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Didcot

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Didcot is a town in South Oxfordshire, England

Understand

North of the Goring Gap and south of Oxford, Oxfordshire opens out into a broad plain, overlooked from the south and east by the Berkshire Downs and the Chiltern Hills. In the midst of this plain, Didcot stands out because of its huge coal-fired electricity generating plant, which dominates the skyline.

Didcot was founded because it lies at the point where the Great Western Railway's line north to Oxford and Birmingham branches off from the main line from London to Bristol and Cardiff. Since then a large military depot, now replaced by a business park, and the power station, have added to the economy.

If the above makes you think that Didcot sounds like an inappropriate destination for a tourist, you would probably be right. However, if you are a rail enthusiast, you may think differently as Didcot is the home of the Didcot Rail Centre (see 'See' below). And if you need to stay in Didcot because of business or personal commitments, don't despair, there are plenty of interesting places nearby (see 'Get out' below).

Get in

By car

Didcot is 20 mi (32 km) north-west of Reading on the A4074/A4130 and 14 mi (23 km) south of Oxford on the A34/A4130.

By train

  • 1 Railway Station, Station Rd, Didcot, OX11 7NR. On the main lines from London and Reading to BristolCardiffOxford and Birmingham. From London, travel from London Paddington Station; there are several fast trains an hour taking some 45 minutes for the journey. From Reading there are several trains an hour taking around 20 minutes for the journey. Train times (from any station) can be found on the National Rail Planner or by calling +44 8457 484950 from anywhere in the UK. Cheap Advance rail tickets are not available to/from Didcot, but when coming from London it is possible to buy Advance ticket to Oxford or Swindon through Didcot. When buying such ticket on the National Rail website you can open the list of calling points and check if Didcot is there.

By air

If arriving by plane, see the Reading article, and then travel on from Reading.

By bicycle

  • The town lies on National Cycle Route 5 running from Reading to Hollyhead.
  • The town lies at the E end of National Cycle Route 544 that connects the town to Wantage
  • The Hanson Way cycle route runs from Abingdon (15 mi (24 km)) and on to Oxford (a further 9 mi (14 km)) to the N (see Sustrans leaflet for route details).

On foot

The Ridgeway long distance path (running 87 mi (140 km) from near Avebury to Ivinghoe Beacon) passes only 4 mi (6.4 km) S of the town.

Get around

All locations in and around the town are walkable or drivable.

See

  • Didcot Railway Centre, OX11 7NJ, ☏ +44 1235 817200, ✉ info@didcotrailwaycentre.org.uk. Sa Su 10AM-4PM, and Jun-Aug: M 10AM-4PM. An old rail depot adjacent to the rail station. Its collection includes the largest number of Great Western Railway steam locomotives in captivity, together with rolling stock, track and lineside equipment from the Great Western Railway. Much of the stock is in running condition, and the center has two rather short running lines on which it is regularly exercised. There is also a demonstration track of Brunel's original 7 ft (2.1 m) broad gauge. £4-8 (adult); £3.50-6.50 (senior); £3-6.50 (child); lower price applies if no steam trains operational.
  • 2 Halk Walk (Falconry Demonstrations and Experiences), Sands Lane, South Morton, ☏ +44 1235 811912, ✉ hawkwalk_enquiries@hawkwalk.org.

Do

  • 1 Cornerstone Arts Centre, 25 Station Rd, Didcot, OX11 7NE, ☏ +44 1235 515144, ✉ cornerstone@southoxon.gov.uk. Tu-Sa 10AM-6PM; Su 11AM-16PM.
  • 2 Cineworld Cinema, 27 Station Rd, Didcot, OX11 7NE, ☏ +44 871 200 2000 (premium).
  • 3 Didcot Wave Swimming Pool, Newlands Ave, Didcot, OX11 8NX, ☏ +44 1235 819888. M-Th 5AM-9PM; F 5AM-10PM; Sa 6AM-6PM; Su 6AM-8PM. Gym, swimming pools, café
  • 4 Didcot Leisure Centre, Mereland Rd, Didcot, OX11 8AY, ☏ +44 1235 811250. M-F 8AM-9:30PM; Sa 8AM-5PM; Su 8AM-9:30PM. Sports hall, squash courts, studio, cycle studio, bar, function room.

Buy

  • 1 Orchard Shopping Centre, 20 Station Rd, Didcot, OX11 7LL, ☏ +44 1235 519014. More than 30 stores including Argos, Sainsbury’s, Next, cafés, Robert Dyas and Boswells coffee shop, a restaurant, entertainment centre and cinema. 500-space car park with free parking for 2 hours.
  • 2 Thames Valley Farmers' Market, he Orchard Centre, Didcot, OX11 7LL, ☏ +44 7818 215623 (mobile), ✉ cuthbert71@icloud.com. 2nd Saturday of the month, 8:30AM-1:30PM. Monthly Farmers' Market

Supermarkets

  • 3 Sainsbury's Local (Convenience Store), 53 Wantage Rd, Didcot, OX11 0BS, ☏ +44 1235 706630. Daily 7AM-11PM. ATMs
  • 4 Sainsbury's (Superstore/Supermarket), Central Drive, Didcot, OX11 7ND, ☏ +44 1235 814159. M-F 7AM-11PM; Sa 7AM-10PM; Su 10AM-4PM. ATMs. Petrol station (different hours).

Cyclists

  • 5 Mountain Mania Cycles, 62 Wantage Rd, Didcot, OX11 0BY=, ☏ +44 1235 759366, ✉ roadroom@mountainmaniacycles.co.uk. Bikes, accessories & workshop.

Eat

  • 1 Prezzo (Italian Restaurant & Take-away), 8 Market Place, Didcot, OX11 7LE, ☏ +44 1235 511271. M-Sa noon-11PM; Su noon-10:30PM.
  • 2 Wildwook (Pizza Pasta Grill), 19 The Orchard Centre, 8 Station Rd, Didcot, OX11 7LL, ☏ +44 1235 519968, ✉ didcot@wildwoodrestaurants.co.uk. M-Sa noon-11PM; Su noon-10:30PM. Free Wi-Fi.
  • 3 Little India (Indian Restaurant & Take-away), 218 Broadway, Didcot, OX118JR, ☏ +44 1235 510993, ✉ bookings@little-india-didcot.co.uk.
  • 4 SunKoshi (Nepalese & Indian Restaurant), 226a Broadway, Didcot, OX11 8RS, ☏ +44 1235 812796, ✉ raryal@hotmail.com. Su-Th noon-2:30PM & 6PM-11PM; F Sa noon-2:30PM & 6PM-11:30PM.

Drink

  • 1 Broadways (Pub & Food), 130 Broadway, Didcot, OX11 8RG, ☏ +44 1235 814924. Pub: M-W 10AM-11PM; Th 10AM-1AM; F Sa 10AM-3AM; Food M-Th 11AM-4PM; F Sa 10AM-4PM; Su 11:30AM-4PM.
  • 2 Ladygrove (Pub), Cow Lane, Didcot, OX11 7SZ, ☏ +44 1235 250162, ✉ ladygrove.didcot@marstons.co.uk. M-Th 11AM-11PM; F Sa 11AM-midnight; Su 11AM-11:30PM.
  • 3 The Royal Oak (Pub & Food), 118 Park Rd, Didcot OX11 8QR, ☏ +44 1235 815992. Free Wi-Fi.
  • 4 Prince of Wales (Pub & Food), 113 Station Rd, Didcot OX11 7NN, ☏ +44 1235 511380, ✉ hello@princeofwales-didcot.co.uk. M-Th 10AM-11PM; F Sa 10AM-midnight; Su 10AM-11PM.
  • 5 Wheatsheaf (Pub & Food), Wantage Rd, Didcot OX11 0BS, ☏ +44 1253 519114. M-Th 9:30AM-11PM F Sa 9:30AM-1AM; Su 10AM-11PM.

There is a wide range of take-aways around the town.

Sleep

  • 1 Premier Inn, Interchange, Milton, OX14 4TX, ☏ +44 871 527 8868 (premium). Free on-site parking. Free Wi-Fi. from £45.
  • 2 The House on the Corner (B&B), 2C Hagbourne Rd, Didcot OX11 8DH, ☏ +44 1235 812806.
  • 3 Southern Wood (B&B), 70 Park Rd, Didcot OX11 8QP, ☏ +44 1235 212202, ✉ info@bandbdidcot.co.uk. Free Wi-Fi. Off-road parking. Single from £45; Double from £70.
  • 4 Prospect House (B&B), Upton OX11 9HU, ☏ +44 1235 850268. Outdoor heated pool (Jun-Sept). Free Wi-Fi. Single £50; Double £75 (per night).
  • 5 Kingswell (Hotel & Restaurant), Reading Rd, Harwell OX11 0LZ, ☏ +44 1235 833043, ✉ reservations@kingswell-hotel.com.
  • 6 Milton Hill House (Hotel & Restaurant), SteventonAbingdon OX13 6AF, ☏ +441235 831 474, ✉ enquiries@miltonoxfordshire.co.uk. Free Wi-Fi. In 22 acres of parkland.

Connect

  • 1 Post Office, 188 The Broadway, Didcot, OX11 8RN. M-F 9AM-5:30PM; Sa 9AM-1PM.

Go next

  • For architecture, history and culture, visit Oxford which is 14 miles to the north by car or 15 minutes away by train.
  • For history of the Great Western Railway, including the STEAM Museum specialising in that subject and the former workshop buildings, visit Swindon, 15 minutes by train.
  • For shopping and nightlife, visit Reading which is 20 miles to the south-east by car or 20 minutes by train.
  • For attractive countryside and pretty riverside villages, visit Goring and Streatley, which are 9 miles south-east by car or 11 minutes by train.
  • And London is only 45 minutes away by fast train. If going to London for the day, buy a one-day Travelcard from Didcot Station; this covers the rail journey together with unlimited travel on the tube and buses whilst in London.




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