Cowleaze Wood is about half way between Lewknor and Stokenchurch and is right on the Buckinghamshire / Oxfordshire border. It’s just down the road from the Aston Rowant nature reserve (the other side of the M40). Cowleaze Wood is relatively small but it’s great for family walks.
Bluebells at Cowleaze Wood
The bluebells at Cowleaze Wood are apparently stunning, but when we visited (at the end of May) they had already mostly turned. You could see how many there, are so it’s easy to imagine how incredible they look in full flower.
Family walks at Cowleaze Wood
There isn’t an accessible path at Cowleaze Wood but the main footpath is pretty easy going on foot. For most of the year I think you’d be OK with a pushchair, although it would be pretty bumpy over the roots in places. You’re probably better off leaving the pushchair behind if you can.
You can also tell from the bumps all over the place that Cowleaze Woods get MUDDY in wet weather! Potentially REALLY REALLY MUDDY! That said, it is a woodland so what do you expect?
Depending on which route you take, if you make it to the edge of the wood there are some stunning views across the Oxfordshire / Buckinghamshire countryside.
There are several relatively narrow paths dotted all over the place, criss-crossing the woodland. There’s also a much wider main path. Not too far in from the car park there’s a really cool, massive hole that makes an awesome play area. Well, I say hole but it’s just a natural depression which the kids decided it was some kind of ancient settlement! The fact it had a really good den in the bottom certainly helped with that. We spent ages just running around, playing, napping flint and collecting pine cones. It was great!!
It’s quite easy to go off the main footpaths and explore in lots of places as the woodland floor is quite clear. That means there’s lots of space for everyone AND some really good places for making dens. There are also several clearings (including one that goes right through the woods) that give lots of open space to run around.
51 Squadron Memorial at Cowleaze Wood
On the 31st March 1944 a plane crashed in these woods, killing all 7 people on board. It was an RAF plane, returning to Yorkshire from a bombing raid in Nuremberg. A simple memorial has been erected in their memory. In the middle of the woods like this, it was actually quite moving reading about what happened.
Entry is free
Parking / How to get there
Car park – on-site, free. Can be a hotspot for car break-ins so don’t leave anything on show.
Location – Near Stokenchurch, Buckinghamshire. There’s no nearby postcode but click here to see it on Google Maps. From the A40, near the Stokenchurch tower you’ll see a signposted road for Aston Rowant Nature Reserve. Keeping driving down this road, continuing past the entrance to the nature reserve and across the M40. Eventually you’ll see a signpost of the Cowleaze Wood Car Park.
There’s a decent sized car park and it’s fairly shady.
There are no toilets on-site. There are also no public toilets anywhere nearby that I know of.
You could quite happily have a picnic in the clearings. Apparently there’s also quite often an ice cream truck up here.
Our Cowleaze Wood Review
Although Cowleaze Wood is relatively small, I know we barely even touched the surface here. And that’s despite being here for nearly 2 hours. I blame the distractions of the “prehistoric camp”!! It’s a lovely, quiet woodland to explore. I imagine we’re going to come back here a fair bit during the summer, and I can’t wait to go back next May to see all the bluebells.
For more woodland walk reviews across Buckinghamshire, Bedfordshire, Oxfordshire and Hertfordshire click here.
I’m Vicky and I am a mum of three living in Aylesbury. I set up Free Time with the Kids to review free and cheap family days out in Buckinghamshire, Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire and Oxfordshire, mainly because I kept forgetting all the fabulous places that were recommended to me!! I love getting out and about with the kids (and hubby of course) and we have adventures all over the place. My reviews tell you all the things you need to know about the family days out and activites we’ve done such as how much it costs, if there’s parking, toilets and if there’s a cafe or if picnics are allowed. I really hope you find the reviews helpful. If there’s anywhere that you’d recommend please get in touch firstname.lastname@example.org or get in touch via Facebook