The Osney St Thomas & New Botley Allotment Association (http://www.westoxfordallotments.org/) has two sites in west Oxford: Twenty Pound Meadow (immediately across the Botley Road from the island, OX2 0BT)) and Botley Meadow (Botley Meadow, further west, on Bullstake Close, OX2 0HN).
Allotments are popular. To apply for one contact the secretary (firstname.lastname@example.org). There is a shop at Twenty Pound Meadow that sells a range of garden supplies – you don’t have to be an allotment holder –and is open Sunday 11 a.m.–12 noon, Wednesday, 2 p.m.–4 p.m.
St Frideswide’s Church is adjacent to the island, on Botley Road: http://www.osneybenefice.org.uk/church/st-frideswides
It is part of the Osney Benefice, working in partnership with its neighbour parish, North Hinksey & Botley. It has a relaxed Anglo-Catholic tradition.
Concerts and organ recitals are held regularly in the church.
West Oxford Community Centre is on the north side of the Botley Road to the west of the allotments (http://woca.org.uk/). It is run by the West Oxford Community Association. Rooms can be hired and many local events are hosted here. There is a regular newsletter.
The Tumbling Bay Café in the centre, open during the day, is a place to meet and enjoy cakes or lunch.
Parks and playgrounds
The nearest parks are:
- Oatlands Road Recreation Ground to the west of the island, the other side of Ferry Hinksey Road. It is best reached via the footbridge at the end of Swan Street. There is a playground and space for ball games.
- Botley Park on the north side of Botley Road behind the West Oxford Community Centre. Playground, tennis and basketball courts, bowling green.
The Punter on the corner of East and South Streets is popular with residents and local workers, has a small back yard and serves good vegetarian and vegan food. http://www.thepunteroxford.co.uk/
The Holly Bush at the Botley Road end of West Street serves pizzas and ‘pots’ from its oven and is family friendly. https://www.hollybushoxford.co.uk/
From the island you can take pleasant walks:
- upstream to Port Meadow – a huge grazed water meadow of open common ground – and eventually to the village of Wolvercote. There are pubs along the way at Binsey, Godstow and in Wolvercote itself
- downstream through Grandpont nature reserve to Folly Bridge and the city centre, and on to Iffley
- west through fields and parks to North and South Hinksey villages. There is a pub at North Hinksey
The Vishuddha Yoga Centre, at 16 East Street, is due to open in early 2022. It aims to foster a community of practice in Oxford, sharing knowledge and teaching, to bring deeper understanding and application of all aspects of yoga and its sister sciences: www.vishuddhacenter.com