Shotover Country Park offers everyone a chance to enjoy a place of beauty and history right on the edge of Oxford. Covering 117 hectares on the southern slopes of Shotover Hill there are spectacular views from the top across south Oxfordshire.
The park is an intimate mosaic of hidden valleys, varied landscapes and diverse habitats; a haven for wildlife and an ideal setting for peaceful enjoyment of the countryside. Because Shotover is a nationally important wildlife site, most of the Country Park is designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI).
Shotover is open to everyone to enjoy throughout the year free of charge and is ideal for a summer picnic, leisurely strolls, a walk with the dog, jogging, riding or orienteering.
The main car park at the top of Shotover Hill is on Old Road, Headington OX3 8TA (see pinpoint on map above). Parking is free. Alternative parking can be found at Horspath Sports Ground with a walk up into the park.
Buses stop near the bottom of Old Road – which will require a 15-20min walk uphill to the park, or from Horspath Rd or the Slade which also includes a 15-20min walk.
There are numerous entrances and exits to the Shotover many are signposted from surrounding roads.
Bridleways are signposted in blue.
There are three way-marked trails to guide you through the park. They all start in Mary Sadler’s Field near the car park. Assuming a relaxed pace the red trail will take 30 minutes, the yellow trail will take about 45 minutes, and the green trail will take about 2 hours.
For horse riders and cyclists there are 5km of paths to follow. The route starts from Shotover Plain near the car park. Please follow the blue arrows.
There is a station orienteering course around the Park. Look out for the distinctive red and white marker posts. Orienteering maps can be obtained from the parks office or Thames Valley Orienteering Club.
For children, the most popular haunt is a natural sandpit in which they may spend hours building castles or damming the tiny stream. Follow the red trail to get you there.
Disabled paths and access
There is a network of paths around the lower parts of the Country Park accessible to wheelchair users. Access is from Brasenose Farm on Oxford’s Eastern Bypass.
There is an extensive network of paths on Shotover. Those that are on the map are checked and maintained by the rangers. There are many other paths and desire lines, some only seasonal, that you can discover for yourself.
Shotover Country Park is a popular venue for a range of different events including guided walk, cross country races, orienteering competitions, sponsored walks, and treasure hunts. If you would like to book Shotover as a venue for your public event or filming, no matter how small, please phone 01865 252407.