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|Along the Thames:Abingdon to Oxford|
|Author: NickC, Published: 06 Apr 2013||Walk rating : Rating:|
|Oxfordshire, Abingdon, Oxford|
|This walk follows a stretch of the Thames Path National Trail, linking the historical town of Abingdon with its more famous (some might say infamous) neighbour of Oxford. The equally notorious Thames provides a guide throughout the walk, so it's difficult to get lost, although there's a small wooded section at the start and occasional side channels of the river which mean that getting lost isn't an impossibility, so you need to follow the directions and watch out for the frequent Thames Path waymarkers. |
The walk itself is just under ten miles and could probably be managed in around four hours if you kept up a brisk pace - but this would be a shame, as there's plenty to pause and enjoy. This is exemplified by a short diversion into Iffley, incorporated into the walk, in order to admire the local church and its fine John Piper stained glass window. Rather than rush it, plan instead to make this a day's outing - maybe take a picnic, as watering holes, although available, are not too common.
The walk starts at Abingdon on the A415, which itself cuts across the A34 linking Newbury and Oxford, lying south of that city. Parking is available just south of the bridge near the start of the walk (nearest postcode OX14 3HP), or in the town itself. Regular buses link Abingdon and Oxford to allow you to retrieve your car, but as always, check beforehand just in case. If stuck, a taxi wouldn't be outrageous as the walk describes a wide loop and the journey by road is shorter than by foot.
|Start to Nuneham|
Start point: 51.6681 lat, -1.2789 long
If you've approached the river from Abingdon you need to cross over the bridge and head left along the southern bank of the river, heading for the lock. Here, cross over the river via the lock gates and over the island that follows, followed by the weir where you meet the Abbey Stream on your right.
|Nuneham to Sandford Lock|
Start point: 51.6799 lat, -1.2257 long
A straight stretch of path follows, following an unfenced field. On reaching the Radley College Boathouse, follow the path over a bridge that lifts you over the slipway. Radley itself is a little way off the path, too far for a detour. The College (actually a school) was created in 1847 and perhaps its most famous contemporary old boy was the comedian Peter Cook.
|Sandford Lock to Iffley Option (Start)|
Start point: 51.708 lat, -1.2331 long
Continue on the path, looking out for a view of Sandford church just as the path becomes enclosed. A pair of small bridges follow taking you over the weir, as the path takes you along the edge of the lock island. Soon, the path heads left to cross over the main weir and back onto the western bank of the river.
|Iffley Option (Start) to Iffley Option (End)|
Start point: 51.7291 lat, -1.2407 long
You could skip this section, but it would be a shame, as St. Mary's Chruch Iffley is well worth a short detour, to say nothing of the opportunity to get a feel of how life is lived away from the immediate riverbank. The church is Norman in origin and has two particularly magnificent features, one ancient, the other modern. The former is the array of stone flowers around the doorway, a feature only found elsewhere at the cathedral porch at Santiago de Compostela. The latter is the John Piper stained glass window featuring the Nativity.
|Iffley Option (End) to Christchurch Meadow|
Start point: 51.7292 lat, -1.2404 long
The path now enters some meadows and runs on to Donnington Bridge, where you might be lucky enough to spot the barge belonging to St. John's College on the opposite bank. Look out for the boundary stone for the city of Oxford, but don't be fooled into thinking you're near the end, there's still some walking to do yet!
|Christchurch Meadow to End (Osney Bridge)|
Start point: 51.7444 lat, -1.2532 long
At the end of Christ Church Meadow the path crosses a footbridge and then another, after Isis House (the Thames is known as the Isis in these parts). Pass under the road bridge (carrying the Abingdon Road) and then over a footbridge opposite Salters Steamers. Stay with the river as it bends to the right and then to the left.
Text and images for this walk are Copyright © 2013 by the author NickC and may not be reproduced without permission.
Toni: A really lovely 10 mile walk along the Thames today doing the Abingdon to Oxford route. The map was very easy to follow and the Kings Arms was a great halfway stop for lunch with good food but limited seating in the bar. We kept a leisurely pace and had 90 minutes for lunch due to the wait, overall the whole walk with stops took 6 hours and was well worth the trip.
|By Facebook on 2016-03-05 19:50:27|
The information in this guide has been provided in good faith and is intended only as a guide, not a statement of fact. You are advised to check the accuracy of the information provided and should not use this guide for navigational directions nor should you rely on the accuracy of the weather forecast. You are advised to take appropriate clothing, footwear, equipment and navigational materials with you according to the current and possible weather and nature of the terrain. Always follow the country code and follow any additional warnings or instructions that may be available. Some walks may be very strenuous and you are advised to seek medical advice if you have any doubts as to your capability to complete the walk.
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Very enjoyable and well described route. Views over the river from the warren were stunning.
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Even on a cold windy day with it trying to snow this was still an excellent walk. We managed it with our 2 children of 5 yrs and one in a all terain pram (a defo no no with a normal pram). Will be doing this one again in the summer.
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