Dorchester Circular Walk
The delightful Oxfordshire town of Dorchester on Thames has some lovely footpaths to follow through the surrounding countryside and woodland. This circular walk visits the River Thames, Little Wittenham Wood and Castle Hill Iron Age Hillfort. There's much to enjoy in the area, with riverside paths, peaceful woodland trails and wonderful views from the Wittenham Clumps hills on the southern side of the Thames. A must see in the town is the magnificent Dorchester Abbey. The abbey dates from 1140 and contains a fascinating museum detailing the history of the area.
The walk starts in the town centre and heads south through the town before turning west towards Little Wittenham. Here you cross the Thames and follow paths through Little Wittenham Woods to Wittenham Clumps. These two hills are a popular local attraction, offering wonderful views of the Oxfordshire countryside from the high points. After exploring the site of an Iron Age Hillfort on Castle Hill, the walk descends through farmland to Shillingford where you cross the Thames on the 19th century bridge. Here you pick up the Thames Path to take you back along the river before turning north to return to the town.
To extend your walking in the area, simply head south along the riverside path to Wallingford where you can visit the ruins of the 11th century Wallingford Castle and pick up The Ridgeway National Trail.
Dorchester Circular Walk Ordnance Survey Map - view and print off detailed OS map
Dorchester Circular Walk Open Street Map - view and print off detailed map
Dorchester Circular Walk OS Map - Mobile GPS OS Map with Location tracking
Dorchester Circular Walk Open Street Map - Mobile GPS Map with Location tracking
Further Information and Other Local Ideas
If you are looking for the Dorset county town of the same name please see the Dorchester Walks page.
Just to the west you can visit the neighbouring villages of Sutton Courtenay and Culham. The former picturesque settlement has several historic buildings including the 12th century Norman Hall and The Abbey - a Grade I listed medieval courtyard house. Culham has a particularly lovely lock and weir to admire.
For more walking ideas in the area see the Oxfordshire Walks page.