Bernwood Forest

Visitor information

Get lost in the peace and tranquillity of Bernwood Forest where you can walk for miles and not see another soul, just the local butterflies!

Delve into Bernwood Forest's historic past with a walk around this rich woodland, located on the outskirts of Oxford.

Made up of Shabbington and Waterperry Wood, Bernwood Forest was once part of The Royal Hunting Forest of Bernwood and received royal protection for over 700 years! The Bernwood Jubilee Way, part of the project to reinforce the identity of the hunting forest, runs through a section of the wood on its 61 mile journey within the Ancient Forest Boundary.

The wood contains about forty species of butterflies making it one of the most important habitats in Britain. Take the waymarked butterfly trail for a varied, peaceful walk and see what you can spot! 

At a glance

  • Butterfly trail 
  • Walking 
  • Picnics

Things to do

Walking is the perfect way to get some fresh air and explore some of the area's most beautiful landscapes.

The Bernwood Jubilee Way, runs through a section of the wood on its 61 mile journey within the Ancient Forest Boundary.

A waymarked butterfly trail starts from the car park and leads walkers through forest, glades and rides. 

Nearby forests

Forest floor full of bluebells at West Woods

Set in the Chiltern Hills with amazing views over the surrounding countryside, a walk around this rich woodland reveals a great mix of habitats and plenty of paths to explore. There are grassy areas suitable for picnics and perfect for dogs to play. Bluebells which can be seen in May are like a blue carpet and well worth a visit.

Bluebells Hazelborough

Hazelborough Wood is an ancient oak woodland with a network of grassy rides for walking.

It showcases beautiful bluebells in spring time and wildlife spotting all year round.

A forest track through a mixed forest

Planted in the 1990s on an former agricultural site, Nightingale Wood is a community woodland that supports a large variety of wildlife, especially birds.

Make sure to bring your binoculars - you never know what you may spot! 

Choose from three easy access trails for a peaceful outdoor walk, pause for a picnic, and explore the play equipment, funded by the Great Western Community Forest project.

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