Route (1.7 miles each way)
This route is almost completely traffic free. There may be the occasional vehicle on the no through road at Radley Lakes, but these are usually driven slowly by someone looking to park so they can enjoy a walk around the lake. For many reasons, it’s better to cycle there if you can.
This route starts from Abbey Close Car Park. There is a low traffic link to Abingdon Market Place, and by using the Abingdon Walking and Cycling Map (on Town Council website from Spring 2023) or cycle.travel you can find the best links to other parts of Abingdon.
Head over the twin bridges at the east end of the car park, towards the swimming pool, public toilets and play park.
Turn immediately left after the bridge, and follow the slightly rubbery track. It is made of a material called ‘Flexipave’ which is made from recycled car tyres, mixed with fine gravel and bonded so that none of the material damages the environment – it is also porous so that instead of forming puddles, water will seep through.
The path is used by many people, so please give priority to people walking, and recognise that they may not always hear you approaching, or be able to move quickly.
Enjoy the riverside and look for ducks, fish and other wildlife in the Abbey Stream.
At the small wood bridge, push your bikes over, and continue on the widest path, marked ‘5’. You will pass one of Sustrans’ celebratory milestones (a large metal post with interesting decorations) and go between a narrow woods and a wildflower meadow.
At a bend there are some seats and interpretation boards, provided by the Radley Lakes Trust and partners, showing the paths and wildlife nearby.
Soon after this, and some bollards, you pass a gap on the left, into Abingdon Science Park (Barton Lane) and a path with 3 posts that goes to the Leisure Centre.
After a barrier, the path becomes rougher, and sometimes fallen leaves collect and make it a bit muddy. Continue riding to another milestone and barrier, and turn left on a narrow road. Follow this road 400m past a gate into Radley Lakes and to the small car park where there are several bike stands.
In warmer weather there is usually an ice cream van in the car park. There is a water tap on the public toilet block to fill your bottles. Or, go to the Market Place, which in early 2023 had ten cafes to choose from, and on some days a market as well.
Things to do
Along the way: Look for birds and other wildlife.
At Radley Lakes: A one-mile (20 minute) walk around the lake. Look at the water birds. Explore the woods. Have a picnic.