To help you recover from the excesses of New Year's Eve and to shake off those hangovers, there's nothing better than a refreshing walk out in the fresh air.

Here are the top 10 walks around Oxfordshire to enjoy on New Year's Day.

The Chiltern Hills

Warburg Nature Reserve is set in a patchwork of woods, scrub and flower-rich grassland with a wide range of plants and invertebrates.

Plants to be found here include orchids, gentian, marjoram and thyme.

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A grassy path on the edge of Maidengrove and Russell’s Water Common will bring you to The Five Horseshoes, a 16th century pub, and a little further along the road you will discover a new vineyard.

The final half of the walk takes you through wild flower filled fields with superb views, followed by a walk through ancient woodland with beech trees that stretch high above an open forest floor to form a peaceful, cathedral-like space.

Oxford Mail: Chiltern Hills and Warburg Nature Reserve


Cross the bridge at Henley and head downstream along the river bank following the regatta course with plenty of interest all the way.

Allow some time to explore the lock and weir at Hambledon Mill and then continue for a while along a much quieter stretch of river.

The walk returns to Henley via the small village of Aston where the Flower Pot Hotel is located and the Chiltern Way where the path flows through fields, skirts woodland and will give you wonderful views to admire.

You can also make a short detour to visit St Nicholas's Church in Remenham - a location used in Midsomer Murders.

Oxford Mail: Henley

Blenheim Park and Woodstock

Explore one of the county's prettiest towns, Woodstock, and take a stroll through the grounds of Blenheim Park.

You will be surrounded by towering old oak trees and a beautiful lake - all against the backdrop of the magnificent Blenheim Palace.

The UNESCO World Heritage site is the birthplace of Winston Churchill and is visited by many thousands of people each year.

You could head to the River Glyme and through Old Woodstock, the original old settlement. You will pass through fields and along a track that follows the line of the old Roman road - Akeman Street.

This will take you into the park itself.

Oxford Mail: Blenheim

Minster Lovell

Minster Lovell village was once famous for its rushes and river crayfish.

It has thatched cottages, a great pub/hotel (The Old Swan and Minster Mill) and a beautiful church - St Kenelm which dates back to 1450.

Minster Hall is a fascinating ruined 15th century manor house by the side of the River Windrush.

You can then walk through water meadows and along the river, one of the most famous watercourses in the Cotswolds, and on to Crawley which has a pub.

Oxford Mail: Minster Lovell

Uffington White Horse

There is a five and a half mile circular walk which ultimately takes you up to the Bronze-Age Uffington White Horse.

The walk starts at the National Trust car park then travels along an established track to Knighton Bushes and back to White Horse Hill via the gallops on Woolstone Down.

The White Horse itself is the oldest chalk-cut hill figure in Britain. Experts suggest it is over 3,000 years old.

The horse is only part of a complex of ancient remains at White Horse Hill and across the high chalk downland.

You can also admire The Manger, a dramatic dry valley with steep rippled sides known as the Giant’s Steps.

Oxford Mail: Uffington White Horse

Chimney Meadows

Chimney Meadows is a 49.6-hectare biological Site of Special Scientific Interest and a national nature reserve. 

You can use a bridleway, public footpaths and permissive paths to access much of it.

The rich wildlife has been restored since the Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire Wildlife Trust started looking after it in 2003.

Fields once planted with wheat and barley are now species-rich wildflower meadows with a remarkable diversity of plant-life.

It is home to nationally declining wading birds such as curlew, which breed here.

Dogs are allowed but must be kept on a lead to avoid disturbing the wildlife. 

Oxford Mail: Chimney Meadows

Walks around Abingdon

There are plenty of walks past red-roofed houses and riverside boats crossing from bank to bank, over bridges, weirs, locks and islands.

You can visit Abbey Meadows with its ecclesiastical medieval ruins, and romantic Victorian Abbey Gardens.

Little remains of the town’s medieval abbey itself, but its impressive Long Gallery survives.

Crossing the river at Abingdon Weir and Lock, follow the Thames Path through Hales Meadow, passing the ancient Abingdon Bridge and Abingdon Marina.

Where the path forks, you can turn left to visit Culham with its picturesque medieval bridge, the village’s manor with its 17th-century dovecote and the parish church of St Paul.

At Culham Cut you can cross over the bridge and follow the footpath to Sutton Courtenay where you can see the Grade I- listed Wharf which once belonged to British prime minister, H.H. Asquith, buried in nearby All Saints’ Church, where George Orwell is also buried.

Oxford Mail: Abingdon

Christmas Common

It's an appropriate time of year for a walk on Christmas Common.

If you have the energy climb Watlington Hill which has some lovely views and pretty woodland. 

Or there is a circular route that takes you east around Christmas Common towards the village of Northend and it provides you with more lovely views over the Chilterns.

There are some steep hills to climb as with most routes around Christmas Common.

If you fancy a truly strenuous walk there are lots of hills to climb and descend on the way to the village of Turville Heath and through Turville Park.

But there is a pub in the village for topping up that energy after the walk.

Oxford Mail: Christmas Common


The beautiful medieval town of Burford is known as the gateway to the Cotswolds and has pubs, restaurants, cafes and shops.

Heading out of town there are paths along the River Windrush to St Oswald’s Church in a field which shows obvious signs through the lumps and bumps in the ground of the village that was once there.

The main village of Widford was destroyed by the Black Death in the 17th century.

You  can walk to the top of the valley and on to the village of Fulbrook and back to Burford, where there are many fascinating medieval buildings including the impressive St.John the Baptist Church, pretty almshouses and old weaver’s cottages - all down by the river.

There are many pubs and cafes in Burford and also The Carpenters Arms in Fulbrook, The Swan Inn at Swinbrook and The Maytime Inn at Asthall.

Oxford Mail: Burford walk


Farmoor Reservoir

Many visitors walk around the reservoir itself, however, there is a wide variety of wetland habitats, several small nature reserves, extensive paths and beautiful countryside near by.

There are usually a wide range of ducks, waders and other wildfowl and possibly rare gulls to see.

Or you can leave the reservoir and follow easy paths along the Thames along boardwalks through woodland with interesting information boards on route, which explains the wildlife interest of the area and are great for educating the kids.

There is a coffee shop beside the reservoir.

Dogs are not allowed on the actual reservoir site. Please check opening times for parking.

Oxford Mail: Farmoor reservoir

Oxford Walking Tour

The award-winning Oxford Official University and City Walking Tour is running at 1pm on New Year’s Day.

Led by a knowledgeable guide, this two-hour tour costs from £22 per person and will take in Oxford’s festive lights and sights, ensuring you see the big Broad Street Tree.