Looking for more information?
See our frequently asked questions

When are you open?

In 2024 we are open on Sundays 10am-5pm from 7 April – 25 August. We are also open during this time for exclusive bookable visits on Fridays. Cream Teas are served 2-5pm on the last Sundays of the month in April, May, June, July and August.

In the winter we close for maintenance.

Want to visit at another time? Why not consider becoming a Friend of Withymead which means you benefit from priority booking to visit the reserve at any time, by arrangement with the wardens. Other visits can be arranged, subject to warden availability get in touch.

Where is Withymead Nature Reserve?

We are located on the Bridle Way between Goring-on-Thames to our south and South Stoke to our north, in south Oxfordshire, about 1.5 miles (2.4km) from Goring and Streatley train station. With careful parking, our small car park can hold up to 18 cars. The reserve entrance is opposite. Plan your visit.

How much does it cost to visit?

Entrance to Withymead is free. However, please consider making a small donation to support our conservation work. If you’d like to hire it commercially, or for a specific occasion, please see our hire us page.

Is there a car park?

Yes, we have a small car park that can accommodate up to 18 carefully parked vehicles. See find us for more information on how to get here.

Can I bring my dog?

Registered assistance dogs are welcome. To protect the wildlife and ecology on the reserve itself, we ask that all other well-behaved dogs stay on the Study Centre side only, and on a lead.

Is the reserve wheelchair/pushchair friendly?

We are very aware that a reed fen and wetland nature reserve can present some difficulties for wheelchair users and pushchairs, and we have endeavoured to make parts of the site more accessible to people with limited mobility. We have a boardwalk with passing places which runs through the middle of the reed fen, and a short stretch of gravel path which is wheelchair accessible, and which allows visitors to reach an area of the reserve known as Sunken Mead. All our other paths are a mix of woodchip, gravel and grass. We also have a lightweight all-terrain wheelchair, which means visitors can access more of the site. Get in touch to find out more.

Do you have an accessible toilet/baby changing facilities?

Our accessible toilet is located next to the Study Centre, near the car park, across the bridle way from the reserve. See our map for its exact location. At the moment, unfortunately, we do not have baby changing facilities.

Can I bring a picnic?

Yes, we have several perfect spots you can sit and enjoy a picnic, such as the deck by the waterfront, old tree trunks and benches dotted about, or at the lookout across South Stoke marsh. Visitors can also use the shady Oak Grove, next to the Study Centre. All we ask is that you do not feed the wildlife and to remember to take your rubbish home.

What should I wear?

We recommend sturdy and comfortable footwear as paths are a mix of woodchip, gravel and grass, and the bridle way which intersects the reserve from the car park, study centre and toilet can be muddy in wet weather.

Can I volunteer?

Withymead – and Little Meadow too – wouldn’t run or be open without its volunteers and we are very thankful for their support. Our enthusiastic and dedicated volunteers are from all walks of life. Opportunities to get involved include helping with habitat management, welcoming visitors on open days, serving tea and cake from the study centre, repairing and conserving our built heritage, and many other tasks. Their support is invaluable, and we thank them all. Head to our volunteer page to find out more. Unfortunately, we can’t currently accept Duke of Edinburgh Scheme volunteers unless you are aged 18 or over.

I want to organise a group/school visit. Can I do that?

Yes! We have welcomed many groups to the reserve, from those with a special interest in nature conservation such as bat, ornithology and moss groups to others such as research organisations, photography clubs, artists, girl guides and the women’s institute. Head to our group visits page for more information. Entry is free, however please also consider donating to the reserve to help us conserve and manage this beautiful place by the Thames.

Why isn’t Withymead open all the time?

We have to balance being open for visitors and encouraging the right conditions for flora and fauna to thrive at a nature reserve on a busy stretch of the river Thames. Being entirely volunteer led also means we can only open when we have enough volunteers to do so safely. Remember you can visit by prior arrangement too. Just get in touch via contact us.

Why isn’t Tara’s Piece open to the public?

Tara’s Piece is a piece of original river terrace on the same stretch of Bridleway as Withymead. The steep drop from the Bridleway is a stark contrast to the gardens either side where the land has been re-profiled. At the bottom of the terrace lie the remnants of a ditch that ran from South Stoke to the Leathern Bottel. The marshy ground at the bottom is carpeted with Loddon Lillies in April and May. Due to its fragile and inaccessible nature, it is not open to the public.

Where is Little Meadow?

Little Meadow a floodplain wildflower meadow and area of coppiced woodland that lies south of Goring, next to Gatehampton railway bridge. It is on the route of the Thames path national trail on the banks of the Thames. About 2 acres in size, it is managed to protect and enhance the wide variety of native wildflowers. To find it, walk south from Goring along the Thames Path for about 20/30 minutes, and look out for our signs. There are benches at either end for weary legs and to enjoy the views.

Can’t find the answer you are looking for here? Then get in touch