Visit the oldest town in England and take a walk through history!

Welcome to Walk.About.Abingdon and welcome to Abingdon-on-Thames, England’s oldest, continuously occupied town.
Dating back to before the Iron Age,
Abingdon-on-Thames is over 3000 years old!

Tours run 7 days a week!

Tour times are 11.00am & 2.00pm

Other times available on application. Please get in touch.

Walks start from our meeting point next to The Guildhall.

BOOKING IS REQUIRED - please give 24hrs notice

Ticket price is £10 per adult. £5 per child under 16 years if accompanied by an adult.

Over 60s - £8.

Family tickets available at £25 for 2 adults and 2 children under 16 years.

Price includes our Abingdon-on-Thames Guide and short history booklet.

To book your tour email:
or phone: 07880913819.
Large parties who want their own tour please call 07880913819.

Back Forward

We are only 6 miles away from Oxford and easily accessible by car, bus or boat!

First 2 hours are Free of Charge in the town centre car parks.

Buses from Oxford are every 10 minutes and take 20 minutes (X3, X13, X2). For more information:
Oxford Bus Company

For information about boats to Abingdon:
Salters Steamers

Walks begin at our Meeting Point outside the Guildhall. Please be at the meeting point at least 5 minutes before your tour is due to begin.


If we had a time machine and could go back to late 12th century Abingdon, we wouldn’t get lost. The buildings, sounds and smells may have changed, but the street lay-outs haven’t altered a great deal. So, in the 21st century, Abingdon-on-Thames is still basically a medieval town.

Walk.About.Abingdon is a guided tour around historic Abingdon-on-Thames. The tour will take about an hour and a half and will take in some of Britain’s most beautiful countryside and historic buildings.

Our very simple mission statement is:

“To share the beauty and history of Abingdon-On-Thames
with as many people as possible.”

Abingdon, 150 million years ago!

Imagine a warm, shallow sea. The shells of millions of tiny creatures in this sea grow into a large coral reef, which down through the eons is laid down, crushed and so becomes Coral Rag, Abingdon’s only local stone. Fast forward millions of years to medieval Abingdon and this stone is quarried and used, in part, to build the town’s great buildings – including the Abbey, St Nicholas’ Church and St Helen’s Church

Recent excavations have shown that Abingdon has been inhabited all the way back through Roman times, back through Iron Age times to a settlement that existed more than 3000 years ago. So Abingdon can claim to be the oldest continuously inhabited town in England. (Large ‘Thames Picks’, a kind of Mesolithic axe, from around 6500BC, have been found in the Wilsham Road area).

Abingdon – the name, the Abbey

“In the 5th century there was a Briton named Aben, who escaped from King Hengist of Kent's massacre of the British and retired to a hermitage on a hill, - either in Sunningwell or Cumnor. It was soon named after him as 'Abendon'. Many went there and built a chapel dedicated to the Virgin Mary. In AD 675, Hean, the nephew of Cissa, a sub-King of Wessex ruling over North Berkshire, wanted a place to live a religious life. He came upon the old hermitage of Aben and built a monastery there, which his uncle endowed. He had a sister, called Cilla, and she, about the same time, founded a nunnery in honour of the Holy Cross and St. Helen at Helenstowe on the Thames – this became St. Helen's Church in Abingdon. She possessed a portion of one of the nails of the Passion, which she inserted into an iron cross and, when she died, this was laid on her breast in the grave.

Meanwhile, Hean founded his monastery, on Abendon Hill, but he was unable to make much progress. All that he built one day, fell down the next. A hermit who lived in Cumnor Wood came to him and told him of a vision he’d had, of men with carts taking stone and timber away from the site of the buildings. He had rebuked them and they replied, "Go and tell Hean that God wills not to have a church built here, but at Sevekesham, where the place shall be marked out for him by a sign." Now, Sevekesham was a site, down in the river valley, which Cissa had given to Hean. He went there and found, near the Thames, a foundation marked out by furrows. So he moved the site of his Abbey to Sevekesham and called the place Abingdon”.

Abingdon was dominated by the great Benedictine Abbey - the same size as Westminster Abbey. Nothing above ground remains of the Abbey Church now but it’s outline in Abbey gardens can still be seen. Many of the Abbey buildings do still exist, however, and we’ll show you on our walk.

Down through the centuries many historical figures have lived in and visited Abingdon. Most of our Kings and Queens have had business and made history in Abingdon, including William the Conqueror, Henry l, King John, Charles l and William of Orange. They used to say wherever the monarch resided was the capital of England. One such time was when Henry Vlll and his first wife, Catherine of Aragon, spent the Easter of 1518 in Abingdon Abbey to escape the plague in London. His sister Mary, who he called the ‘French Queen’, was one of his guests. He stayed for three weeks, and so matters of state and national importance were dealt with from Abingdon and it’s Abbey. Twenty years and two wives later he destroyed it.

Others who made history in Abingdon include Oliver Cromwell, Samuel Pepys and Christopher Wren’s master mason Christopher Kempster.

To find out more, take a walk around beautiful Abingdon-on-Thames with one of our guides.

To book your tour email:
or phone: 07880913819.
Large parties who want their own tour please call 07880913819.