15 Blissful dog walks in Banbury

Dog walks
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The historic market town of Banbury has become a bit of a hub for commuters, as it’s well connected by road and rail to several major cities, and is in easy reach of Birmingham, Coventry, Oxford and London. This also happens to make it a great day-trip spot for anyone and their pup who lives along those routes, and you won’t need to ride a cockhorse to get here either.

The town happens to have one of the most charming centres you can find, with its weaving lanes and alleys framed by old houses from different eras. However, you’ll also find plenty of countryside retreats, as the town sits by the River Cherwell and skirts the Cotswolds AONB. You and your pooch can enjoy a paw-some day out and explore some of these sights in the town and beyond on these 15 dog walks in Banbury.

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Country & country park walks

Spiceball country park

The largest park in Banbury is a must-visit for those wanting to go out with their family or dogs. It’s a great place for kids to play games in the open spaces or burn off steam in the playground. Meanwhile, the fields are paw-fect for games of fetch, or you and your pup can enjoy a quieter stroll along the banks of the river or canal. If you’re by the river, you could even let your pup have a quick dip.

You could easily do a short walk enriched with ball games and a doggy paddle, or loop around the large park and extend your walk out along the canal towpath. The Spiceball Country Park is in the heart of Banbury, so it’s easy to walk to from the station or reach from the local buses. You’re also only a short stroll away from the plentiful cafes in town. Cafe Nero, Cafe Venato and the Pinto Lounge are all dog-friendly and ideal to paw-se for a drink and cake.

  • Walk Length: 2.5km (Various)

  • Difficulty: Easy

  • Starting Point: Car park

  • Terrain: Paths, flat, even, parkland

  • Free Parking: No

  • Address: Spiceball Country Park, Banbury, OX16 2RD

More information: GPS Routes

Broughton castle

Dogs are welcome to explore the gardens and grounds of Broughton Castle alongside their owners, provided they’re on a lead and under control. The magnificent fortified manor house makes for a majestic backdrop for your walk, and you won’t be able to help yourself from stopping to admire it from time to time. It’s so beautiful and memorable, in fact, it’s been used multiple times as a filming location.

You and your pup can enjoy a stroll through the walled gardens, alongside the moat, or amble around the larger estate. The grounds are free to enter and walk around, but you’ll have to pay to enter the castle and gardens. There’s also a tearoom on site where your pooch is welcome to join you while you have a spot of tea. If it’s an open day, it’s free to head into the tearoom too.

  • Walk Length: 3km

  • Difficulty: Easy

  • Starting Point: Car park

  • Terrain: Trails, flat, even, parkland, woodland

  • Free Parking: Yes

  • Address: Broughton Castle, Banbury, OX15 5EB

More information: Broughton Castle, GPS Routes

Cropredy circular walk

This delightful walk through the countryside around Cropready is paw-fect for blowing off the cobwebs and enjoying a few hours in the great outdoors with your furry friend. You’ll start at the Red Lion Inn, so be sure to step in as a patron before or after your walk if you park there.

Alongside expanses of gently rolling, open countryside and farmland, a stretch of canal, and country lanes. There are two areas of historical battles along this walk, so historians amongst you will have plenty to find. You will also have a glimpse of the regal Edgcote House between the trees, which was restored a few years ago following a fire.

On the walk, you will pass through Wardington and Chipping Warden, another charming market town, and you can stop here for local facilities. You’ll obviously need to keep your dog on the lead along the lanes and in the countryside, but there will be plenty of op-paw-tunities for running free in the fields.

  • Walk Length: 12.8km

  • Difficulty: Moderate

  • Starting Point: Red Lion Inn

  • Terrain: Trails, fields, country lanes, flat, paths

  • Free Parking: Yes

  • Address: 8 Red Lion Street, Cropredy, Banbury, OX17 1PB

Banbury fringe

No, this isn’t an arts festival, but a circular walk around the urban fringe of Banbury and through some of the neighbouring countryside. It’s an easy walk, but we classify it as moderate due to the length of the route. However, you can easily choose a smaller section to explore to better suit your ability.

Looking inwards from this walk, you’ll have lovely views of Banbury, but look the other way and you’ll be treated to the Oxfordshire countryside rolling by. You should start at the Spiceball Park Sports Centre or Castle Quay car parks and move clockwise, following the waymarked path, but there are other starting points available.

You’ll pass the Barley Mow Pub just past the halfway point of this route, but you will have to sit outside with the dogs. Otherwise, there are more dog-friendly places in Banbury town centre you can visit before or after the walk for refreshments, such as the Pinto Lounge, Dog and Gun, or Ye Olde Reindeer.

  • Walk Length: 16km

  • Difficulty: Moderate

  • Starting Point: Spiceball Sports Centre

  • Terrain: Trails, flat, uneven, fields, paths

  • Free Parking: No

  • Address: Cherwell Drive, Banbury, OX16 2BW

More information: Walking Club

Swalcliffe to Tadmarton Heath

You and your pup will love this easy ramble through the rural Oxfordshire countryside. You’ll have beautiful views across the open fields, which in summer are in full bloom and bright yellow with linseed. Part of the walk follows the old Roman road and Swalcliffe Lea, and the ponds and streams there. You can let your pup have a paddle, but this is close to the start of the walk, so make sure your pooch won’t be cold the rest of the way if they do decide to take a dip.

You certainly won’t mind walking through the villages on this walk, as they’re all handsome hamlets mainly made up of local stone. Otherwise, this gem of a walk is out amongst the lush pasture of Oxfordshire, with a view across the fields to some small hills in the distance. The Stags Head in Swalcliffe is just opposite the church and offers good food, including some Greek specials, and is well worth a visit.

  • Walk Length: 8.9km

  • Difficulty: Easy

  • Starting Point: Swalcliffe barn (by the church)

  • Terrain: Trails, fields, flat, gentle slopes

  • Free Parking: Yes

  • Address: Swalcliffe, Banbury, OX15 5DR

More information: View Ranger

Rollright stones

You’ll have to take about 25 minutes to drive to reach the stones, but it is well worth it to visit these ancient monuments and amble through the Chiltern Hills AONB. Your pup will relish the rolling pasture to play in, while you sniff out the Rollright Stones. (Which we have accidentally called the Rolling Stones at least once!)

There are three ancient stone features to find on this walk. The King’s Stone, a standing stone thought to mark the bronze age burial site, and you can see the barrows and cairns nearby. Then there is the older King’s Men Stone Circle. Finally, a few hundred yards away and some 1000 years older still, is the Whispering Knights. The knights mark an old burial chamber and one of Britain’s oldest funerary monuments. They give a touch of mysticism to this beautiful walk through the countryside.

For those needing an accessible walk, there are two shorter routes on the short lawns around all of the stones. The Salford Inn near the beginning and end of this walk is child and pet-friendly, so you and your pooch will be welcome to pop inside for some refreshments.

  • Walk Length: 8.3km

  • Difficulty: Easy

  • Starting Point: Salford village

  • Terrain: Trails, fields, flat

  • Free Parking: Yes

  • Address: Salford, Chipping Norton, OX7 5YW

More information: Rollright Stones, Oxfordshire Cotswolds

Drayton to Wroxton

Sadly, with the White Horse gone, there’s no pub in Wroxton. However, you can instead start this same route in Drayton instead, and follow the circuit through the fields to Wroxton, and back again. As you leave Drayton, you and your pup will climb up to the obelisk and have wonderful views across the old abbey grounds. The area here is tranquil, and a fabulous spot for dog walking just outside of Banbury.

You will spend most of this walk on field paths, so your pup can spend plenty of time off-lead. Just remember if you see any livestock to bring your dog back under control. If you’d like to start or end your walk somewhere cosy with a good drink, you and the pooch can stop by the Roebuck Inn in Drayton.

  • Walk Length: 8.9km

  • Difficulty: Moderate

  • Starting Point: Roebuck Inn

  • Terrain: Trails, fields, flat, gentle slopes

  • Free Parking: Yes

  • Address: Stratford Road, Drayton, Banbury, OX15 6EN

More information: View Ranger

Radway to Edge hill

A hop across the border in Warwickshire, but less than ten miles away, is the village of Radway. It’s a great spot for dog walking near Banbury, as it is nestled in the northern point of the Cotswolds AONB. You’ll have to find on-street parking in the village but shouldn’t have any difficulty, and then you and your pooch are free to enjoy this gently undulating walk through the picturesque countryside.

If you require a shorter walk, there is an option to shorten this route. The walk back is through pleasant woodland, and you’ll have good views of Radway house and Edge Hill, the site of a civil war battlefield. (You can’t access these sites though.)

While in the area of Edge Hill, be sure to take a trip to The Castle. The handsome hotel and restaurant really does look like a castle and is delightfully dog-friendly. You can refresh in the restaurant or even stay in this unique spot with your pooch, as it happens to be a pet-friendly hotel.

  • Walk Length: 8.7km

  • Difficulty: Moderate

  • Starting Point: Radway village hall (Wherever you park)

  • Terrain: Trails, fields, woodland, uneven

  • Free Parking: Yes

  • Address: The Green, Radway, Warwick, CV35 0UN

More information: Visorando


This lovely walk follows a figure of eight, so if you fancy a shorter stroll you can easily take one of the two loops as your route. This walk is sure to delight you and the pooch, as it is largely rural and will have you wandering through typical Oxfordshire countryside, with splendid views across the gently rolling hills.

As well as the picture-perfect views, you’ll pass several historical points of interest on your walk such as Bowman’s Bridge. You’ll also amble through Clifton, an attractive hamlet of stone cottages. On the second half of this walk, you’ll pass by Daeda’s Wood, which we have listed below as one of our top spots for dog walking in Banbury, so you can easily take a step away from the path to visit the woodland.

There’s plenty of places to eat in Deddington, including the attractive thatched inn, The Duke of Cumberland’s Head, which is dog-friendly.

  • Walk Length: 18.5km

  • Difficulty: Moderate

  • Starting Point: Deddington village

  • Terrain: Trails, fields, flat, slopes

  • Free Parking: Yes

  • Address: Deddington, OX15 0SH

More information: Walk and Cycle


The charming Cotswolds village of Shutford is a stone's throw from Banbury, and you could easily spend an afternoon walking in the surrounding countryside with your pooch. You will start this circular walk in the village, before making your way South and past the flanks of several hills, (you won’t have to climb any though.) There are also a few points where you can take a shortcut back to the village should you need to.

This walk is incredibly rural, and a lot of your walking will be beside or through farmland. This means you will have to keep an eye out for livestock, and put the dog on the lead if you happen upon any.

There is no designated parking in the village, and limited space at the pub, so you will have to park on the roadside, so do be considerate to residents. You’ll begin and end the walk at the characterful George & Dragon, which allows dogs in the bar area, so you and your pooch can paw-se for a drink or some pub grub after your walk.

  • Walk Length: 7.2km

  • Difficulty: Moderate

  • Starting Point: George & Dragon

  • Terrain: Trails, fields, flat, uneven

  • Free Parking: Yes

  • Address: Church Lane, Shutford, Banbury, Oxfordshire, OX15 6PG

More information: Shutford Village

Woodland walks

Daeda's wood

The best woodland dog walking in Banbury will likely be found here at Daeda’s wood. It has a short and accessible walk that allows all ages and abilities to enjoy the enchanting woodland of willow oak and ash. The trees here open out into pretty glades, which are often blooming with wildflowers, and ideal for watching the wildlife and making this area paw-fect for a fairytale walk with your pooch. If you fancy extending your walk, you can pick up the Deddington dog walk listed above.

Although only a short route, the accessible path means it’s a great all-weather walk. There several benches along the path where you can paw-se to sit and admire the scenery and listen to the birds singing. You’ll also be able to hear the River Swere behind you, and you may find your dog wanders off for a quick paddle in its waters.

Otherwise, there are no facilities on this walk. But if you park in the layby off the A4260, you should find Buzzy Beans, a mobile cafe, parked there too. It’s a cute little coffee van that resides there and even puts out a few stools so you can sit to enjoy a freshly ground cup of coffee.

  • Walk Length: 0.9km

  • Difficulty: Easy

  • Starting Point: Parking in layby

  • Terrain: Paths, flat, even

  • Free Parking: Yes

  • Address: Daeda’s Woods, Banbury, OX15 0TS

More information: Oxfordshire.gov, Woodland Trust

Waterside walks

Banbury flood defences

This is a pup-ular place for dog walking in Banbury for people and pooches alike. It’s a ramble through the flood plains and past three distinct water features, the Oxford Canal, River Cherwell, and the lake created as part of the flood defences. Pups will have the op-paw-tunity for a doggy paddle here, which will no doubt thrill them, just make sure they don’t dive into the canal. Instead, keep any swims in the river or lake.

In warmer weather, be aware that last summer there was blue-green algae found in the lake, which can be toxic. If any blooms in the lake again, there will be clear warning signs. Otherwise, it’s safe for a quick doggy paddle.

You can park near the retail park and take a footpath from beside M&S which leads to Chacombe. Once you reach the river, simply follow that. If there has been heavy rain, perhaps avoid this walk, as it is prone to flooding. The retail park has a few food outlets, but your pup will need to stay outside.

  • Walk Length: Long or short as you like

  • Difficulty: Easy

  • Starting Point: Banbury Gateway

  • Terrain: Trails, flat, even, fields

  • Free Parking: Yes

  • Address: Acorn Way, Banbury OX16 3ER

More information: Exploring

King's Sutton to Twyford Wharf

The area in and around King’s Sutton is excellent for dog walking both due to the beautiful countryside, and the fantastic work of local landowners and the council’s footpaths warden. One of the prettiest walks is the gentle stroll along the Oxford canal, where you will follow the waterway through serene fields.

This route starts in Twyford Wharf, but we think it’s easier to start in King’s Sutton and walk this route in reverse. It’s easy to follow, and starting in the village means you can easily travel here on the train to enjoy hours of relaxed walking in the quintessentially English countryside.

Visiting King’s Sutton isn’t only great for walking, but also to pay a visit to the utterly charming White Horse. This traditional, country pub is as cosy as they come and will gladly welcome you and your pup. The pub is a short walk from the station and an ideal pit-stop before or after your walk along the canal or river Cherwell. There are many other walking routes to choose from here, and the village is very walker-friendly.

  • Walk Length: 8.8km

  • Difficulty: Easy

  • Starting Point: King’s Sutton

  • Terrain: Trails, flat, even, fields

  • Free Parking: Yes

  • Address: King's Sutton, Banbury, OX17 3RN

More information: King Sutton, Walking World

Banbury to Lower Heyford

This long walk along the Oxford Canal towpath will take you almost 21km from the heart of Banbury out to Lower Heyford. Then, you and your pooch simply have to hop on a train to head back to the start. Some of the towpaths out in the countryside can get a little overgrown. Largely though, the route is clear and easy walking and often has fields beside it, so your pooch can enjoy plenty of off-lead exploring. This walk is also a wonderful op-paw-tunity for wildlife watching.

As mentioned on the guide, the route could not be any easier to follow, as you should have the canal in sight beside you the whole walk. There are also a number of pubs dotted along the route, so you’re never far from a place to paw-se for a drink and rest. Some of them include the Great Western Arms and the Barley Mow, which both site yards from the waterside.

  • Walk Length: 20.3km

  • Difficulty: Moderate

  • Starting Point: Branbury centre/railway station

  • Terrain: Flat, even, trails

  • Free Parking: No

  • Address: Banbury, OX16 5PE

More information: Mud and Routes

Hill walks

Burton Dassett hills country park

Admittedly, the hills aren’t the highest, but when the rest of the land is so low and level, it means you have breathtaking views of the surrounding countryside from your vantage point in this country park. Burton Dassett is ideal for dog walking in Banbury and is also a big hit with families as the lush green meadows are perfect for kite-flying and picnics, and paw-fect for games of fetch. The only note is to watch out for sheep, but you should be able to find acres of space to yourself to play and walk in.

This is Warwickshire’s “Jurassic Park”, and the land used to be covered in a sub-tropical sea millions of years ago. If you’re lucky, you might find a fossil or two in some of the picnic areas, with remains of marine creatures like oysters and squid frequently turning up.

A little later in history, some 150 million years later, a church and beacon were built in the 12th century and you can visit them on your walk across the gentle hills.

Parking is charged, but entry to the park is free. You’ll find toilets on-site and plenty of picnic spots here and it’s worth bringing lunch with you because you won’t be able to believe the splendid views. We think they’re the best you’ll find near Banbury. If you do find yourself hankering after a heartier, warm meal then the Red Lion in the village is dog and child-friendly.

  • Walk Length: 5.5km (Various)

  • Difficulty: Easy

  • Starting Point: Car park

  • Terrain: Trails, even, fields, slopes

  • Free Parking: No

  • Address: Burton Dassett, Southam, CV47 2AB

More information: Our Warwickshire, GPS RoutesSoutham

More information about Banbury: Wikipedia

More dog walks: Gloucestershire, Windsor Great Park, Hertfordshire