Besselseigh Wood

Besselseigh Wood

Date of Adventure: 9 Jun, 2023

An ancient woodland hidden from public view and accessed via a path from Appleton village. You would never know this even existed unless you have local knowledge, luckily we received a tip off!

This area of land has been wooded for over 400 years and was purchased by the Vale of White Horse District Council in 1998 – it is now managed and maintained by a group of local volunteers. They are clearly doing an excellent job as wildlife surveys have shown that Besselsleigh Wood is thriving: 19 different species of butterfly, including 3 rare types, 175 species of moth, 45 species of bird and 60 identifiable fungi have been recorded in the past few years.

Boardwalks and bridges connect the 10 hectare landscape as it changes from Oak, Ash and Hazel Woodland to bracken then Sycamore Woodland. Little ones will love trotting over the water and stopping to peer in, some parts shallow enough for a splash. We followed a circular route and stopped off along the way to hide in dens and balance on fallen trees. Dogs, a Shetland pony, a horse and donkey were befriended along the way, although we are always wary of a Shetland after having had too many sneaky bites off them. Cheeky little things!

Make sure you stop in at the Appleton Community Shop before you set off on your journey; these community ventures always seem to hit the spot with the food and drinks. We had a hot pasty and sausage rolls and washed it down with a nice cup of tea. Real food for real adventurers!



Always open
No booking required
Community shop on Eaton Rd opposite the start of the walk selling hot drinks and snacks
Not accessible due to terrain
18 minutes from Headington roundabout
S6 gold or 63S buses
Free roadside parking
The details


To reach the wood, walk up Church Lane OX13 5JL and follow the path around St Laurence Church, cross a small meadow and follow the lane towards the wood.

View on Google Maps


Did you


The Oxford Canal starts at Hythe Bridge, just a few minutes from the city centre and railway station. Built over 200 years ago, dug by hand, it flows north out of the city, through Banbury, and all the way to Coventry.

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