Ryton Wood

One of the country's largest surviving semi-natural ancient woodland


1.5km south of Ryton on Dunsmore

OS Map Reference

SP 386 728
A static map of Ryton Wood

Know before you go

85 hectares

Parking information

Members' car park through the padlocked gate on track off A423 Oxford Road or use Ryton Pools Country Park off Leamington Road, there is a charge but there are Council run facilities.

Grazing animals


Walking trails

There is an extensive network of paths and rides in the wood and visitors are asked to keep to waymarked walks to avoid becoming lost. Relatively flat, some wet and muddy stretches. Click here for information (including map) on the waymarked figure of 8 walk.


Various paths around the reserve, muddy in places. 


On a lead

When to visit

Opening times

Open at all times

Best time to visit

All year round

About the reserve

Woodland Management in Autumn/Winter 2020 

We love our woodlands which is why we need to make sure they are well-managed for people and wildlife. This year we will be thinning out parts of Ryton Wood to provide light for new trees to grow. This work helps protect the woodland for future generations, and provides valuable wildlife habitat.

We will also be removing some of the ash trees due to the woodland becoming infected with the disease Ash Dieback.

Work will begin on 21st September and the car park may be closed to visitors at certain times during the autumn/winter to enable the movement of timber (which helps offset the cost of the work). We will put a sign on the gate when this takes place. Parking will still be available for the nearby Bubbenhall Woods, and you can still enter Ryton Wood through Ryton Pools. We apologise for any inconvenience.

For more information on why we manage our woodlands see our FAQs.

History of Ryton Wood

Although part of Ryton Wood was lost to sand and gravel extraction in the 1960s, the wood has been returned to its present excellence though traditional management practices, and is one of the county's largest surviving semi-natural ancient woodlands.   Arguably the best of the Princethorpe Woods, Ryton Wood covers 85 hectares, has been designated as an SSSI and boasts an extensive list of notable species.   Parts of Ryton Wood date back to the 11th century, so the land may have been wooded since the end of last ice age. Finding coppiced, small-leaved lime stools is evidence to support this. Once the most common tree 5,000 years ago, the species is no longer so common. Huge ditches also indicate the wood’s ancient, medieval boundaries.   Forty or so species of tree and shrub have been identified, with oak the dominant tree. An abundance of honeysuckle, our county flower, scrambles through the lower-growing hazel - enjoy its sweet perfume on summer days.  

What's it like to visit? 

In Spring primrose, wood anemone and yellow pimpernel carpet the woodland floor. The rides though the wood are grassy and bright, bringing extra light for plants such as barren strawberry and common spotted orchid. Broad-leaved helleborine grows well at the dappled edges of the rides. In the large, clear glades there are fabulous bluebell displays.   

Ryton Figure of Eight walk

Explore Ryton Wood on the waymarked Figure of Eight trail. Start your walk by heading into Ryton Wood from the Ryton Pools Country Park entrance. Check out the carved totem pole and interpretation board by the gate. Head towards the first waymarker and continue to follow subsequent waymakers as they direct you around the Figure of Eight Trail.

Read the whole trail route and download a leaflet to guide you here. 

What might you spot?

For bug-lovers there is plenty of variety to be found in the wood plus its one of the best sites for butterflies in Warwickshire. Species to be seen include white admiral, purple hairstreak and silver-washed fritillary. Regular recordings of moths have recognised an impressive 570 species, of which four are nationally scarce.   

Contact us

Karl Curtis
Contact number: 024 7630 2912
Contact email: enquiries@wkwt.org.uk

Environmental designation

Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI)

Location map