Boarstall, near Bicester, Buckinghamshire, HP18 9UX
If you have never heard of a duck decoy then you’re not alone – they used to be common on large estates but there are only a few left. Essentially it made it easy to catch ducks!
These days there’s little duck hunting going on, but it’s a lovely woodland walk around a large lake. As you would expect there is plenty of wildlife (including ducks). The decoy has been left in it’s natural state so it’s more of a rustic woodland than other places. There is a natural play and den building area which the to boys really enjoyed. It was hard to pull them away.
There are numerous points of interest around the circular walk including a tree that was hit by lightening and you can see the scar on the bark where the strike went down the tree to the ground. The walk is more woodland than lakeside but there’s lots of wildlife to see and it’s very peaceful.
When you are getting there you have to drive through a farm yard. You may feel like you’re going the wrong way but that probably means you’re exactly where you should be! Because it’s such a small site there’s essentially a portacabin as the main / only building. Also, opening hours are fairly limited so make sure you check before you go.
Entry – Free for NT members (£12.50 family ticket)
Parking – Free, on-site
Toilets – Yes
Food – None
Rating – 4 / 5 – Very interesting and great for wildlife spotting.