The University Parks

The University Parks consist of about 70 acres (30 hectares) of parkland on the West bank of the River Cherwell, together with a 4 acre (1.5 hectare) spur of land running towards the South. The Parks include sports areas and a large collection of plants and trees in landscaped suroundings.

For further information about the Parks please click on the links on the left.

map of the University Parks
Click on above map for larger image 

Please note that the Marston Cycle Track is the responsibility of the County Council.

The University Parks are administered by the Curators and the Parks Superintendent. The Parks are open to members of the public during the day apart from Christmas Eve (December 24th). The opening and closing times are given here.

Havel’s Place - November 6th

A commemorative table and chairs were unveiled in the Oxford University Parks to become the seventh place in the world with a "Havel’s Place". It evokes the memory of Václav Havel (1936-2011), writer, thinker, human rights activist and President of Czechoslovakia and the Czech Republic. The installation was designed by the Czech architect, Bořek Šípek, who was a friend of Václav Havel and consists of a small wooden table with a linden tree sapling growing through its centre and two chairs which serves as a modest place of rest and contemplation away from the hustle and bustle of contemporary life. "Havel’s Place" is to the west of the pond and overlooks it and the river Cherwell beyond.

Unveiling Havel's Place
The Parks Superintendent, Walter Sawyer, The Vice Chancellor of Oxford University, Andrew Hamilton and The President of the Oxford University Czech and Slovak Society, Kryštof Vosátka, prepare to unveil the seating.

Havel's Place

Havel's Place

Temporary Closure of Lady Margaret Hall Entrance - January 2014

Lady Margaret Hall, who own the Parks passageway, are about to start construction work on a series of buildings at the front of the College from the 6th January. This will involve the closure and relocation of the passageway to the east for some weeks while the wall is dismantled to allow new hoardings to be erected for the construction work. The existing passageway will eventually be reopened but will be narrower for the duration of the construction of the southern block. We are in negotiations with LMH to minimise the disruption that the move, and closure, will cause to regular users and visitors. However there will be disruption in the coming weeks until the initial work is completed.

Events 2014

By kind permission of the Curators the following events will take place in the University Parks

11th January

Thames Valley Orienteering Club have a go day


9th March         

Oxfam March for Mothers



3rd May

Orienteering Cuppers



10th May

Rotary Club Fun Run

  Rotary Club logo

11th May

Town & Gown Fun Run

  Muscular Dystrophy logo

17th May

KEEN Treasure Hunt



31st May                

Dyslexia Research Trust Family Funday



8th June

Helen & Douglas House Rainbow Run


Helen & Douglas House

14th June            

Vincent Club Cricket Event and summer party



22nd June 

Diabetes UK sponsored walk


Diabetes UK

1st – 12th July             

Giffords Circus



6th July

RSPB Summer Wildlife Discovery and Family Day


RSPB logo

13th July

Cancer Research Race for Life - TBC

  Cancer Research

14th September

Alzheimers Society event

  Alzheimers Society

Please contact the organisers of these events for further information.

Cricket Fixtures

The University Cricket Club and OUCCE have the University Parks as their home venue. Please consult their website for a list of their fixtures.



July 2013. The University Parks permanent orienteering course is now fully updated.

Orienteering Course

Tree planting to commemorate the Diamond Jubilee of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

Tulip Tree flowerMarch 2013. The Curators of the University Parks invited the six Heads of the Permanent Private Halls (PPH) in Oxford University to each plant a tree in the Parks to commemorate the Diamond Jubilee of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. More ...

Quidditch Pitch

November 2012. A quidditch pitch has been created in the Parks for the Oxford Quidditch Team.

Oxford University Parks Quidditch Pitch

Earthworks in the University Parks - Water Recycling

Excavations for water tanks.  March 09.

Water Tanks May

July 2009. Rainwater from the roof of the new biochemistry building is being collected in four huge underground tanks in the Parks for use in the irrigation of sports turf and the borders.

Environmental Award

Gates marking the 150th anniversary of the Parks. Picture Celia Sawyer, 2005
Gates marking the 150th anniversary of the Parks, installed at the Keble road entrance

The Parks were delighted to receive an environmental award from the Oxford Preservation Trust for the new Keble gates. The award was made for "the contribution made to the preservation and enhancement of Oxford's heritage.


150th anniversary of the University Parks

New Parks' Gates

October 2004. The 150th anniversary of the University Parks has been marked with a new set of gates at the Keble Gate entrance. The Vice-Chancellor Dr John Hood officially opened the gates at a ceremony on Friday 8 October 2004.

Opening of the Tentorium

November 2002. The Opening of the Tentorium by the Vice Chancellor, 2002

Flower border by South Lodge, Picture Celia Sawyer
The border by South Lodge

Frozen River Cherwell from the High Bridge, December 2010
Frozen River Cherwell from the High Bridge, December 2010

Snowballers in front of the Cricket Pavilion, January 2010
Snowballers in the Parks, January 2010

Maintained Areas

The University Parks staff not only maintain the University Parks, but also a considerable number of college and other sites in the the University.

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