So am i the last person in Bicester to find out about Ardley Quarry then? Luckily one of my lovely Facebook followers gave me the heads up because for us it ticked all the boxes.
Ardley Quarry Wood
Little tip, don’t just shove Ardley quarry into the sat nav because it will take you to the actual tip. Luckily I had some fool proof directions sent to me. Ok maybe no fool proof but we ended up in the general area so I’m taking that as a win.
We parked outside Ardley wood (there are a few spots in a lay by just outside). We headed into the woods and went to the right. So I don’t really know where the left goes. You will get to another spit in the track this time we headed left deeper into the woods.
First impressions of the woods were nice little area but pretty messy. Lots of litter about and to top it off Clark stood in a pile of dog shit in the middle of the path. Lazy fucking arsehole dog owners. Hope the catch crabs and that’s me being polite.
Once you get out of the woods and the piles of dog shite you’ll come to a field. Perfect for wiping the dog shit off your shoe. Don’t panic when you get to the field it looks like you’re in the middle of no where but if you look straight ahead or to the right hand corner you will see gates and a white sign.
Ardley Quarry Nature Reserve
We headed over towards the white sign. Through this kissing gate is where the Ardley Quarry nature reserve starts. Once you’re in here its pretty much a free for all. We headed to one of the smaller paths into the wooded area.
This whole area is like a labyrinth. I cant tell you which way to go you’ll have to wing it like we did. Its all a little bit eerie in this area, lots of vines from the trees. I’d have tried to Tarzan the shit out of them normally but since lockdown I’ve put on a bit of trunk. I’d have probably brought the tree down.
Tip 2 don’t wear shorts you’ll get massacred by the stingers (nettles) Like the husbeast did ha. There are a fair few verges for the kids to slide down on their butts too which seems to be a favourite with my two at the moment.
There are loads and i mean loads of different paths to chose. This is one of the reasons we need to head back again. I don’t think we really saw that much of it and we saw a lot. The kids weren’t even moaning which is virtually unheard of these days.
Watching The Trains
I have no idea how but we somehow ended up next to the train line. Clark heard a train while we were bush whacking and headed straight for it. We managed to navigate down a verge and there was a path/old road running alongside the track.
I’m not sure if we were allowed down there or not so please be weary of this if you visit. (We have since been informed that this is network rail land so please don’t walk down in case you get in trouble for tresspassing)There isn’t a very sturdy fence next to the line so again its not very safe if you have a runner with you.
That being said we saw 4 trains and 1 of the drivers waved too. Clark was beside himself with excitement. We didn’t stay long because the storm was heading in and both me and the husbeast had white tops on. He’s got much nicer boobs than me too….and less hairy. We headed back to the trees for some shelter. Just in time too because it started pissing it down.
Finding our way back
Now we were back up the top we came across a better walked path. There were little bridges and lots of steps. Even though this was a more worn path it was still a little scary in parts. There were some pretty hefty drops down to the railway below. My arse cheeks were clenched a lot of the way and I had a firm hand on Elliot.
There were some cracking views though and we could see we were heading towards the train bridge. Once we got to the train bridge you can see a road which just runs to some farmers fields. There was a fair bit of space for parking along the lane down here too which might be better than pissing off any locals. Just make sure there’s room for a tractor to get by.
We had a look over the bridge for some last min train spotting. I took Elliot up to the farmers fields to look at the millions of blue flowers there. Then we headed back down the lane past some houses. In the fields on the left you will see ponies, horses, cows and an alpaca too which was a nice end to the walk.
We headed back into the woods for the last part rather than walk along the road back to the car. Just make sure you have a proper look about before parking. Lets not wind anyone else up for the sake of a walk.
Ardley Quarry Stats:
Distance from Bicester: 11 mins
Sat nav: Somerton Rd, Bicester Click to load sat nav
Wheelchair friendly: No
Equipment upkeep: N/A
Facilities: No facilities and roadside parking
Age range: Confident walkers plus
Fun factor: 10/10
Dog friendly: Yes but pick up their shit pleaseeeeeeeee
Pushchair Friendly: No
Bikes and Scooters: No
Ardley Quarry wood and nature reserve was a fab walk. We saw absolutely no one when we visited. Its a shame that the woods near the start was so littered and covered in dog crap.
We cant wait to head back again and try some different routes. Clarks already planning a picnic next to the train line.
We’re genuinely having a blast finding all of these places. My followers are helping me out as much as I’m hopefully helping you out too so keep them coming.
I know its not a great one for prams but if you’re feeling up to it then a sling might do the trick. There are lots of other suggestions for prams on the website so take a look.
If you’d like to check out some other ideas then have a look HERE
For more information on Ardley Quarry nature reserve check HERE