I’m ashamed to say that I’ve lived in and around North Oxfordshire for over thirty-six years and I’d missed out on visiting a little gem on our doorstep all that time. When I saw a friend’s post on Facebook recently talking about somewhere on the outskirts of Banbury I was quick to Google to find out more. After our visit to Hanwell Castle recently we decided to go the long way home and spent some time exploring Adderbury Lakes Nature Reserve.
If you leave Banbury on the Oxford Road (A4260), as you reach Adderbury you go past the Red Lion PH and take the first left onto Lake Walk. There are a couple of parking spaces right outside the nature reserve, but otherwise you will need to park on the roadside.
Exploring Adderbury Lakes Nature Reserve won’t take hours as it’s not very large at all, but it’s a real gem of tranquility and a perfect place to wander for a while. The Lakes originally formed part of the formal grounds of Adderbury House in the eighteenth century.
My son loves finding ice houses whenever we visit National Trust properties, so he was rather chuffed to find one here too.
The lakes suddenly come into view and like I’ve already said, they aren’t massive, but they are lovely to just admire and walk around.
The notice board mentioned the type of wildlife we might spot as we spent time exploring Adderbury Lakes Nature Reserve, and we did see a heron on the far side of one of the lakes. I’d not got the right lens on my camera to capture it very well, but we stood watching him for ages.
The pathways are suitable for all, flat and easy to walk along and there are a couple of fishing platforms, although we didn’t see any anglers when we visited.
We did see plenty of ducks and they made a beeline for us, unfortunately we’d arrived empty-handed, but I’m sure plenty of visitors keep them well fed.
We could see Adderbury House at certain points on our walk and there are normally deer to be seen on the large field behind the house, but on this particular day they were nowhere to be seen. I’ve seen them from the A4260 countless times over the years. But no such luck for my son on our visit.
It was so tranquil as we spent time exploring Adderbury Lakes Nature Reserve that it was really hard to imagine that we were close to the main road between Banbury and Oxford. The sound of running water is always a draw, and it was lovely to find this little water fall on our walk.
The weather was so different from the morning, the sun was shining down and there was a huge swath of snowdrops to enjoy.
Of course, as you well know, my son is great stick fan, so it wasn’t long before he’d found a couple of perfect sticks to play with.
They even joined him for a break as he found a seat in an alcove to sit and enjoy the view.
At the far end of the lakes we found a circle of tree stumps. Perfect for playing games around.
And for whittling his stick.
As I’ve already mentioned exploring Adderbury Lakes Nature Reserve won’t take long, but it really is a lovely hidden gem and one we will be returning to in the future. Have you got any hidden gems on your doorstep?