Wallingford Castle Gardens And Meadows

kids sat in window of castle ruin

We explored Wallingford Castle Gardens and Castle Meadows properly for the first time this week. We ended up doing this in 2 separate trips. The first time we took the dog and had a lovely time walking round and exploring the meadow. We went to venture into the gardens next door only to discover dogs aren’t allowed. Epic fail. So today we went back to explore the Castle Gardens. Be warned, it is super pretty so I’m going to spam you with photos in this post!

Wallingford Castle is believed to have been built around 1067 by order of William The Conqueror. It is brimming with history. You can read all about it on the information board as you walk through the entrance gate. It’s free to enter the gardens and meadows.

Wallingford Castle information board

There are still some ruins of the castle standing.

Wallingford Castle ruins

You can also see one of the towers and where the wall stands. It’s now covered in grass and is a great place for the kids to climb up and down.

kids running up the castle wall mound

The area as you walk in the gate has lots of benches to sit on and is a really popular spot for picnics and kids to run around. There are no dogs and vehicles of any kind so its great to let them run free.

Wallingford Castle Gardens

Personally I prefer the area on the top of the mound. This is accessible with pushchairs via a slope over on the far side (next to the meadows). There are lovely trees to sit in the shade, a beautiful wildflower meadow and more lovely ruins.

We had a picnic under the shade of a tree with the beautiful ruins as a backdrop. It was lovely! The kids had great fun playing hide and seek in this area too.

Asa sat on picnic blanket with castle ruins in the background
Asa stood in castle ruin doorway

As well as the ruins of Wallingford Castle there is also a wooden bridge with a large iron gate. This was padlocked shut on our visit today but on a visit last year the gate was open. It certainly had the kids imaginations running wild. Apparently its where all the ghosts and ghouls live!

iron gate on bridge

The Castle Meadows next door also has some of the castle tower ruins left and an information board with a map of how the castle would have originally looked.

Castle Meadows map

There are cows grazing in the meadow and dogs are allowed in there too so just be aware of this. There are lots of slopes to run up and down.

We found some fallen trees which were great for climbing and balancing on too.

Again it’s a lovely place to walk round with lots of lovely views. It looked like some of the pathways led down to the river too.

tall trees in meadow

We came across a lovely pond which had a fence round it but there was a gate for you to access it if you wish. It’s great it has a fence round to keep dogs and kids safe. It certainly made my life a lot easier with 4 kids and a dog to watch over!

nature pond surrounded by trees

The meadows are brimming with wildlife. We spotted loads of butterflies, ladybirds, bees and even found a female stag beetle!!

The Verdict

Wallingford Castle Gardens and Meadows are a beautiful area to explore for all ages. You can pop in for a quick walk or spend all day just relaxing and letting the kids play there. I found it easily accessible with a pushchair and saw lots of others with pushchairs too. There are no toilets or facilities but the town centre is literally just up the street.

Facilities Checklist

  • Toilets / Disabled Toilet None. Town centre nearby.
  • Pushchair / Wheelchair Friendly Yes (all grass terrain)
  • Disabled Access Blue badge parking bays near entrance.
  • Dog Friendly Meadows yes. Gardens no.
  • Refreshments available None. Town centre and George Hotel very nearby
  • Car Park Yes a number of parking bays on Castle Street. £1.70 for up to 8 hours. Some free parking further along Castle Street down the track leading to the meadows (it is literally a dirt track).
  • Shop No. Town centre nearby.
  • Baby facilities None.

Address: Castle Street, Wallingford, Oxfordshire, OX10 8DL

Price Band: FREE

Website: https://www.wallingford.co.uk/visitors/places-to-visit/castle-gardens—meadow

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