Day's Lock and Weir

Day's Lock is situated on the River Thames near Dorchester-on-Thames in Oxfordshire, across from the small village of Little Wittenham. It lies on the Dorchester side of the river, about 4.8 km (3.0 mi) downstream from Clifton Lock and 6.37 km (3.96 mi) upstream from Benson Lock.

The pound lock was built in 1789 by the Thames Navigation Commissioner and the weir runs straight across the river from the other side of the lock island. Day's Lock is the main gauging station for the measurement of the water flow in the River Thames.

Day's Lock can only be reached by boat or on foot, for example from Dorchester or Little Wittenham. However, the surrounding Oxfordshire countryside is beautiful, so the walk to the lock in itself is already worth the visit.

the lock and weir
the lock and weir

Around the lock

There are no facilities or benches at the lock. The World Poohsticks Championships, a fund-raising event for the RNLI, have taken place annually here since 1984. A short way downstream of the lock is Little Wittenham Bridge which spans the river in two sections with an island between.

Beyond the lock

The lock is overlooked from the south by the hills of Wittenham Clumps, with a particularly good view from Round Hill. The clumps are a great place to walk during a visit tot he lock.

On the eastern bank of the river is the historic town of Dorchester with its ancient Abbey. The river then follows a gentle bend round to Clifton Hampden. Just after Clifton Hampden Bridge lies the historic Barley Mow public house, which is mentioned in the book, Three Men in a Boat.

To the south of the lock Little Wittenham Wood provides some relaxing walking, or you can take the Thames Path for a longer walk downstream to the town of Shillingford.

General Information

  • Address

    Little Wittenham
    OX14 4RB

  • Parking

    The lock is a short walk from Little Wittenham where there is some parking near to St Peter's Church. There also are car parks in Dorchester and at Castle Hill, near Wittenham Clumps, but the lock is a little further to walk to.

  • Accessibility

    The walks to and from the lock are not suited to prams or wheelchairs.