Wallingford is not all that it seems. This most respectable riverside town is, in fact, at the very heart of Midsomer Murders country. Download a copy of the Wallingford Historical Town Walk to explore the town's more ancient connections. Come on a Friday to visit the traditional Charter Market or on Saturdays for the local producers' market. At the end of August to let your hair down at the annual BunkFest: this "wonderful, mad spectacle" brings visitors from far and wide into the town.
What to see in Wallingford
Wallingford Museum tells the story of the town, including a 'sight & sound' experience which takes a walk through time from the Romans and Saxons to the Civil War, including a miniature re-creation of Wallingford's huge royal Castle.
Castle Gardens – once part of the site of one of England's most extensive and strongest castles, Castle Gardens are now a relaxing and peaceful spot in which to enjoy the well-kept lawns and flower beds and explore some of the earthworks remaining from the castle.
The Cholsey & Wallingford Railway – this preserved former Great Western Railway branchline is known affectionately as The Bunk Line, although no one can quite recall why. Trains run on selected operating days – steam-hauled, whenever possible. Enjoy Driver Experience Days and see wagons undergoing restoration. Check the website for new acquisitions and progress on the Museum of artifacts and archives, currently being relocated in a Cambrian coach.
Into the countryside
She was known locally as Mrs Mallowan, but ‘Agatha Christie’ became the best-selling novelist of all time and many of her books were written here. This six mile circular walking trail takes you past locations prominent in the her life and on to her grave in Cholsey.
Wittenham Clumps, near Dorchester, are named after the two clumps of 300-year old beech trees which crown Castle Hill and Round Hill - formerly known as 'Mother Dunch's Buttocks'. The hills and their panoramic views of South Oxfordshire inspired such artists as the Chilterns' own Paul Nash (1889-1946) who loved to paint these views.
Choose a Cycle Ride into the Chiltern Hills. Download details of three cycle rides, ranging from 11–25 miles. All rides start at the Town Hall in Wallingford. Each route has been developed and tested by families with novice and more experienced cyclists.
Enjoy the view from the river: Salter's Steamers operate passenger trips from Wallingford to Reading, calling at Goring, Beale Park and Mapledurham.
Heading further afield
This typical Chilterns vineyard produces white, rosé, red and sparkling wines which frequently win medals in regional, national and international competition. Brightwell Vineyard and Winery is open for wine sales on Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 12 - 6pm. Sales at other times are by appointment.
Book a vineyard tour and wine tasting or sign up to join our grape harvest!
Nuffield Place – 5.4 miles from Wallingford was acquired by the National Trust, and was once the home of Lord Nuffield, the founder of Morris Motor Cars and one of the most remarkable men of the 20th century. The property has seasonal opening times, so best to check the NT website when planning your visit.
Ewelme is located north east of the market town of Wallingford, nestled in a green dip, with narrow lanes and pretty cottages tumbling down the hillside to congregate along now defunct watercress beds fed by the Ewelme Brook, that eventually makes its meandering way to the River Thames. Production has sadly ceased (cress can still be bought and enjoyed in the Chess Valley), but now these beds are owned and managed by the Chiltern Society who organise events here in the reserve.
The Didcot Railway Centre brings together an imposing and unique collection of Great Western Railway steam engines, coaches, wagons and buildings in a rural setting based around the original 1930s engine shed. It has recreated a section of Brunel's broad gauge railway and relocated one of Didcot's Transfer Sheds of the 1850s, used to move goods from the broad gauge Great Western to standard, narrow gauge lines.