Child Friendly Walkswoodlands

Dry Sandford Pit

We visited Dry Sandford Pit nature reserve 2 days in a row. Firstly because we really enjoyed it. Secondly and most importantly we got all the way there before my eldest decided he needed a poo. Needless to say we didn’t get to spend a great deal exploring the first time around.

Dry Sandford Pit

Dry Sandford Pit 

I’ll start off with a few snippets of truth before I get blamed for ruining another nature reserve by making it busy. We visited on a Sunday and honestly there were cars parked everywhere. We nearly turned around but we did find a spot in their small car park. The place was busy but not too busy that we couldn’t social distance. The place had a fair amount of litter and there were dog poo bags in a fair few places.

I’ll admit it nearly ruined it for us at the start and we thought we were going to hate it. Once we got through the first set of paths it opened up into possibly the most interesting, beautiful, peaceful place we’ve visited.

dry sandford pit nature reserve Oxfordshire nature reserves

So after Elliot falling asleep in the car, waking up like he was possessed by Satan, punching daddy in the knob, Clark needing a shit and nearly turning around day it turned out pretty bloody well

Dry Sandford pit has something for everyone. Water, wildlife, woodlands, meadows, hills, caves you name it we probably found it. Its going up there on my list of favourite places at the moment now too. Ok there are no toilets but there was a good looking pub in the village for when things get back to normal. 

What Is Dry Sandford Pit?

I’d say the most impressive part of Dry Sandford Pit are the exposed cliff faces which are now full of little holes. These are from burrowing bees and wasps its fascinating. They are also full of fossils (according to the signs) but please don’t go bloody digging or climbing them. 

If your kids like climbing there are plenty of trees and ramps for them to explore. Little tip don’t put them in their Sunday best. Within mins the boys had found a huge muddy hill to climb and slid down on their butts. 

Tree climbing dry sandford

It’ll be a bug hunters heaven here. we saw one child and his mum with their butterfly enclosure and a net. I think he may have been looking for caterpillars or he’d just freed his butterflies. Either way rack homeschooling off and call it a field trip the kids can learn shit loads here. 

There are bridges and walkways through the woods that the boys loved. The water is crystal clear but bot suitable for paddling or swimming so don’t rick up in your speedos you’ll be disappointed.

Weekday Return 

As I mentioned our first journey was cut short because of Clark’s need of the toilet. So we headed back to the car and decided to re visit and explore some more the following day (Monday). Wow what a difference a day made too. It was so quiet I swear we had the place to ourselves at times. Or at least it felt like that anyway. 

The second time around was even better than the first. We didn’t feel as on edge and we manged to explore more of the water areas. Which we couldn’t the day before as they were a little busier. 

Dry Sandford Pit Nature reserve

It was around the water areas on a tree I spotted what I think is a cuckoo hole in a tree. Knowing me its probably knob rot on a tree. I told the kids it was a cuckoo and they thought it was cool anyway. 

Around dry Sandford pit are areas you need to steer clear of which are MOD owned so don’t go getting yourselves shot. There was a walk which took us to an area where you could see into the MOD land and looked like a runway. Not sure what happens there but it looks like people have used it for a viewing point. 

Dry Sandford Pit Stats:

Distance from Bicester: 25 mins 
Sat nav: 199-203 Cothill Rd, Dry Sandford, Abingdon OX13 6JW Click to load sat nav 
Wheelchair friendly: Not overly 
Equipment upkeep: 10/10 
Cleanliness: 7/10 
Facilities: Small car park, no toilets, local pub 
Age range: All ages
Safety: 8/10
Fun factor: 10/10 
Dog friendly: Yes on leads 
Pushchair Friendly: Yes although bumpy on some paths 
Bikes and Scooters: No


Dry Sandford pit made a big impression on us. We will for sure be heading back here a lot more in the future. The boys had an amazing time exploring all the different paths, Guessing which animal lived in the holes. I personally loved scaring the shit out of them and making them jump.

Luckily we managed to have a great walk and mooch around before Elliot declared he needed a shit!!! I’m not sure if its my cooking or if Dry Sandford pit has some kind of power to make your kids need a shit but we loved it anyway. 

Honeycomb cliffs den building dry sandford

I personally think a lot of it will be ok with a pram. Maybe tricky in parts but worth it. If you have a choice and can take a sling or carrier then do that. 

Keep your dogs on a lead, clean their shit up. If you have a picnic take your shit home. I didn’t see any bins but we always take our rubbish home anyway which is why we always carry a backpack. Please be respectful I don’t need another village hating me and blaming me for inconsiderate twats.    


If you’d like more information check out their web page HERE

For more ideas for days out check my huge map HERE

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