Nine miles to Oxford The Dorchester-on-Thames village is a charming village that has an elevated street lined with wooden-framed houses as well as a magnificent coaching inn dating to the end of the 15th century. Although the town isn’t huge but the church that is the parish Dorchester Abbey is a monument that is significant, and brimming with Medieval time and history.
Dorchester is located near the place where you will find the Rivers Thame and Thames meet and are surrounded by lakes and isolated chalk hills. It is possible to walk a section along the Thames Path, a National Trail and choose from a variety of fascinating museums close by for old Aston Martins and historic locomotives.
Let’s explore the best things to do in Dorchester-on-Thames:
1. Dorchester Abbey
The first monastery was established in the 12th century Dorchester Abbey expanded through its Medieval period and displays an array of Gothic architecture.
The church has Early English Gothic in the north-facing nave. Decorated Gothic in the choir and on the south part of the nave in addition to Perpendicular Gothic in the south porch. Antiquarians can find a lot to learn about such as the stunning representation of the Tree of Jesse in the east window, as well as the 14th-century piscina sedilla inside the sanctuary.
There are frescoes that were painted in 1340. There are also funerary monuments , including a magnificent 15th-century brass ring for the Knight Sir John Drayton. An extremely unusual item can be found in an unusual piece is the Norman baptismal font which is one of the few to be made of lead.
The abbey museum, located within the Abbey Guest House and cloister gallery, is open from Wednesday through Sunday during summer. It showcases Bronze Age pottery, alongside Norman stonework found during excavations at the abbey.
2. Pendon Museum
A little more than 60 years into developing The Pendon Museum has a set of scale models depicting the English countryside in the way it was at the time of the 1930s. These show Dartmoor and The fictional Madder Valley and, largest of all the Vale of the White Horse that covers a huge area of Oxfordshire countryside, which stretches between Oxford as well as Swindon.
The scenery is stunning in its amount of detail. They include beautiful renderings of nature automobiles, cottages as well as railways, boats and boats. The entire scene within the Vale of the White Horse is based off a real structure, location or vehicle.
Model railways that are hand-crafted are the main focus of each scene. Vale of the White Horse features an authentic Great Western Railway station and exact replicas of six different GWR steam engines.
3. Thames Path
In Dorchester you’ll be on the path of an 184-mile National Trail snaking east from the source of the Thames up to the Thames Barrier in Charlton, London. Apart from a few diverts it is a great walk. Thames Path is a flat and easy stroll through picturesque meadows, riverside woodland and.
In summer , you can count on a steady flow of narrowboats that chugging by You’re not more than an hour’s walk away from an intimate pub. If you’re truly determined, you can walk to Oxford within a day however Abingdon downstream as well as Cholsey downriver are more palatable options.
On your journey, you’ll come across locks and weirs dating back to the 17th century and also old boathouses, a lot of charming bridges and thatched cottages.
4. Wittenham Clumps
On the opposite side on the Thames There’s an array tall chalk mountains that stand out into all.
The southernmost one most southern of these is Castle Hill (110m), which was once the site of an Iron Age hillfort and has evidence of human activity dating back to more than four thousand years.
Round Hill (120m) nearby is a beautiful spot that you will fall in love with and encompasses all of Dorchester and the 18th century Day’s Lock on the Thames.
A table of orientation on the north side of the road points to some landmarks, such as Faringdon Folly, almost 17 miles to the west.
5. Hurst Water Meadow
The eastern flank of Dorchester is a chain of water meadows that are all of which are protected and managed for the public to enjoy after the Hurst Water Meadow Trust.
From North to South These are north to south, they include the Hurst Water Meadow and the Old Bridge Meadow and the Overy Mead Piece at the intersection with the River Thame and the Thames. The largest of them is that of the Hurst Water Meadow which covers 18 acres. It’s located on an island between Thame along with over the Overy millstream.
The meadow is flooded three times per year, however, if it’s not submerged, it’s a breathtaking and atmospheric place with Dorchester Abbey as well as the Wittenham Clumps in the background.
6. Didcot Railway Centre
Open daily during the summer months, it is a well-preserved Great Western Railway locomotive shed and stabling point for engines.
It was the line running from London to Bristol and was used to service engines that transported passengers along the coast to board steamliners crossing the Atlantic.
The present structure dates back to 1932. It was demolished in 1965, when steam was substituted with diesel power on British railways. There are many interesting things to look at, such as the model from Isambard Kingdom Brunel’s Atmospheric Railway, which used air pressure to propel its trains.
There’s a wide selection of steam locomotives from the past to look at that date from 1857. Most of them are operating and are able to be ridden on shorter lengths of track during Steamdays, which are held throughout the summer, particularly during July and August.
7. Day’s Lock
Follow the pathway down toward along the Thames and you’ll come to the historic pound lock, constructed in 1789, and situated close to the small village in Little Wittenham.
This small location played an important part in the development of navigation on the Thames because King James I’s Oxford-Burcot commissioner (1605) took place right by , and resulted in the first locks being constructed on the river. The principal gauge station for that measures the flow of the entire Thames is situated just here near Day’s Lock.
It is possible that you are interested in knowing that the World Poohsticks Championships are held each year since 1984. It is an event of fundraising for charities.
8. Aston Martin Heritage Trust Museum
There’s something exciting hidden in a barn dating to the 15th century, just a few located in Drayton St. Leonard. The museum was established in 1998 and made available for public viewing in the year 2002, is an impressive collection of original Aston Martins.
One of these includes one of the oldest Aston Martin known to exist in existence, the Bamford Martin A3 and a Bamford Martin A3 dating to 1918. The museum covers more than 100 years of the company’s heritage, right up to a unique pre-production Volante which was built in 2013. There’s two engines to be seen, while the display cases contain models, parts, pieces of clothing, as well as other pieces of motorsports’ time.
9. Harcourt Arboretum
In the town located in Nuneham Courtenay you can visit one of the satellites of of Oxford’s botanical garden.
This was once as the property at Nuneham House, and since 1963, it has housed a large portion of the plant collection spread across 130 acres. In this serene Picturesque landscape, peacocks and peacocks are roaming freely. is among the largest and most stunning conifer collections.
The area is known as an “pinetum”, this part of the arboretum was established by 19th century landscape architect William Sawrey Gilpin.
These monkey-themed trees as well as massive redwoods that the tree was planted by him are now fully mature. There’s something to be loved at any time of the year no matter if it’s the ocean of bluebells in spring, roses and azaleas that bloom in early summer , or the golds and reds of the autumn leaves.
10. Wallingford Castle
In the same borough Wallingford Castle is four miles across from the Thames as well as has an long history dating back to before the 11th century. Norman Conquest.
This was originally an Saxon Burgh that controlled the vital crossing point of the river. In the 1200s, it was an official Royal Castle and you might find it interesting to learn that some important historical figures such as Richard 1st Early of Cornwall, Simon de Montfort and the royal family all the way from Henry III to Isabella of France. Henry III to Isabella of France resided or worked at the castle.
Henry VIII was the last monarch to visit the castle prior to it being abandoned and its stone was shipped downriver for development Windsor.
The earthworks that roll, the old walls , and the remains of a priests’ school are all within the 16.6-hectare Wallingford Castle Meadows, that has been granted with the Green Flag for the past decade.