Wallingford on Thames is a quintessentially English market town in South Oxfordshire with plenty of things to see and do, whether a destination for a day trip or the base for a longer visit.
The Town Hall, which was built in 1670 to replace the medieval Guild Hall, sits at the heart of the town in the marketplace. Surrounding this grade 1 listed building are the independent shops that Wallingford is celebrated for. The town is host to four regular markets on a Friday, Saturday and every third Tuesday of the month.
If you wander the cobbled streets you can explore more of the history and heritage of this Saxon fortified town – the best surviving example in England. As you walk around you can admire surviving Saxon features at one end of the town, the Corn Exchange Theatre, a grade II listed building built in 1856 in the centre, and a 14th-century old coaching inn at the other end. The Corn Exchange Theatre provides a varied programme of theatre, cinema and live-screening experiences.
Away from the marketplace you can visit the site of one of England’s most important castles and enjoy a walk through crumbling castle ruins, earthworks and ramparts in beautiful gardens, and take a walk to Wallingford Bridge, a road bridge over the River Thames with 14th Century origins.
From Wallingford on Thames, you can enjoy the River Thames by boat, on foot or bicycle via the Thames Path. During the summer months, the riverside open-air swimming pool and splash park are open for all the family.
The charm of the town was recognised by Dame Agatha Christie, the English crime novelist, short story writer and playwright who lived in a Georgian property on the edge of Wallingford until she died in 1976.
More recently the town has been a well-used filming location for Midsomer Murders. Wallingford has seen visitors gathering to walk in the footsteps of DCI Tom Barnaby and discover the original Causton, the capital of fictitious Midsomer County.
You can find out more about Wallingford’s remarkable history and see Agatha Christie and Midsomer Murders photographs and paraphernalia by visiting Wallingford Museum, a delightfully intimate local history museum.
Wallingford also has a preserved former Great Western Railway branch line ‘The Bunk Line’ which runs heritage diesel or steam train rides on most weekends from Easter to September.
Feeling adventurous? Experience the Ridgeway Trail which stretches 140 kilometers across scenic countryside. Check out our 3 day itinerary including stops at Wallingford.
If you’re travelling by car, visit Harcourt Arboretum located in the small village of Nuneham Courtenay. Explore 140 acres of tranquil British woodland, open wildflower meadows and trees from around the world. The giant redwoods are some of the oldest in the UK, having arrived from California in the late 1850s.
For a fun family day out, travel to Didcot and discover Didcot Railway Centre. Travel back in time to the golden age of the Great Western Railway. Savour the sights, sounds and smells of steam as you explore this 25-acre living museum with trains dating from Victorian times to the 1960s.
If you like a nice river stroll, here is a Wallingford walk along the River Thames that passes the castle.
For additional information about this unique Oxfordshire market town, visit the Wallingford Town Council website.
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