A Dog Walk on Hurst Hill in Oxford

Cumnor Hurst, or Hurst Hill, really does have it all: woodland for dogs to scamper through – check; multiple walking routes – check; stunning and reaching views of the Oxfordshire countryside – double check.

The Cumnor Hurst Community Woodland has to be one of my favourite places to walk on a clear day. You can see for miles across the Oxfordshire countryside and the woodland makes it feel like you are far out of the city (when in fact you are only 2 minutes away from the main road of Cumnor Hill).

I’d definitely recommend wellies or walking boots in winter, as it can get very muddy and boggy. The ground is also very uneven and the entire nature reserve is on a hill, so I wouldn’t recommend the area for any one who has any accessibility needs.


This 17-acre community woodland was created in 2009 with the planting of over 700 native trees, with subsequent native trees being planted since. The land was donated by Timbmet timber and is adjacent to the Hurst Hill Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) that is home to a variety of mosses, liverworts and numerous species of lichens uncommon in Oxfordshire, in addition to great crested newts.

Tread in the footsteps of Dinosaurs

Fun fact: in 1880 the fossilised remains of the dinosaur Cumnoria were found on Hurst Hill. Remains of plesiosaurs and ichthyosaurs have also been found there. 

The Cumnor Hurst Cows

There are 4 cows roaming free on the Hurst (although I’ve never actually seen them, there are signs as you enter). According to the signs they are left free to roam as they please in order to provide natural pruning. Dogs should be fine off the lead, but be sure to keep an eye out.

Getting there

As you are heading out of Oxford, turn left off of Cumnor Hill onto Hurst Lane. A little way down the lane you will see a dirt road that goes to the right. Follow the roaduntil you get to a public gate on your left. Head straight across the field to the entrance to the Hurst opposite.