Dorchester is about 20 minutes drive from Didcot. To get to there, drive along the Abingdon Road towards the village (through Clifton Hampden, Burcot and left into the Dorchester - the sailing club will be on your right). Take a left turn onto the Oxford Road, then the immediate right turn. The park is a little further on. There is space for a couple of cars immediately outside the gate. The car park next door is only for fishermen with permits.
Find this park on the google map I made for you.
My children very much enjoyed this park and we stayed for a good hour. It has equipment for both small and big children.
There are climbing frames for bigger children...
Dorchester is one of my very favourite places to visit. It has everything: free parking, with public toilets located right next door. There is a passage to the river, too. All this is within sight of the Abbey. The High Street has everything you could need for a short visit: a co-op, should you feel the need for an ice-cream break, a pub (with its own parking), a restaurant. Unfortunately the post office is now closed.
We visited the Abbey yesterday and it is magnificent. Entrance is free. It has a children's corner with activities. My daughter decided she liked the look of the colouring page for the story of 'Daniel in the Lions Den'. My son is now so used to these visits to churches he actively points them out and goes looking for the font...brain washing is a subtle thing, haha! I know, I'm a cruel Mum:)
We visited the museum today. Although it is very small this is good - there isn't so much the children get bored. They had a teacher's gown which my daughter enjoyed dressing up in, and a gas mask my son thought was superb, along with an assortment of other artefacts - civil war cannon balls, sculpture from the Abbey, old school desks, Romano - British archaeology (roof tiles - I was excited I could identify what these were from my limited excavation experience of Gatehampton Roman Villa in Goring with the South Oxfordshire Archaeology Group) etc.
Right next door to the museum, in the same building, is the tea room, which also sells cake, scones and tea loaf. Tea: 60p for the first cup, 40p for the second and 20p for the third, and free thereafter. Brilliant should it be raining. Orange and lemon squash is 30p (I think, but certainly inexpensive). It is open Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday 3-5pm (seasonal opening - check the website).
We shall definitely visit again.
Lots of nice stained glass windows
Some very old ones. This one is c.1225 - nearly 800 years old! Amazing.
The museum and the tea room...