Abingdon on Thames
In a Nutshell
A market town with lovely parks, abbey ruins and river walks. Great for a lazy day in the sun or a casual riverside walk and picnic.
Parking and Pooping
Abingdon lies just south of Oxford on the A34. You have a couple of options for parking depending on how you want to spend your day. Our first choice is the car park opposite the cricket club, just on the south side of the bridge on the A415. There are plenty of spaces and from here you can walk directly across the fields to the riverside. There are no toilets here, but we did notice some across the road at the foot of the steps by the cricket club.
The alternative car park is on Abbey Close, and sits between the Abbey Gardens and Abbey Meadows, which are the main recreation grounds for the town. A smaller car park, but closer to town, with toilets and park facilities on the doorstep. At the time of visiting, the car parks were free for the first two hours.
The Thames Path offers an attractive circular walk which you can start from either car park. Walking north from the bridge, the path takes you along the riverside to a footbridge over a small rive island and then back around walking past the Abbey Meadows and into the Abbey Gardens. You emerge into the town centre to walk back across the road bridge to complete the circuit. The path is gravel and tarmac, with benches and bins along the way and not that busy even on public holidays, so a pleasant walk with nice views on any day.
In town, the main square is large, leading on to a pedestrianised shopping street with plenty of benches. The pavements are generally good too, so easy walking with pup.
Keeping the Humans Amused
Life in Abingdon seems to revolve around the river and markets. From the bridge, you will see a boat hire yard and there is always a steady stream of boats of all sizes chugging up and down. The market square hosts various markets with the Excellence Market being a key attraction for the best of local produce so check for dates etc before making plans. There is the usual smattering of town centre shops, but nothing to make a special trip for and certainly don't expect the shops to be open on a Sunday.
The area around the old abbey and bridge is particularly attractive and a stroll through the Abbey Gardens to see the park set in the ruins and surrounding buildings is definitely worthwhile.
The Thames Path makes for a great picnic spot, with the car park so close, good benches/bins and boat watching. As you cross the bridge, look out for the Nag's Head on the island with its lovely beer garden. A great place for you and pup to enjoy a pint and some quality grub with river views. The Brewery Tap, Kings Head and Bell and The Broad Face pubs are all listed as dog friendly.
In town you'll see a number of cafe's with pavement seating, mainly around the market square.
Abingdon Town Website