Tar Lakes

Tar Lakes

Date of Adventure: 27 Aug, 2022

Tar Lakes in Witney is perfect for a little impromptu jaunt. It’s beautiful and, aside from the lakes themselves, there’s endless bridleways and public footpaths leading to other villages in the area – including one to the Masons Arms pub. 

Perfect for a pram walk or doggy paddle (literal doggy paddle), we saw lots of people out enjoying the paths and throwing balls into the lake for dogs to retrieve. The main lake has a 650 metre surfaced footpath which is good for wheels, whilst the other lake is accessed via mown paths on foot only. Bring binoculars to spot wildlife including swans, cygnets, dragonflies and damselflies and voles. 

Rushy Common Nature Reserve is next to the car park but can’t be accessed by the public as it’s a haven for wildlife. You can buy a key for the bird hides for £15 – see the website for more details.


Always open
No booking required
No food options on site but various bridleways lead to lovely country pubs
Accessible on the surfaced footpaths
20 minutes from Headington roundabout
Tar lakes and Rushy Common are on a single road track that isn't serviced by local buses
Free parking in Tar Lakes car park but do make sure to hide valuables
The details


Tar Lakes car park, Tar Road, South Leigh, Witney OX29 5AL

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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