5.3km North-South Oxford Cycle

5.3km North-South Oxford Cycle

5.3km North-South Oxford Cycle

This short route zips you through Oxford without too much of the hustle and bustle of the city. There is parking available on Union Street, where you can cycle to Magdalen Road. Cowley Road nearby is also chocked with food stalls if you are hungry before or after your ride. Alternatively, you can save your appetite for something different on Magdalen Road. You can rent a bike with Bainton Bikes, Brompton Bikes, Byke, or Pony. You can also use Parkopedia to find parking if you have your own bicycle.

Click here to populate this route on Google Maps
Route overview of the 5.3km North-South Oxford Cycle

Route overview

Magdalen Road is lined with some pubs, including The Rusty Bicycle, The Green Routes Cafe, The Magic Cafe (for vegan foods), and Magdalen Arms. Each of these restaurants offers something different, from buffets to cocktails to outdoor garden seating. You can click on the links shown to find out more. There’s also a new family bookshop, Caper, where you can rent out areas for events or participate in activities. Or visit the Scandinavian Home store, Löfgrens, for all things Nordic-inspired, such as baked goods, scented candles, and stunning ceramics.

The Rusty Bicycle

The Rusty Bicycle. Credit: Cycling UK Oxfordshire

Green Routes Cafe

Green Routes Cafe. Credit: The Shopkeepers, Facebook

Magdalen Arms

Magdalen Arms. Credit: The Oxford Magazine

The Magic Cafe

The Magic Cafe. Credit: Cycling UK Oxfordshire

Turn right onto Iffley Road. At the big roundabout, take the second exit onto Magdalen Bridge and High Street, where you will pass Magdalen College. Turn right onto Longwall Street. Try peeping over the edge of the bridge to see some punting by students and locals.

Part 1 of the 5.3km North-South Oxford Cycle from Magdalen Road to Iffley Road and High Street

Part 1 of the 5.3km North-South Oxford Cycle

Magdalen College is one of Oxford’s most famous colleges. With beautiful architecture such as the Gothic Bell Tower, courtyards, gardens, and their famous Deer Park, it’s easy to see why the college is well-known. The college has a strong connection to C.S. Lewis and Tolkien, who once strolled along Addison’s walk. Annually, at 6 am on May 1st, the college choir’s tradition is to sing a Latin hymn to the public to welcome the beginning of spring. This tradition dates back to the late 15th century, and even now, the night before is full of dancing and pub crawling until the sun rises. It is possible to tour the college, and you can book tickets here.

Magdalen College from a Cloister Hall window

Magdalen College from a Cloister Hall window. Credit: Magdalen College Facebook

Follow Longwall Street onto St. Cross Road, where you will pass St. Cross Church. At the end of the road, turn right onto the Marston Cyclepath, where you will pass over Fignon Bridge and Parson’s Pleasure Bathing Place.

Part 2 of the 5.3km North-South Oxford Cycle past Magdalen College and Parson's Pleasure Bathing Place

Part 2 of the 5.3km North-South Oxford Cycle

It is unknown exactly when the foundations of St. Cross Church were laid; however, parts of the structure date back to the 11th and 12th centuries. The church no longer serves as a church but as a Historical Collections Centre for Balliol College. This is one of a handful of churches converted for Oxford University’s use.

St. Cross Church

St. Cross Church. Credit: Motacilla, Wikimedia Commons

The Parson’s Pleasure Bathing Place is situated on the River Cherwell and connected to the Mesopotamia Walk. Closed in 1991, this was a men-only spot for nudist swimming. Remnants of Parson’s can still be found, including “Parson’s Pleasure Ale,” a barley wine created in 1996 by a local brewery at the request of the Oxford University Beer Appreciation Society. Additionally, a group of former Oxford University students first used the bell-ringing method known as Parson’s Pleasure Surprise Maximus in 2010. Women were not entirely excluded either; from 1934 until 1970, there was a nearby bathing facility called “Dame’s Delight” for women in clothing.

Parson's Pleasure Bath on the Mesopotamia Walk.

Parson’s Pleasure Bath. Credit: Where Thames Smooth Waters Glide

Fignon and Lemond Bridge was named after a two-time Tour de France winner (who won on his first attempt, too), Laurent Fignon, and Greg Lemond, a three-time Tour winner. Fignon has numerous other achievements, including participating in some of the most challenging 1-day races and races in Spain and Italy. His achievements are sometimes overlooked, as he sadly lost one Tour de France to Lemond by just 8 seconds in 1989. Fignon and Lemond rightly deserve to be remembered in this way by cyclists who use the bridge.

Fignon Bridge

Fignon Bridge. Credit: Oxford Mail

Continue along the Marston Cyclepath onto Ferry Road. At Edgway Road, turn left and immediately right onto the pathway along the recreation ground. Keep left at the end of the pathway to pass the playground on your right to get to Fairfax Avenue.

Part 3 of the 5.3km North-South Oxford Cycle from Parson's Pleasure Bathing Place along the Marston Cyclepath

Part 3 of the 5.3km North-South Oxford Cycle

Follow the curve of the road to the right onto Mortimer Road. Turn left onto Raymund Road, then keep right to stay on Raymund Road. At the end of the road, turn right and zig-zag with the pathway to go under the underpass of Old Marston.

Part 4 of the 5.3km North-South Oxford Cycle along Fairfax Avenue and Reymund Road

Part 4 of the 5.3km North-South Oxford Cycle

At the end of the underpass, you can either turn left to follow the path between the greenery to reach Cromwell House or turn right, then left into Oxford Road, which becomes Mill Lane, to reach Cromwell’s House.

Part 5 of the 5.3km North-South Oxford Cycle to Cromwell House

Part 5 of the 5.3km North-South Oxford Cycle

Unton Croke was a lawyer and member of parliament who previously owned Manor House and Cromwell’s House. Oliver Cromwell once stayed here, too, at the end of the British Civil War. What makes the Manor House and Cromwell House so special is that the conditions of Oxford’s surrender were discussed and eventually signed in this building. Following the transfer of his court here, King Charles I made Oxford the nation’s capital. It is thought that without the surrender, there would have been a significant death toll from violent street fights. The civil war then came to an end with Oxford’s surrender; the king was later detained, and British history was transformed at this very location.

Cromwell House

Cromwell House. Credit: Cycling UK Oxfordshire

Click here to populate this route on Google Maps


This route was curated in collaboration with Cycling UK Oxfordshire.

If you enjoyed this route, see our 11.5km Roundabout Cycle

Remember to download our app

Download the GPX file here.

Information from various sources including wikipedia.org

No Comments

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.