CS Lewis Nature Reserve

CS Lewis Nature Reserve

Date of Adventure: 15 Oct, 2023

If you are looking for Narnia then you have stumbled into the right place because the CS Lewis Nature Reserve once belonged to the man himself and was said to inspire his vision for Narnia in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.

In this 3 hectare site you will find a large pond and graduated woodland towering above you; it’s impossible not to feel very small in this mighty space. A popular destination for little oxplorers who love to build dens, splash in the shallow streams and side down muddy hills. It’s also teaming with wildlife and a toad hotspot in particular – so much so that toad patrols are dispatched to the area every spring to protect huge amounts of amphibians who migrate back to the pond to spawn. We’ve been visiting for nearly 10 years and have spotted everything from deer to herons, frogs, toads and a myriad of fish netted on pond dipping sessions. Berks Bucks and Oxon Wildlife Trust (BBOWT) who own the reserve sometimes host children’s sessions – keep an eye on their social media.

The signed Wildlife Walk is a relatively short loop that will take in a large part of the reserve, or use the Children’s Discovery Trail to navigate around. CS Lewis is also connected to Shotover via a path at the top of the reserve if you fancy a longer adventure – it’s only a short walk that passes friendly sheep and canopies of trees full of white blossom in the spring.

If you are looking for the full CS Lewis adventure, then CS Lewis’ House, The Kilns, is at the entrance to the reserve and offers tours of the house. I’ve never been as I suspect it’s not for small children but it sounds like an interesting experience nonetheless.

Although a bit wild, this nature reserve is truly a magical adventure in every sense of the word.



Always open
No booking required
No café
Not accessible due to terrain and gradient
1 minute from Headington roundabout
14 to Risinghurst
Free parking
The details


Lewis Cl, Risinghurst, OX3 8JD

View on Google Maps


Rear of The Victoria Arms leading to the river

Did you


Oxford Preservation Trust bought the Victoria Arms pub in 1959 to save the nearly derelict building. Now fully renovated, this rural gem re-opened in 1984. It's still standing proud and serving Oxford’s pub-goers every day!

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