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|The Old Post Office Wallingford and River Trail|
|Author: Claire, Published: 23 Oct 2014||Walk Rating:|
|A 3 mile circular pub walk from the Old Post Office in Wallingford, Oxfordshire. The Old Post Office pub is a warm and friendly meeting place, serving great food and drink all day. The walking route takes in some of the old treasures within the town (including the town hall, castle grounds and several churches) before following a picturesque section of the riverside path along the Thames. |
The walk is relatively flat throughout. Some of the field, woodland and riverside paths can get very muddy in winter and after periods of rain. There are no stiles or steps on route, just some single gates and footbridges to negotiate. Whilst most of the paths are enclosed, there is one field length of the Thames Path that passes through a pasture which may be holding cattle. There are public toilets in the car park at the start of the walk. Approximate time 1 to 1.5 hours.
Wallingford is located on the west bank of the River Thames, about 10 miles south of Oxford. The walk starts and finishes from the Old Post Office pub by the market place. The best car park to use is the Cattle Market long-stay pay and display car park on the corner of New Road and Wood Street. The price is £1.80 for up to 5 hours (correct October 2014). Approximate post code OX10 0AU.
|Start to Old Post Office|
Start point: 51.5986 lat, -1.1236 long
To begin the walk you need to make your way from the car park to the Old Post Office pub. Standing in the car park with the entrance for the toilet block on your right, walk ahead and pass through the arch in the stone wall (signed for Ridgeway Community Church and Town Centre). Turn right along the road, Wood Street, and then take the first turning on the left, Hart Street, signed again for the town centre.
|Old Post Office to Castle Gardens|
Start point: 51.5997 lat, -1.1251 long
Begin facing the Old Post Office, built in 1936. Over the door is rare monogram of Edward VIII who abdicated in 1936 and so was never crowned. Now stand with your back to the Old Post Office and you will have a good view of St Mary-le-More Church in front of you. The exact construction date is unknown but the church was certainly built by 1077. The present tower was built in 1653, partly from stones from Wallingford Castle which was demolished a year earlier. The rest of the church has been redesigned several times since, mainly in the Gothic style.
|Castle Gardens to Drawbridge|
Start point: 51.6019 lat, -1.1238 long
To continue the walk, retrace your steps back to Castle Street, cross over and turn right to continue along the pavement. After passing an old stone gateway and lodge on the right, turn right onto the stone and grass track signed as a public footpath. The track swings right and leads you between walls and under a brick arch.
|Drawbridge to Bridleway|
Start point: 51.6022 lat, -1.1217 long
Continue on the track which swings right and becomes a tarmac lane. You will emerge to a T-junction with The Street. Dominating the skyline ahead is the tall open stone spire of St Peter’s Church. The original church was destroyed in the Civil War and rebuilt in the 1770s.
|Bridleway to St Mary Newnham Murren|
Start point: 51.5997 lat, -1.1169 long
A little way along, ignore the next kissing gate off to the right, instead swing left on the main bridleway. You may be able to see a caravan park through the fence and hedge on the left. At the next crossroads of paths keep straight ahead, still following the main bridleway.
|St Mary Newnham Murren to Thames Path|
Start point: 51.592 lat, -1.1203 long
Take a moment to admire this charming flint church with its external bellcote. Dating from the 12th century and restored in 1849, the church was declared redundant in 1973. A handful of services are held here each year.
|Thames Path to End|
Start point: 51.5893 lat, -1.1241 long
At the far end of the pasture, pass through the metal gate and cross the footbridge. Continue on this fenced section of the Thames Path. Further along, a footbridge leads you across a stream inlet and you will pass a white building on the left with a Thames Conservancy 1913 plaque. This is the Old Thames Conservancy House. The Conservancy was a historical body responsible for management of the River Thames from 1857 to 1974. At its height, the Conservancy managed the operation of all the locks, weirs, tolls, angling rights, navigation and regulations for the river.
Text and images for this walk are Copyright © 2014 by the author clairesharpuk and may not be reproduced without permission.
This walk has a good mixture of local history and scenic views across the Oxfordshire countryside and the River Thames. It's one that I think we will do more than once.
|By Richard on 24 Oct 2014|
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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|Image by: Richard |
Uploaded: 23 Oct 2014
Wallingford town centre taken in October 2014
|Image by: Richard |
Uploaded: 23 Oct 2014
Tree in Castle Gardens
|Image by: Richard |
Uploaded: 23 Oct 2014
The lovely wooden door of the Old Post Office
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My wife and I did your Petworth and Shimmings Valley walk yesterday. It was absolutely beautiful and enhanced by the wonderful weather. Your instructions were the clearest I have ever used for walking.
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Very enjoyable and well described route. Views over the river from the warren were stunning.
Fantastic walk and amazing views. Great directions though I followed the GPS map mainly
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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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Did this walk this morning with our three little girls and we all love it. Great day outdoor!