Cheese Wharf loop from Oxford — British wild swim spots
Bike Touring Highlight
Mountain Biking Highlight
Includes a segment in which cycling is forbidden
You will have to dismount and push your bike.
Katherine Moore planned a mountain bike ride.
April 28, 2020
Let’s face it, Oxfordshire probably isn’t your number one thought when it comes to wild swimming spots, but you don’t need to get all that remote to enjoy a dip. Not all that far from the golden stone city of Oxford, this bend on the River Thames, owned by the National Trust Buscot Estate, is a simply delightful place to take a swim in the Great British countryside. One that can be enjoyed by riders of all abilities, this route is certainly rideable on gravel, cyclo-cross and mountain bikes, especially on the dry trails of summer, which is when it’ll be most pleasant to swim too. Besides a plunge in the river, you’ll find quiet woodland dirt singletrack, wide gravel farmland byways and quiet lanes en route. Heading west out of Oxford centre from the train station, you’ll ride to Cumnor village via a great strip of byway through the centre of green fields, before a series of lanes leading you to Appleton, and on to the bridleway through Lower Common Forest. Follow parallel to the River Thames heading upstream as you continue on a mix of lanes, byways and singletrack bridleways to the west, crossing the water to finally reach the Cheese Wharf to the south of Lechlade. Named as this used to be the spot where cheeses were loaded onto boats to head to London, you’ll even find stone steps carved into the bankside to help you get in here! It’s right next to the road, but still a totally idyllic spot. The return journey is to the north, with more off-road segments linked by small lanes and minor roads, through Bampton, Ducklington and Eynsham. Finish the loop with a ride through the gorgeous Port Meadows to the north of the city, before ending your grand day out with a celebratory drink taking in some of the local sights, perhaps?
April 29, 2020