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Lifestyle, Travel, In the community

New Map Highlights Recommended Walking Routes in Oxford

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Turl Street

Image: by stevecadman on Flickr

A new free walking map of Oxford has been launched in time for the summer holidays. It shows pleasant walking routes through the city, and just beyond, to help people plan journeys and discover new places in Oxford. The Oxford Online Walking Map can be found at: www.oxpa.org.uk/map

Playgrounds, benches, and public toilets are all marked. It was created by volunteers using Google Maps and was inspired by the success of its recently launched sister, the “Oxford Online Cycling Map” which has already been viewed more than 40,000 times.

The map shows pleasant routes to walk, both on and off road, connecting up key destinations. It has been crowd-sourced by locals. The map’s creators are keen to add another layer showing places of local interest, and would love to be contacted by local groups who can contribute.

The map shows the locations of Oxford’s many benches for breaking a journey or enjoying a view, and playgrounds are marked across the city, whether as destinations or places to pause when walking with children. People can suggest additions or changes via oxfordwalkingmap@gmail.com

Co-ordinated by the Oxford Pedestrians Association (OxPA) and the Coalition for Healthy Streets and Active Travel (CoHSAT), the map aims to make things easier for everyone who likes walking around Oxford, and to help children get out and about and explore during the school holidays.

Cllr Emily Kerr, who helped design the map, said: “The map was inspired by a conversation I had with my friend Dave. Dave has walked and mapped every single route in Oxford, as a lockdown project and to help him get fit. We talked to other walkers and realised that whilst there were lots of maps recommending specific walks, but thought it would be useful to put all the information together so people who commute, or those who walk for recreation and fitness, could experiment with new routes.

“A number of people have already contributed and we’ve launched the map in time for the school holidays, but we’re also keen to add detail about local places so would love to hear from local history groups.”

The Oxford Online Walking Map is hosted on Google Maps and the Oxford Pedestrians Association website at oxpa.org.uk/map/

Campaigners are also calling for road safety improvements to enable walking and wheeling by people of all ages, including more school streets, a ban on pavement parking, pedestrian-priority crossings, and 20 mph speed limits on all roads in Oxford.

Oxfordshire is a great place to walk. Oxford has even more people who walk to work (21.6%) than who cycle (17.2%) or who take the bus (14.5%), according to the 2021 census. (1) Earlier this month, Oxford was voted the best city to explore on foot in the UK. (2).

The sister map, Oxford Online Cycling Map, was launched in June 2023, and has been opened more than 40,000 times. It can be found at: https://www.cyclox.org/index.php/2023/05/28/oxford-online-cycle-map/

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