8. Turn left. Unfortunately, there is no way of avoiding walking along this stretch of busy main road but at least there is a footpath on the right.
9. Opposite the road sign for Dorchester, turn left on a path signed once more 'Thames Path', to the river. Turn right by the river and continue along the bank.
The Thames has always been a potential invasion route and defensive line. Note the pillbox on the right, one of many built in 1940-1 to hold the line of the Thames against the threatened German invasion.
10. Cross the bridge over the river Thame at the confluence of the two rivers and immediately turn right to follow a path and then a track across ﬁelds towards Dorchester. When the track joins a road, continue ahead in the same direction, soon passing a Catholic church on the right.
11. At a main road cross over into the abbey grounds and the teashop is to the left of the church.
Did you know...
People have lived in this favoured spot for thousands of years. Just to the north west of the town was a Neolithic henge, now destroyed by gravel workings as were a number of Bronze Age barrows. This was a signiﬁcant site in the Iron Age. The Romans built a fort here to control the river and the road from Winchester to Lincoln. When the legions left in the 5th century, the Saxons moved in. The most signiﬁcant event in Dorchester's history occurred in AD 635. A Benedictine monk,
Birinus, was sent by Pope Honorius to convert the West Saxons. He succeeded in his mission and baptised King Cynegils and his court in the Thame while the King of Northumbria looked on. Birinus stayed on as Bishop and Dorchester remained a cathedral city until after the Norman Conquest. In 1072 the bishopric moved to Lincoln and the church was given to the Augustinians in about 1140. Over the next 400 years they built the great abbey church over the Saxon cathedral. There is much of interest to see and it is well worth a visit.