Overlooking the junction of the River Ock and Thames, Abingdon is a historic market town in Oxfordshire. It was named after an abbey established here in the 7th century and emerged as an important weaving hub by the 13th century. Following the construction of the Wilts & Berks Canal in 1810, Abingdon became an important link between the industrial hubs of London, Birmingham and Bristol.
Things to do in Abingdon
In the heart of town is the Abingdon County Hall Museum, which occupies an impressive Baroque building designed by Christopher Kempster. It now showcases the history of the town and hosts changing cultural exhibitions and also offers elevated views across Abingdon’s main square from its rooftop.
Located on the former site of the Abingdon Abbey is the Abbey Gardens, where you’ll find seasonal floral displays and the remains of Trendell’s Folly. You can follow the outlined foundations of the 17th-century abbey or stroll through the Abbey Meadows, which hug the bank of the River Thames. An outdoor pool and family-friendly splash pad make this a popular destination in the summer months.
Also overlooking the River Thames is St Helen's Church, which is believed to have been built atop the remains of an Anglo-Saxon nunnery. While the church dates from the late 12th century, it was restored in the 19th century by the Victorian Gothic architect, Henry Woodyer. Gaze up at the church’s soaring spire, which has become a symbol of Abingdon, and admire its beautifully painted ceiling.
Getting around Abingdon
Abingdon is around 15 minutes’ drive from Oxford and 1.5 hours from London. Heathrow Airport is just under an hour away and has flights to destinations across the globe. Regular buses connect to Abingdon and the town is small enough to explore on foot.