Dorchester and Little Wittenham

Route type: Circular and Linear Walks

The Thames Path at Dorchester and Little Wittenham.


There are lovely walks of 2 miles or more from Dorchester to Day’s Lock, then along the Thames Path to the mouth of the Thame and back to Dorchester. Starting from the car park in Bridge End, close to where the Henley Road crosses the Thame in the shadow of the Abbey, walk down the road past the public toilets to the start of the village green. Cross the junction of lanes diagonally to go into Wittenham Lane and on to the footpath by the edge of a field. At the corner of the field, turn right along the path beside the Dyke Hills (the remains of an Iron Age settlement).  Recently, the path has been fenced on both sides - aesthetically unfortunate but makes the direction easier to follow.  The path meets the Thames Path, near Day’s Lock  at the foot bridge to Little Wittenham.  Here you have a choice: to cross over the river and climb to Wittenham Clumps (1 mile) to enjoy the magnificent views (photo1) . Or turn left along the Thames Path for a circular walk. After a mile along the Thames Path, you reach the bridge (photo 2) across the River Thame which flows from Aylesbury.  


For the shortest route back to Dorchester, turn left before the bridge and walk between the wire fences back to Wittenham Lane and the car park to complete 2 miles.  A better way (although a mile longer) is to cross the bridge through a gate and look at the information board built by the Hurst Meadow Trust. There is a grassy path along the riverside meadow on the east side of the Thame, which leads you to the Henley Road. Cross this road to Overy Lane. At the end of the lane, a footpath sign shows the way beside the mill to Hurst Meadow. Walk across or around Hurst Meadow, which is an island in the Thame, to return to Dorchester High Street via Manor Farm Road and Queen Street.  There is a good choice of places to eat in Dorchester, and the Abbey is well worth a visit.

View of the Thames from Wittenham Clumps
Thames Path crossing the mouth of the Thame