Oxford Canal Walk

The Oxford Canal begins at Hythe Bridge, near the city centre and railway station. Over 200 years old and hand-dug, it winds north through Banbury to Coventry. The Canal and River Trust manages it.

A level path runs through the city, becoming rougher from Wolvercote. This tranquil route along the canal is perfect for enjoying nature, observing canal boats, and seeing Oxford from a new angle. It's easily accessible from the city centre, Summertown, Jericho, or Wolvercote.

The path is narrow, popular for cycling but requires sharing with pedestrians. Remember to slow down, use lights and bells, especially near low bridges with poor visibility. Respect the boats as they are often people’s homes.

Notable spots along the Oxford Canal include:

Isis Lock: Connecting the Oxford Canal to the River Thames since 1797, this functional lock is a historic point of interest.

The Trap Grounds Local Wildlife Site: Alongside Frenchay Road, this preserved wetland reserve is home to a variety of wildlife, including water voles. More details are on the Trap Grounds website.

Wolvercote: The towpath leads to Wolvercote village, with a circular route back along the Thames Path. Note the steep steps to road level in Wolvercote.

Duke’s Cut: Three miles from the city, this channel connects the canal to the Thames. Notice the brick troughs, a remnant of the canal’s horse-drawn boat era.

Oxford Canal Heritage Trail

A 200-year-old industrial waterway, the Oxford Canal played a crucial role in Oxford's growth. The Oxford Canal Heritage Trail, spanning 3 miles (5km) from Hythe Bridge Street to Duke’s Lock, offers exercise and historical insight.

Signposts with QR codes for an audio-guide line the trail. You can also download maps and guides from the Oxford Canal Heritage Trail website.

Rate this page