Walks to the pub are probably the mainstay of every dog owners’ weekend. In this walk we explore Botley’s hidden gem that is the Seacourt Nature Reserve and end up in the lush garden of The Fishes, a dog-friendly pub in North Hinksey.
This is an easy dog walk in Oxford that is completely flat and perfect for a short afternoon stroll or evening walk to the pub.
Length: Short (30 mins roughly)
Start: Seacourt Nature Reserve
End: The bottom of The Fishes garden, North Hinskey
Start: Seacourt Nature Reserve
Begin at the entrance to Seacourt Nature Reserve off West Way road near Wickes.
Walk into the Seacourt Nature Reserve and it’s easy to forget you are moments away from Botley’s industrial estate and one of the busiest roads in Oxford. Follow the river further down the path and you may be surprised by the number of rabbits and other wildlife that make their homes here.
Cross over the path that leads to the car parks on either side and head towards the large electricity pylon (just in case you forgot you were in the centre of a city, this will remind you!).
Wind your way along the green paths that are surrounded by trees and bushes – just perfect for dogs to explore. Keep to the left of each turning and you will come across a kissing gate to your right (does anyone else call these kissing gates?).
Step 2: Meadow Meanderings
Through this gate a large meadow opens up before you. In the spring and summer months, the buildings of Aldi and Dunelm are obscured by trees while the village of North Hinksey lines the right-hand side of the large open space. This offers the perfect opportunity for dogs to run, sniff, and generally burn off some energy. There are fences on all sides so you can be relatively safe in the knowledge that they can’t get into too much mischief.
Follow the path around the left of the field. In the spring and early summer it is particularly beautiful as you can admire an amazing number of wild-flowers.
Step 3: Follow the river
In the far corner of the field you will find another kissing gate that leads onto Willow Walk.
Here you could walk down Willow Walk and come out onto North Hinksey Lane and follow the road to the front of The Fishes. However, I recommend crossing across Willow Walk here and going down the path opposite. This offers a tranquil walk alongside the river. When you reach a bridge, turn right and keep following the path.
Be careful, as this section of the walk can get pretty muddy in the winter months! Fortunately, walkways and bridges have been added to keep you out of the boggiest areas. In the summer, however, this is completely dry and reminds me of the enchanted woods from my childhood books.
End: The Fishes Garden
Follow the path all the way up and you will cross a final bridge into the bottom of The Fishes large garden. Here you can enjoy the magnificent tipi, lounge in a striped deckchair in the summer, or walk into the welcoming surroundings of the pub.
Water bowls are on hand around the garden and at the front of the pub for thirsty pups, while there is a large container full of dog biscuits by the main entrance.
Have you done this walk? Let us know what you think or your top tips in the comments below.