There is nothing like spending a beautiful day in the water. So even if the weather isn’t exactly tropical, Oxfordshire can oblige with some great outdoor pools and water features which are suitable for all the family. And for those feeling a little more adventurous, there is, of course, The Thames.
Try out the following pools in and around Oxford – and don’t forget the sun cream!
Hinksey Outdoor Pool, Oxford
This heated pool just on the outside the city centre in Hinksey Park, is now open until 28th September 2014. There is a pool for lane swimming, plus a family fun area, and a café and room to chill out.
Abbey Meadows Outdoor Pool and Water Feature, Abingdon
Abbey Meadow boasts both a heated outdoor pool, and a water feature which is great fun for children, now open until 1st September 2014. Both are located within Abbey Meadow in Abingdon, which has parking nearby, and can be combined with a trip to the playground. Or moor your boat alongside and hop out for a paddle!
Woodstock also has its own heated outdoor pool. Open from April to September, whatever the weather, come along for a swim or a picnic. With plenty of grassed area, there is lots of room to relax and have a good day out.
If however a dip in the Thames is more your thing, there are a number of spots that might be suitable.
Downstream to Shillingford Bridge, Shillingford.
Water shoes needed for the walking, unless you can be driven. Go down Wharf Road from Shillingford village bus stop to the steps by the boathouse. If you fancy a good swim, you can go down to Shillingford Bridge – exit by the hotel (right bank) or just below the bridge (left bank) and then walk back by the Thames Path.
Port Meadow, Oxford
There is 2km of river with little beaches on the right bank, and grassy expanses of meadow on the left bank. Shelving to up to 2m deep.
Here you will find a pretty bridge and one of the pubs featured in Jerome K. Jerome Three Men in a Boat. Sandy bays shelving to deeper water on the far bank. Have a paddle with a backdrop of wild empty meadows.
Chimney Meadows, Southmoor
Chimney Meadows nature reserve has a shallow, shady, magical woodland glade. Rushey Lock weir pool is also nearby, the other side of the Tadpole Bridge.
Stonesfield, Evenlode, nr Woodstock.
With a picturesque footbridge and clear, clean, shallow water and grassy banks below gentle Cotswold escarpment, this is an idyllic spot for a bit of swimming. This is the sight of the first ever dinosaur find, so combine your swim with a fossil hunt and visit the old Roman villa.
For more details of all the wild swimming locations, have a look here
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