I learned that these walking sessions are quite pleasant with great people around who are really nice and good to have a conversation with. I found the walks an excellent way for older people to get out of their house and have a beneficial effect on both their physical and social health.

I think that these walks are great, especially if you enjoy socialising as these walks are really friendly sessions where the point is to go out and walk with other people.

Nordic Walking and Exerstriding

  • By utilising poles you are able to work both the upper and lower body, burning nearly 50% more calories than normal walking alone
  • A great workout for those with joint or back problems due to the added support gained from the poles
  • Getting active has never been this easy

If you have completed a Learn to Nordic Walk course in the past and would like to enjoy some social group walks please contact Vicki Galvin at vgalvin@oxford.gov.uk or 01865 252720 about the informal groups currently walking in the city. Get a gentle full body workout with this new way of Nordic Walking.