Farmoor reservoir

A couple of weekends ago I had some friends visiting, so by the Monday the kids were in desperate need of some fresh air. I searched a local mum Facebook group for some walk ideas, and someone suggested Farmoor Reservoir. They said that it was pushchair friendly and that there was a small cafe. The website suggested that the reservoir wasn't wheelchair accessible and didn't have a cafe but we decided to risk it and assume we could get the pushchair at least part way round.

We found the reservoir and parked easily. We visited the loos in the car park before we headed off but Charlotte insisted she didn't need to go - famous last words. At the top of the slope from the carpark we found the cafe did exist and Charlotte instantly decided she'd like an ice cream. After some debating and deal making I promised to buy one once we'd finished our walk.

At the reservoir you have a few options for walks. You can walk round the whole thing, just reservoir I or just reservoir II. We chose the middle length walk and decided to do the 2.4 mile lap of reservoir II.

Just a short way into our walk Charlotte declared she needed a wee. Obviously. I had spotted a couple of toilet symbols on the map in the car park so decided to power on until we found one. After a 5 minute power walk with Benjamin in the pushchair, and Charlotte on the buggy board (way too heavy for me these days), we found the loo. It was down a steep set of steps and it either wasn't open or it was occupied. For a long time. So we decided to continue on our way. After another stretch we found the next set of loos, again at the bottom of a lot of steps. Luckily, after unloading a grumpy baby from the pushchair and helping a pretty desperate 3 year old down the stairs, this one was empty. Crisis averted!

We had no issues walking round with the pushchair as the paths around were all tarmacked. I can only assume that the non-wheelchair accessible bits referred to the nature reserve segments which were off the main loop around the reservoir.

The walk might have been less leisurely than I'd hoped but it turns out the reservoir was my kids current dream location. There were so many ducks and geese - Benjamin was in his element. Lots of shouting and baby-signing "duck".

The reservoir also turned out to be the home of Oxford Sailing Centre. Lots of children on their school holidays were having sailing and wind-surfing lessons.

We happened to walk past as they were practicing capsizing which was obviously hilarious to my two! We managed to watch them for a while from the cafe whilst eating the promised ice cream.

Charlotte has now decided that she must have sailing lessons (we have Moana to thank for that!) but I suggested she might want to learn to swim without her armbands before that. Guess where we ended up 2 days later? Yep, at our new local swimming pool.