Playing  duck detectives is a delightful activity to do with the kids; it’s a chance to connect with nature and create some lasting memories. If, like us, you aspire to be an ornithologist, why not have a go at identifying the waterfowl that you come across? The RSPB list all of the native species that can be found in England!

You could make a day of it and take a stroll along the riverside paths, rent a boat to explore the canals or enjoy a picnic in the parks. So let’s ‘quack’ on and find a memorable duck-tastic experience for you in Oxfordshire!

Christ Church River and pathway

Located in the heart of Oxford, Christ Church Meadow offers a serene environment to meet and enjoy the ducks; the meadow has a picturesque stretch along the River Thames (known as the River Isis in Oxford).

Letcombe Brook near East Hanney

Letcombe Brook and the Nature reserve, near East Hanney, is home to a variety of wildlife but if you’re lucky you’ll spot a kingfisher darting along the riverbank, or a grey heron stalking his lunch.

Swans and ducks on Witney Lake

Witney Lake, once an active gravel pit, is now an attractive public space with stunning views across open water where you may sight one of the many species of birds, such as the Great Crested Grebe! 

Aerial view of Iffley Lock and surrounding fields

Originally built in 1631, a popular spot to spot the ducks is Iffley Lock, from here you can take a walk right into the centre of Oxford. Along the way, you may also see swans, herons and kingfishers as well as the beautiful common mallard. 

Pathway and bridges through Langel Common in Witney

If you are shopping Witney, a great way to break up the day for the kids is to go and see the ducks over at Langel Common. Two bridges (everyone loves a bridge!) cross over the River Windrush and both provide great little spots to see the ducks. If you carry on along the path and you’ll reach Cogges Manor Farm, home to a variety of animals, not just ducks! 

The duck pond at Cuttleslowe Park

A park that we would thoroughly recommend, not just for the ducks, but for being a great day out in general, is Cutteslowe near Oxford. It’s the largest park in Oxford and features a splash area, three children’s play areas, a beach volleyball court, a skate park and more! 

Ducks on the stream by the car park in Burford

Visiting Burford for the day? If you’re taking the car be sure to use the car park down Church Lane because here you’ll find some very friendly ducks! After checking out the great independent shops head along Witney Street to get to the River Windrush for some more wildlife spotting action.

St Helen's Wharf in Abingdon

St Helens Wharf in Abingdon is a beautiful spot overlooking the Thames. The area including the wharf once thronged with boats loading and unloading and was the focal point for those who relied on trade rather than the monastery for their livelihoods. Today it is a delightful location for watching boats go by and as well as seeing the ducks, geese and swans.

Minster Lovell Hall ruins on a sunny day

If you decide to walk through the grounds of Minster Lovell Hall (which was built in the 15th century for Francis, Viscount Lovell, a close friend of King Richard III), be sure to check out the little river at the bottom end which has lots of ducks swimming around!

The duck pond in the village of Wroxton, near Banbury

The very pretty village of Wroxton, near Banbury, is home to some very attractive dark honey-coloured ironstone cottages, many of them thatched and dating from the early 17th and 18th centuries. In the centre of the village is a small green with thatched cottages all around and a picture-postcard duck pond, which of course has some stunning and very noisy ducks! 

A lady looking out over the pond at Hinksey Park

Have fun visiting the ducks and swans at the pond in Hinksey Park. Close to the centre of Oxford, this park is a lovely spacious area to run around and enjoy a picnic. If you’re looking to get some sightseeing done, take the bike track next to the river which leads into Oxford.

IMPORTANT – If you are tempted to get close to, or feed the ducks, please bear in mind the following: 

  1. Feeding ducks a balanced and nutritious diet is crucial for their well-being. Instead of bread, opt for healthier alternatives such as cracked corn, duck pellets, or vegetable scraps. These options provide the necessary nutrients and prevent harm to the ducks' digestive systems.
  2. Ensure a positive experience for both you and the ducks by following proper etiquette and safety guidelines. Approach the ducks calmly and avoid overcrowding them.
  3. While enjoying this activity, it's important to be environmentally conscious. Avoid littering or polluting the water and its surroundings. Respect the natural habitat of the ducks and refrain from disturbing their nests or eggs.




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