When we visited Southern Road Rec Ground to do a review this week we also popped over to Cuttle Brook Nature Reserve to have a look around. It’s a lovely little local nature reserve just outside of Thame’s town centre. I’d seen it on google maps next to the rec ground but when I was talking to a couple of other mums at the playground they told me I had to have a look, so we did.
Cuttle Brook Nature Reserve has a secret
There are lots of little paths around Cuttle Brook Nature Reserve that allow access. There’s steps from the Phoenix Trail, access from the Southern Road Rec Ground and from the housing estate behind the nature reserve. We joined from the rec ground. Follow the path round to the right and then, as it opens up follow it to the left. This takes you through what looks a bit like scrub land. Keep following the path and you’ll be able to see Cuttle Brook itself. Continue along the path and you might just spot something through the trees, on the other side of the brook! Keep going.
You’ll come to a little bridge, and then a more substantial wooden bridge that takes you to the other side of the brook. Walk back on yourself until you see the rope swing! There is a very real possibility that my kids wanted to play on this for the entire day. If I wasn’t hungry and in need of the loo then we probably would have stayed for a lot longer.
The rope swing looked pretty secure, but it’s worth noting that the swing doesn’t really go over the water’s edge unless you REALLY want it to. Middle Child was too short to make it go too far. Given that the water looked decidedly murky when we visited Cuttle Brook Nature Reserve that’s no bad thing. You can quite easily get down to the water’s edge and either do some pond dipping or paddle in the water. Whilst I’m quite happy for the kids to splash around in most streams, I wouldn’t let them go in this one.
There are a couple of small woodland areas within Cuttle Brook Nature Reserve. There’s Old Tip Wood and Cox’s Wood which both have paths running through them. There are also a couple of different meadow areas that you can explore. There are so many different paths through these that it’s great for a family walk. For most of it you have to stick to the mown paths rather than just being able to wander through the meadow.
There is also a family area hidden away. It’s all mown and there’s a picnic bench so you can stop here for a picnic. Apparently they also have events here. We took the Spring Path back to Southern Road and spotted some cows along the way.
Throughout Cuttle Brook Nature Reserve there’s loads of nature to spot. Well, it would be a pretty rubbish nature reserve if there wasn’t!!! The Cuttle Brook Nature Reserve website is a good place to find out about what to expect.
Our Cuttle Brook Nature Reserve Review
Lovely family walk – Check. Stream – Check. Lots of wildlife to see – Check. Rope swing over a stream – Check. Playground nearby – Check. This is such a nice place to have a stroll and explore. We didn’t get to see all of it (see comments re hunger) but we’ll be back. When you’ve visiting why not check out the Phoenix Trail and/or Southern Road Rec Ground to make the most of the day?
Parking / How to get there
There’s a free car park on Southern Road, Thame OX9 2EP. Use the one by the scout hut.
None officially. There are public toilets in Thame town centre.
You can have a picnic in the family area. No food on-site, but you’re only a couple of minutes away from the town centre.
Hi, I’m Vicky. My husband and I live in Aylesbury with our three children; a 10 year old son, an 8 year old son and a 3 year old daughter. I (mostly) love spending time together as a family. We visit all kinds of places and we’re quite happy to drive a fair distance for a decent day out. A few years ago I decided to set up Free Time with the Kids as a way to share our experiences of these family days out. You know, the essential information you need to know before your visit that can be surprisingly hard to find out. Where do I park? How much will it cost me to get in? Are there any discounts available? Are there loos? Can I take a picnic or get food? My aim is to be your go-to guide for all your free and cheap family days out across Bucks, Beds, Oxon, Herts & slightly beyond. 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