Days Lock on the River Thames
The area around Day's Lock is said to be the most historic place in Oxfordshire. There are many reasons for this: a hilltop fort was built by iron-age man on Castle Hill and when the Romans invaded they built a camp where the nearest town would be founded - Dorchester.
For centuries this has been a religious area. Neolithic man built ritual henges a mile upstream. During the sixth century, St Birinus established the first cathedral in Wessex.
From the lock you can see two hills topped by trees. These are the Sinodun Hills - known usually as the Wittenham Clumps and less respectfully as Mother Dunch's Buttocks. The unfortunate Mother Dunch was the wife of a less-than-popular local medieval squire.
Day's Lock is the main gauging station for measuring the flow of water in the river. It has another claim to fame too - in 1605 King James I instigated the Oxford-Burcot Commission which built the first locks on the Thames in the 1620s. Burcot is a small village near Days Lock.
Just downstream is Little Wittenham Bridge which spans the river in two sections. The island in the middle in known as Lock House Island as the lock house was built here in 1928.
There is a campsite at Day's Lock at Little Wittenham, Abingdon, OX14 4RB. Telephone: 01865 407768
Did you know?
The World Poohsticks Championships were held each year on the Little Wittenham and Dorchester footbridges next to Day's Lock for 35 years until 2015. The game is described in A.A. Milne's book, The House at Pooh Corner, written in 1928. See the rules for playing Poohsticks.
Telephone: +44 (0)1865 407768
Postcode: OX14 4RB
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Explore the beautiful, relaxing and inspiring
There really is so much to do on the river and nearby, that a day is not long enough. There are plenty of family-friendly places to stay nearby or on the river. Make your base at one of our family friendly hotels and you can discover history or enjoy a spot of camping...
Don’t forget there are endless ideas for adventure on the river. Check out our ideas for Great Family Days Out. The simplest way to explore the river is a rowing boat For a rainy day visit one of the Thames Valley Museums.
Fun on the River Thames doesn't always have to cost you. There are plenty of free ways to have a cheap day out with the kids on the River Thames. Take a stroll, get on your bike, catch a fish or play Pooh Sticks...