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Looking for an outdoor swim spot? 'Rare' Oxfordshire lake for sale for £100,000

Duke Lake measures 17.88 acres (Carter Jonas)
Duke Lake measures 17.88 acres (Carter Jonas)

As temperatures in London heat up, the demand for outdoor swimming spots swells. There are queues for the local lido; queues for Hampstead’s swimming ponds; queues for Beckenham Place Park’s lake.

Luckily, Homes & Property has you covered: a lake on the outskirts of Oxford has hit the market with Carter Jonas for £100,000. Why not buy your own?

Duke’s Lake, which is three miles from Oxford station and located off the A40, measures 17.88 acres and is sold with an additional 12.95 acres of agricultural land. It is situated between an intersection of the A40 and A34, and framed by two waterways: the boat-lined Duke’s Cut and Wolvercote Mill Stream, which meets the Thames.


“A lake like this comes up fairly rarely,” says Charlie Bott, the agent at Carter Jonas. “Around Oxford, it’s even rarer.”

The lake could be used for leisure or for conservation purposes (Carter Jonas)
The lake could be used for leisure or for conservation purposes (Carter Jonas)

The lake is accessed by crossing Duke’s Cut, where there is no current link — so buyers will need a boat. It sits in the Oxfordshire countryside, round and fringed by trees.

The adjoining land, green and overgrown, surrounds the lake, meeting both the adjacent roads and Wolvercote Mill Stream. Because the land and lake are inside Oxford’s greenbelt and located next to two Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), development potential is limited. “It’s complicated,” says Bott. “It’s fairly unlikely”.

Duke’s Lake is a legacy landholding for the current owners, who used it in the past to access the Thames. Bott believes that the property is likely to appeal to three types of buyer. “There’s either going to be the amenity buyers — someone in Oxford who fancies a bit of land outside where they can hang out with their kids and own a very large garden and a nice lake,” he explains.

“The other one is fishermen or maybe water sports. It used to be stocked. It’s not very accessible, so it’s quite secluded. The final one is conservation-led investment buyers.”

The property also includes 12.95 acres of land (Carter Jonas)
The property also includes 12.95 acres of land (Carter Jonas)

If the land were to be developed, the property has an overage which means that 20 per cent of the uplift in value would be payable to the seller for a 25-year period. Conservation work and renewable energy schemes are exempt from the overage.

“Conservation is encouraged,” says Bott. “The clients are happy not to put an overage on for renewables, conservation or improvement works.”

Bott believes that the land’s proximity to Oxford is one of its greatest selling points. “There’s also the size of it: it’s 30.83 acres at £100,000. That’s around £3,000 per acre. That’s a good price.”

While Homes & Property does not come across many lakes for sale, other properties with access to water have hit the market recently, including a tiny island on the Thames for £75,000 and the private island of Torsa in the Inner Hebrides, which was listed in May for £1.5 million.

But for those determined to beat the swimming queues on a hot day, Duke Lake might be the answer. “It’s a good opportunity for someone — or an institution — to purchase a private lake on the edge of Oxford,” Bott says.

“It’s also on the canal system – you can have a canal boat there, and it would be lovely. Especially on a day like today — it’s glorious.”