Visit Wallingford on the banks of the Thames and immerse yourself in the best of South Oxfordshire. From ancient castle ruins to friendly local pubs, Wallingford is a treasure trove of unique experiences.
Known for its delightful assortment of independent boutiques and antique shops, this small town charms visitors with its unexpected mix of history, mystery, and retail therapy. But there’s more to Wallingford than shopping – beautiful gardens and mouth-watering local eateries invite you to sit, relax and soak up the scenery.
Fans of Midsomer Murders might recognise our quiet lanes and picturesque buildings. Agatha Christie, the queen of mystery herself, was a one-time resident. We might be a peaceful town today, but our past is filled with tales of intrigue and suspense!
If you’re planning a day trip out of London, consider Wallingford. Our location in the heart of one of England’s most beautiful regions – Oxfordshire – makes us an ideal UK getaway. And when the day is done, there’s nothing quite like a peaceful riverside walk to unwind.
Ready to explore? Wallingford is waiting for you. And who knows what you’ll discover when you’re here? From unspoilt nature to vibrant town life, Wallingford offers a slice of English life that’s hard to beat. So why wait? Your Wallingford adventure starts here.
Where in Oxfordshire is Wallingford?
Wallingford is a historic market town and civil parish located in the county of Oxfordshire in England, UK. It is situated on the River Thames, approximately 12 miles (19 km) south of the city of Oxford.
How to get to Wallingford?
Wallingford is in the south of Oxfordshire. However, it was once part of the county of Berkshire until borders were changed in 1974. It is easy to reach from London, Oxford, Reading and most of the United Kingdom. Some of the most popular ways of travelling to Wallingford are;
- By Car: Wallingford is easily accessible from the M40, M4 and A34. Parking is easy in the town, with many car parks to choose from in the centre.
- By Bus: Thames Travel provides bus routes to Wallingford from Oxford, Reading, Henley, Didcot and many surrounding villages.
- By Train: Whilst Wallingford doesn’t have its own train station, there are train services from the nearby village of Cholsey. Cholsey is two miles away, and there is also a train station at Didcot Parkway, 6 miles away. Both stations offer frequent services to London Paddington, Oxford and Reading. Didcot Parkway also has a train line to Wales and the West Country.
The postcode for Wallingford is OX10.
Why is Wallingford famous?
Wallingford has a rich and colourful history for which it has become famous. King Alfred the Great built Wallingford in the 9th century as a defence against the Vikings. You can still see the original Saxon ramparts today. William the Conqueror famously crossed over the river in Wallingford, at the same spot where the town’s 300-metre bridge stands today.
In the 1600s, Wallingford was used as a stronghold for King Charles and was the last of his garrisons to fall. Then in 1652, Oliver Cromwell demolished the Castle of Wallingford in order to use the stone and timber to build part of Windsor Castle.
One of the most famous visitors to Wallingford Oxfordshire over the years was the highwayman Dick Turpin. He frequently visited the town as a stopover on his travels.
|Famous for:||Midsomer Murders|
|Must do:||Hire a boat|
Accommodation in Wallingford
There are a variety of accommodation options available in Wallingford, ranging from hotels and bed and breakfasts to vacation rentals and camping sites. Here are some examples:
- The George Hotel: a 16th-century coaching inn located in the town centre
- The Coachmakers Arms: a traditional pub with rooms located on the outskirts of Wallingford
- The Springs Hotel and Golf Club: a country hotel with a golf course located just outside Wallingford
Bed and breakfasts:
- The Chilterns View: a bed and breakfast located on a hill overlooking Wallingford and the Chilterns
- The Old Post Office: a historic building in the town centre that has been converted into a bed and breakfast
- The Town Farm Barn Bed and Breakfast: a converted barn located on a working farm just outside Wallingford
- Wallingford Cottage: a self-catering cottage located in the town centre
- Cholsey Grange: a luxury holiday home with a private hot tub located just outside Wallingford
- The Old Bakery: a converted bakery that has been turned into a vacation rental located in the town centre
- Bridge Villa Camping and Caravan Park: a family-friendly camping and caravan site located just outside Wallingford
- Swiss Farm Touring and Camping: a camping and caravan site located a few miles outside Wallingford
- Greenhill Leisure Park: a camping and caravan site located a few miles outside Wallingford with a swimming pool and other amenities.
Things to do in Wallingford
Explore the top things to do in Wallingford UK and top ideas for days out in Wallingford Oxfordshire:
Wallingford offers many sights and things to do for visitors of all ages. Here are some of our favourite sights and places to visit when staying in the Oxfordshire town;
1. Wallingford Bridge
What to see in Wallingford? Wallingford Bridge is an impressive medieval structure that crosses the river Thames in Wallingford. The bridge connects the town to Crowmarsh Gifford in Oxfordshire.
A whopping 300 metres long between Cleeve Lock and Benson Lock, the bridge is made up of 19 arches. The bridge dates back to 1141 and has undergone many changes over the years.
Today, it is a popular photo spot for visitors to the town of Wallingford.
2. Wallingford boat hire
What to do in Wallingford? Wallingford’s enviable location on the edge of the river makes it a popular location for boat hire and water activities. Various companies offer visitors the opportunity to hire a boat and explore everything the river Thames has to offer.
By boat, you can reach the nearby villages of Goring and Streatley and discover a delightful 5 mile stretch of river that is free of locks. Wallingford boat hire gives visitors a unique perspective of the town of Wallingford and is the perfect activity for a warm summers’ day.
3. The George hotel
Where to stay in Wallingford? The George Hotel was once a 16th-century coaching inn and can be found right in the heart of Wallingford. It is thought that the hotel was once the Dower House to Wallingford castle, and remains of the castle can still be seen.
The George Hotel was often frequented by Dick Turpin, who used the spot to evade the law. He always stayed in the bedroom above the courtyard where he tied up his loyal steed, Black Bess. It is thought he would jump from the bedroom window down to his noble steed for a quick escape. Today, The George Hotel is a delightful place to stay or dine in Wallingford.
4. Wallingford Main Square
Looking for places to visit in Wallingford? The main square of Wallingford has an independent charm and is the heart and soul of the old market town. Dating back to Saxon times, the area has been used for markets for many years and still holds four markets today.
The Charter Market is Wallingford’s oldest market and takes place in the square every Friday. For those visitors that want to try out the delicious food, the local producers market is every Saturday and sells products grown, produced and farmed within a 30-mile radius.
5. Wallingford Castle
Where to go in Wallingford Oxfordshire? Wallingford used to have a large medieval castle in its centre. It was established in the 11th century and was of a Motte-and-Bailey design. Wallingford Castle was once described as “one of the most powerful royal castles in the 12th and 13th centuries”. That was until it fell into decline after being abandoned by Henry VIII, and eventually, it was destroyed after being captured by parliamentary forces.
Today the castle site still has castle remains, and the surrounding area is open for the public to explore.
6. Wallingford Castle Meadows
Best Wallingford places to visit? Wallingford Castle Meadows is the location where you can see the remains of the town’s castle. The Earth Trust manages the site, and as well as the historic castle remains, there is also an abundance of wildlife to enjoy.
A range of invertebrates have made their home in the deadwood piles, and the meadows themselves have numerous wildflowers and plants. No trip to Wallingford is complete without taking in the beauty of the castle meadows.
7. St Mary Le More
Top Wallingford sightseeing? St Mary Le More is a historic parish church and a sight to be seen on a visit to Wallingford. It stands proud in the marketplace, behind the Wallingford town hall. The building dates back to 1077, and the west tower was originally from the 12th century.
The churches upper stages had been rebuilt in 1653 in a perpendicular Gothic style, but then the entire building was redone in 1854 and designed by David Brandon, a gothic revival artist.
8. Corn Exchange Wallingford Oxfordshire
Overlooking the market place is the Corn Exchange in Wallingford which shows films and theatre productions throughout the year. The Corn Exchange building is famous for being used as the Causton Playhouse in Midsomer Murders. Visitors can find out all about the filming of the TV series in Wallingford by visiting the Corn Exchange.
9. Ribizli Plant-Based Café
Ribizli is a modern café in Wallingford that specialises in plant-based meals and gluten-free and diary-free cakes. It has been offering a fully vegan menu since 2018 and is a popular spot for lunch and light bites in the town.
10. The Old Post Office
Best places to see in Wallingford? The Old Post Office is a traditional British pub and restaurant in the heart of Wallingford town. The Grade II listed building overlooks the market square and was once the post office for the town.
Today, the building still has many of its old features such as the Victorian counter and red post box in the courtyard.
11. Bean & Brew
What to do in Wallingford? Bean & Brew is tucked away within St Mary’s Street and is a much-loved coffee shop. Popular among locals and visitors, Bean & Brew specialises in hand-crafted coffee and fine teas.
It is the perfect place to stop for a scrumptious sandwich or handmade cake.
12. River Thames
Where to go in this Oxfordshire town? Wallingford is lucky enough to be located right on the edge of the River Thames. Wallingford bridge crossing the river Thames is one of the finest bridges over the famous river, and Wallingford also has an excellent ford.
Spending some time wandering the banks of the River Thames is a must-do on a trip to Wallingford.
13. Midsomer Murders Trails
Must see places in Wallingford town? Wallingford was used for the filming of the popular TV series Midsomer Murders. The main character, Detective Chief Inspector Barnaby, can often be seen walking around the stunning market town.
Visitors can explore the area and learn all about the filming with a Midsomer Murder Trail.
14. Wallingford Museum
What is there to do in Wallingford? As Wallingford boasts so much history and culture, it is only right that it has its own museum. The medieval oak-beamed building spans over two floors and is the perfect place for learning all about Wallingford’s past.
Their exhibitions change regularly and always explore various areas of the town’s past. So is the Wallingford Museum on your list of the best things do to in Wallingford?
Is Wallingford a town or a city?
Wallingford is a small town located in Oxfordshire, England. It is a market town and it has a population of around 11,000 people. It is known for its historic architecture and picturesque setting on the River Thames.
A town is typically smaller than a city and has a smaller population. Cities are usually larger, have more amenities and services, and are often the center of a metropolitan area. Wallingford is a historic market town, and it has a good mix of local amenities and services, but it’s not considered a city. It’s a friendly and peaceful town, with a strong sense of community.
Wallingford town history
Wallingford is a historic market town with a rich and varied history dating back over a thousand years. Here are some of the key historical highlights of the town:
- Wallingford was founded by the Saxons in the late 9th century as a fortified burh (or town) to protect against Viking attacks.
- During the medieval period, Wallingford became an important centre for trade and commerce, with a busy market and many guilds and craftsmen.
- In the 16th and 17th centuries, Wallingford was a centre of Puritanism and played a key role in the English Civil War. The town was heavily fortified and saw several sieges during the conflict.
- In the 18th and 19th centuries, Wallingford became a centre for agricultural trade and industry, with many mills and factories operating in the town.
- In the 20th century, Wallingford became a centre for military intelligence, with the construction of RAF Benson and the establishment of the British Army’s Intelligence Corps.
- Today, Wallingford is a thriving market town with a strong sense of community and a rich cultural heritage. The town’s many historic buildings and landmarks, including the Castle Gardens and the Corn Exchange, are a testament to its long and fascinating history.
Is Wallingford Oxfordshire a good place to live?
Wallingford is a small town located in Oxfordshire, England, that is known for its historic architecture and picturesque setting on the River Thames. It’s a market town with a good mix of local amenities and it’s considered a good place to live by many.
Wallingford offers a good quality of life, with excellent schools, low crime rates, and a strong sense of community. The town is home to a variety of shops, cafes, and restaurants, as well as a weekly market. There are also a number of parks and open spaces in and around the town, including the Cholsey Meadows, a Local Nature Reserve.
The town is also well-connected to the rest of Oxfordshire and the surrounding area, with good road and rail links. The nearest railway station is Cholsey, which is on the line between Reading and Oxford and it’s only a short drive away.
Overall, Wallingford is considered a nice and safe place to live with many amenities, good schools, and good connectivity. It’s also a good location for those who enjoy outdoor activities, such as walking and cycling, and for those who appreciate the rich history of the town.
Wallingford tourist information
Wallingford is a historic market town located in the county of Oxfordshire, England. Here is some tourist information to help you plan your visit:
- Things to see and do: Wallingford has a number of historic landmarks and attractions, including the Wallingford Castle ruins, the Museum of Local History, and the Corn Exchange theatre. The town is also situated on the River Thames, making it a great destination for boating and river walks.
- Accommodation: Wallingford has a variety of accommodation options to suit all budgets, including hotels, bed and breakfasts, vacation rentals, and camping sites.
- Getting there: Wallingford is located approximately 12 miles (19 km) south of Oxford, and is easily accessible by car, bus, or train. The nearest train station is Cholsey, which is located about 2 miles (3 km) from the town centre.
- Tourist information: The Wallingford Information Centre is located on the High Street and offers a range of tourist information and services, including maps, brochures, and advice on local attractions and events.
- Events and festivals: Wallingford hosts a number of events and festivals throughout the year, including the Wallingford Carnival, the Bunkfest folk festival, and the Wallingford Food Festival.
- Local cuisine: Wallingford has a number of great restaurants and cafes, serving everything from traditional British pub fare to international cuisine. Be sure to try some local specialties, such as Oxfordshire lamb and the famous Banbury cake.
Overall, Wallingford is a charming and historic town with plenty to see and do, making it a great destination for a day trip or longer stay.
Wallingford is a small town in Oxfordshire, England, and it offers a variety of restaurants and cafes to choose from. Some popular options include:
- The Golden Ball: A traditional English pub that serves a variety of pub fare, including traditional roasts, fish and chips, and pies.
- The Angel on the Bridge: A historic pub that serves a range of classic British dishes and a selection of real ales.
- The Fat Fox Inn: A traditional pub that serves a variety of pub fare, including traditional roasts, fish and chips, and pies.
- The White Hart: A charming pub that serves classic British cuisine in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere.
- The Catherine Wheel: A popular restaurant that serves contemporary British cuisine in a converted 17th century coaching inn.
- The Castle: A pub that serves a range of classic British dishes and a selection of real ales.
- The Crown & Tuns: A family-friendly pub that serves a variety of pub fare, including traditional roasts, fish and chips, and pies.
These are just a few options, and there are many other restaurants and cafes in and around Wallingford to choose from. There are also a variety of international cuisine options such as Chinese, Indian, Italian and more.
Can you swim in the Thames Wallingford?
Swimming in the River Thames at Wallingford is possible, but it is not recommended. The River Thames is a large and fast-moving river, and swimming in it can be dangerous due to strong currents, hidden debris, and pollution. Additionally, the river is a major shipping route, and there are many boats, barges, and other vessels that use the river, which can create additional hazards for swimmers.
It’s important to note that swimming in the River Thames is not officially allowed and it’s not regulated, so there are no lifeguards or designated swimming areas. There’s also no infrastructure for swimming, such as showers or changing rooms, so swimming in the river should be avoided.
If you’re looking for a place to swim, Wallingford Leisure Centre offers a 25m pool, a teaching pool and a gym with a wide range of classes, and it’s open to the public. Also, there are many other swimming pools in the surrounding area, such as Didcot, Reading, and Oxford.
It’s always best to be safe and check the local authorities or the relevant website for the most current and accurate information on swimming in the River Thames.
Pubs in Wallingford
Wallingford has a number of traditional pubs that offer a warm and welcoming atmosphere, along with a range of local beers, ciders, and pub food. Here are a few pubs in Wallingford that you might want to check out:
- The Coachmakers Arms: This is a traditional pub with a friendly atmosphere, serving a range of local beers and ciders. It has a large beer garden and a separate dining area for food.
- The Lamb Inn: This pub is located in a historic building and has a cosy and relaxed atmosphere. It serves a range of real ales and ciders, along with a good selection of pub food.
- The George Hotel: This 16th-century coaching inn is located in the town centre and serves a range of local and guest ales, as well as a variety of pub food. It has a large beer garden and outdoor seating area.
- The Old Post Office: This is a historic building in the town centre that has been converted into a pub and restaurant. It has a traditional pub atmosphere and serves a range of real ales, ciders, and pub food.
- The Kingfisher Inn: This is a popular local pub located just outside Wallingford, in the village of Shillingford. It has a large beer garden with views of the River Thames, and serves a range of local and guest ales, as well as a variety of pub food.
These are just a few examples of the many great pubs in Wallingford. Whether you’re looking for a traditional pub atmosphere, a range of local beers, or some hearty pub food, you’re sure to find something to suit your taste in this charming and historic town.
Wallingford has a range of independent and high street shops to explore, with everything from fashion and home decor to local produce and specialty goods. Here are some examples of the types of shops you can find in Wallingford:
- Independent boutiques: Wallingford has a number of independent boutiques and gift shops, selling everything from clothing and accessories to homeware and artwork. Some examples include The Lamb Arcade, Tippings, and Chanti.
- High street stores: Wallingford has a small selection of high street stores, including WH Smith, Superdrug, and Boots. There is also a Sainsbury’s supermarket located on the outskirts of town.
- Art and antiques: Wallingford is home to a number of antique shops and art galleries, including Antiques at Wendover, Robertsons Antiques and Mews Art Studio.
- Local produce: Wallingford has a regular market on Fridays, where you can find local produce and artisan goods, including bread, cheese, and handmade crafts.
- Speciality shops: Wallingford has a number of speciality shops, including wine merchants, book shops, and health food stores. One example is The Granary, a health food shop that stocks a range of organic and wholefood products.
These are just a few examples of the many shops you can find in Wallingford. Whether you’re looking for unique gifts and souvenirs, everyday essentials, or specialty goods, you’re sure to find something to suit your needs in this charming and historic town.
Places to visit near Wallingford:
- Dorchester-on-Thames: 5 miles away from Wallingford
- Pangbourne: 10 miles away from Wallingford
- Abingdon: 11 miles away from Wallingford
- Henley-on-Thames: 14 miles away from Wallingford
- Sonning on Thames: 17 miles away from Wallingford
- Marlow: 20 miles away from Wallingford
- West Wycombe: 21 miles away from Wallingford
- Burnham Beeches: 29 miles away from Wallingford
- Burford: 32 miles away from Wallingford
- Old Amersham: 33 miles away from Wallingford
- Bibury: 41 miles away from Wallingford
Is it worth visiting Wallingford?
Wallingford is an ideal place to visit in the English countryside. History buffs, food lovers and those who enjoy getting out in the great outdoors will love a trip to Wallingford. There is plenty to see and do in the local area, and it is a lovely location for a relaxing weekend by the river or a day trip from London, Reading or Oxford.
Get ready to soak up the history and culture in the traditional market town and take in the stunning riverside views and unbeatable scenery.
You can easily say that today Wallingford is known as the main location for Midsomer Murders. It is also known as a great starting point for everyone willing to explore Oxfordshire.
The whole region of South Oxfordshire is a great area to live. It is not a surprise that the town of Wallingford has been ranked on the 5th (in the Top 10) countryside destinations to relocate in England.
The name of the town means “the ford of wealth’s people”. It is a very old name and you will have to go back to the Anglo-Saxon period, when this settlement was first built, to understand its meaning.
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As you wrap up your visit, remember that Wallingford in Oxfordshire has been more than just a stop on your journey. It’s a town that brilliantly blends tradition with mystery and natural beauty. It’s no surprise why so many visitors ask where is Wallingford? as they yearn for an authentic experience in the heart of England.
Discover the charming boutiques nestled within Wallingford town centre, explore the fascinating history of the ruins of Wallingford Castle, and savour the unique tastes at the local eateries. Our town is more than just a dot on a map; it’s a vibrant, welcoming community with so much to offer.
No matter where your travels take you next, be it the academic haven of Oxford or elsewhere, the memories of Wallingford, UK, will leave a lasting impression. Whether you visited for the historical sites, the scenic beauty, or the welcoming community, there’s always more to explore in Wallingford.
When considering your next adventure, remember there are countless things to do near Wallingford, making it the perfect base for your explorations in South Oxfordshire. The journey from Wallingford to Oxford and beyond is short, offering the ideal opportunity to uncover the gems of Southern England.
So, whether you’re reminiscing about your trip or planning the next one, Wallingford, England, is not to be overlooked. From its historical charm to the natural beauty that surrounds it, Wallingford invites you back for more exploration, relaxation, and revelation. Until then, we look forward to welcoming you back to our corner of the world.
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