town and civil parish in South Oxfordshire, England
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Europe > Britain and Ireland > United Kingdom > England > South East England > Oxfordshire > Wallingford (England)

Wallingford is a historic market town on the River Thames in Oxfordshire, England.

Wallingford Museum

Understand edit

The Romans liked Wallingford but proved unreliable tenants. Now the Saxons, they really put the hours in, building the earliest recognizable settlements.

Agatha Christie wrote from Wallingford, led the local amateur dramatics society and is buried nearby in Cholsey. Resident somehow in both mind and body, she’d be happy with the town’s continuing notoriety as it is plagued by heinous murders... the penny drops: this is Midsomer Murders country and Wallingford is the fictional village of Causton.

Before you run for your life, remember: it’s only a television show. That said, a town so touched by history always has a grisly secret to reveal.

William the Conqueror crossed the Thames here and established the castle. After roaming lawless on the open South Oxfordshire roads the murderous Dick Turpin rested up here, the law chasing his blood-stained coat tails.

In 1646 Oliver Cromwell gave the order to sack Wallingford Castle, undoing 600 years of fortifications. Even so, with boats moored under drooping willows that arc into the Thames, Wallingford remains the best example of a Saxon town in England.

The prehistoric road, the Icknield Way, crosses the River Thames at Cholsey.

Get in edit

By car edit

The town lies on the A4130 which runs to Didcot (6 miles) and the A34 to the W and to Henley-on-Thames (14 miles) and on to Maidenhead (23 miles) to the E. The A4074 connects the town to Reading (15 miles) to the SE and to Oxford (14 miles) to the NW.

By train edit

  • 1 Cholsey Railway Station, Railway Approach, Cholsey OX10 9QD (3 miles SW of town). Cholsey station is a calling point for stopping services operated by First Great Western on the Great Western Main Line between Reading and Didcot. The station was also the junction for a branch line to Wallingford, which is now used on an intermittent basis by the heritage Cholsey and Wallingford Railway.    

By bus edit

The area is well served by buses from Reading and most local towns.

By boat edit

Visitors may arrive by riverboat in the summer, from Reading and Abingdon.

By bicycle edit

On foot edit

The Ridgeway long distance path (running 87 miles from near Avebury to Ivinghoe Beacon) passes only 1 mile SE of the town.

Get around edit

Map of Wallingford (England)

The town is small enough to see on foot.

See edit

Wallingford Castle

Plenty of things to see in Wallingford[dead link] - the Castle, the River Thames, the ancient market town built on Saxon foundations, the Castle Gardens and Castle meadows, quirky antique shops, coffee shops, and places for supper.

Do edit

Cholsey and Wallingford Railway

Take one of the self-guided historical walks (information from the tourist information office in the Market Place), or visit Wallingford Museum. Have a picnic on the banks of the Thames, or investigate the Saxon ramparts which surround the town. If you visit on a Sunday, why not attend the Sunday Gospel Service held by the Wallingford Christian Assembly, at the Gospel Hall, Atwell Close. (5:00-5:45PM each week.)

  • 1 Cholsey & Wallingford Railway (2½ mile standard gauge heritage railway), Wallingford Station, 5 Hithercroft Rd, Wallingford, OX10 9GQ, +44 1491 835067. Adult £10; Concession £8; Child (5-15 years) £5 (all return tickets).    

Buy edit

Wallingford has a large number of independent shops, antique shops and specialist shops. Where else can you buy a violin, visit numerous antique shops, purchase a stunning hat to complete a special outfit, or buy lovely clothes and shoes? Wallingford has it all - and many markets.

  • 1 Olde Sweet Shoppe, 56A St. Mary's St, Wallingford OX10 0EL.
  • 2 Waitrose (Supermarket), 1 St Martin's St, Wallingford OX10 0EF, +44 1491 832030. M-F 8AM-9PM; Sa 8AM-8PM; Su 10AM-4PM.

Markets edit

Wallingford Market Place
  • 3 Farmers Market, Market Place, Wallingford. Every third Tuesday and fifth Saturday 8:30AM-1PM.
  • 4 Country Market, The Regal Centre, Goldsmith Lane Car Park, Wallingford. Fridays 8:30-11:30AM. Selling traditional fruit and veg
  • 5 Local Producers Market, The Regal Centre, Goldsmith Lane Car Park, Wallingford. Sa 10AM-1PM.

Cyclists edit

  • 6 Rides on Air (Bikes, Accessories & Workshop), 11 St Martin St, Wallingford OX10 0AL, +44 1491 836289, . M-F 9AM-5:30PM; Sa 8AM-5PM (9AM opening Dec-Feb); Su 8AM-2PM (9AM opening Dec-Feb).

Eat edit

Drink edit

The Boathouse Pub
The Dolphin

Sleep edit

The George Hotel

Connect edit

  • 1 Post Office, 18a Market Place, Wallingford, OX10 0AD. M-F 9AM-5:30PM; Sa 9AM-12:30PM.

Go next edit

This city travel guide to Wallingford is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.