Abingdon Abbey Buildings

Visiting the Abingdon Abbey Buildings

Opening times and tours

Explore Abingdon Abbey Buildings during our open season from May to September. To ensure availability, we recommend contacting us in advance for your heritage visit, as our volunteer team operates on a schedule.

Enjoy a self-guided tour using our informative tour leaflet and information paddles in each room, with free entry and donation options invited. For a deeper insight, opt for a guided tour led by our knowledgeable volunteers for a nominal fee.

Tours are offered between 2:00pm and 4:00pm on Sunday, Wednesday, and Thursday afternoons. Depending on your interests, heritage visits typically range from 20 minutes to an hour, catering to diverse historical preferences.

NB: The ‘ruins’ at the Abbey Gardens and Meadow are not part of the Abingdon Abbey Buildings, but a nineteenth-century gothic folly known as ‘Trendell’s Folly’.

Guided Tours for Groups

Every year, Abingdon Abbey Buildings attract diverse groups of all ages and backgrounds from various locations, eager to explore the historic remnants of the abbey. With the assistance of our committed volunteers, our premises host nearly two thousand visitors during our regular Open Days and pre-scheduled appointment tours.

We offer customisable tours ranging from brief 20-minute explorations to in-depth excursions lasting up to two hours. Additionally, tours can encompass additional attractions such as St. Nicolas Church, the Abbey Gardens, and the Cosener’s House Gardens, where two invaluable artefacts of the abbey’s legacy are housed.

Educational tours

Many of our visitors each year are children who are visiting the Abbey Buildings for the first time with their school. In 2019 there were thirteen school visits to the Buildings, and several chose to focus on a particular theme such as ‘The Life of a Monk’ or ‘The Role of the River’. Tours of various lengths from 20 minutes to two hours can be arranged, and can also include St. Nicolas Church, the Abbey Gardens and/or the Cosener’s House Gardens.

We learnt a lot about what Medieval people ate and were surprised to find out that their diet might have been healthier than ours today.

– Students in Years 7/8

As a local educator I feel that the Abbey Buildings are a unique and amazing resource that should be supported to better facilitate educational learning for the children and young people of Abingdon. The buildings, along with their guides, bring history alive and would deepen the understanding and knowledge of the Abbey’s place in Abingdon’s history. Our visit was fun, engaging and memorable.

History may be about the past but learning about history informs our understanding of humanity and is the key to how we need to live now and in the future. 

– Head Teacher, Primary School

Getting here

Car parking at the Abingdon Abbey Buildings is very limited so you are advised to come by bus or park in a public car park.

Location of Abbey Buildings


There are frequent buses to Abingdon from Oxford (bus stop in St Aldate’s). Alight in the High Street, walk back past the Museum, cross Bridge Street, and walk through the Abbey Gateway directly in front of you. Bear right along Abbey Close, and take the second right down Checker Walk. The Buildings are at the end of this cul-de-sac.


A34 southbound: exit at Abingdon North and follow signs to the Town Centre.

A34 northbound: exit at Abingdon South and follow signs to the Town Centre.

If you are coming from the south via the A415 it is best to park before crossing Abingdon Bridge. Walk over the bridge and turn right into Thames Street. At the end of Thames Street turn left up the steps and through the covered pathway. The entrance to the Buildings is on the right.


Unfortunately parts of the buildings are not easy to access at present. There is room for two wheelchairs in the Unicorn Theatre and the Lower Hall is accessible via a ramp. However, all other areas can only be accessed by stairs. One of the main aims of our Enhancement Project is to remedy this situation.


Ken Messer print

We have a small selection of merchandise on sale at the Abbey Buildings, including mugs, tea towels, fridge magnets, and cards and prints of two paintings of the Buildings by local artist Ken Messer, including the one shown here. We also have a selection of books on the Abbey Buildings and on the history of Abingdon-on-Thames.