Within the ordinary, residential streets of Oxford lies a hidden gem. As the title gives it away, you already know the place I’m talking about.
Author Clive Staples Lewis, lived in this area of Oxford at the time of writing his most well-known books, The Chronicles of Narnia. C.S.Lewis’ home ‘The Kilns’ was situated right next to the nature reserve which is now named after him (the Kilns is now a study centre, with tours of the home available through a booking system). During the time of writing the novels, he would spend most of his time talking walks through the reserve and taking inspiration from the surroundings.
Despite being so close to local roads and the A40, the area of woodland is so still, peaceful, and at times quite eerie. It consists of two ponds, one large and one smaller one which is a flooded clay pit. The land gets quite steep and there are trails set up to direct you through the wood.
I’m not a wildlife spotter or expert, but there is plenty of evidence of it around the reserve. Holes in the ground show animal tracks and habitats. The pond is teeming with life and is used for pond dipping by local children’s groups and schools.
I found it to be a magical, tranquil place and have been back a few times since (in different seasons) to just sit and watch the ducks in the pond. I would definitely recommend a visit if you are looking for something to do in Oxford.