Abingdon: Historic market town

Abingdon, just south of Oxford, is an ideal base for exploring many parts of the upper Thames Valley. The historic market town grew around a Benedictine abbey built in 675AD. Today, nothing remains of the original abbey, but there are still many buildings dating back several centuries, and its bridge over the River Thames is over 550 years old.

What To Do And See

Abingdon has a picturesque lock, riverside gardens, good shopping facilities, and a variety of bars and restaurants which cater for visitors' needs. The Abingdon County Hall Museum houses a collection of artefacts reflecting the town's history.

The MG Car Club is situated next to the former factory and exhibits memorabilia and photographs. The age old tradition of swan-upping is carried out in July, when mute swans are rounded up, caught, marked, and then released.

An Annual Arts Festival is held each spring, and Abingdon air show is held early each May.

Shopping

With a wide range of independent shops, Abingdon-on-Thames is a traditional place to shop. It’s a great place to spend a relaxing day browsing and discovering something new.

The streets cluster around the medieval market place, making it easy to wander around without walking too far. Everything is just a stone’s throw from the picturesque river bank, which is perfect for a break on a nice day.

Family-run businesses mean friendly service is backed by sound knowledge of the products sold, thus offering the chance of a much more personal shopping experience

Interesting Tidbits

Abingdon is surrounded by much unspoilt countryside, allowing for many hours of walking - for instance, Wittenham Clumps, a group of trees visible for many miles above Castle Hill is only about 10 minutes drive away.

Below, on the Thames, lies Day's lock - scene of the annual Pooh Sticks world championship.

Dorchester Abbey Museum is also worth a visit with its Cloister gallery displaying a permanent exhibition "If Stones Could Speak …", which shows the Abbey using the collection of carved and moulded medieval stonework.

Another good destination is Milton Manor House, believed to be designed by Inigo Jones and containing the Strawberry Hill library.

Surrounding Area

Abingdon is surrounded by much unspoilt countryside, allowing for many hours of walking - for instance, Wittenham Clumps, a group of trees visible for many miles above Castle Hill is only about 10 minutes drive away.

Below, on the Thames, lies Day's lock - scene of the annual Pooh Sticks world championship.

Dorchester Abbey Museum is also worth a visit with its Cloister gallery displaying a permanent exhibition "If Stones Could Speak …", which shows the Abbey using the collection of carved and moulded medieval stonework.

Another good destination is Milton Manor House, believed to be designed by Inigo Jones and containing the Strawberry Hill gothic library.

Books that might interest you

General Information


  • How to get there

    From Oxford, take the A34 towards Newbury. Leave the road at the A4183, Oxford Road and follow this into the town.

    From Newbury leave the A34 at A415 and follow the signs for the town centre.

  • Further Information

    Abingdon Website: http://www.abingdon.gov.uk

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All areas are fully accessible with wheels/walking aids.
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