Thames Valley Attractions: The Folly Tower

Just east of Faringdon, in the upper Thames Valley, lies the distinctive landmark of Folly Hill, or Faringdon Hill, so-called because of the Folly Tower situated on top. Being neither steep nor high, walking up the hill makes for an easy stroll.

Whilst the woodland is accessible all year round, the tower itself is only open on the 1st and 3rd Sundays from April through to October. Dogs are not allowed in the tower, but there is a tether outside.

Folly Tower from a distance
Folly Tower from a distance


A good starting point for your walk is Stanford Road, Faringdon, from where it is pretty much impossible to miss the tower.

Walking up the hill only takes 10 to 15 minutes, and on a clear day you will be rewarded with some great views, reaching as far as the Vale of White Horse, over the River Thames, and well into Gloucestershire.

The views are even better from the top of the tower, but with little under 30m (100 ft) in height and over 150 stairs to negotiate, it's a bit of a climb. However, if you get the chance to go there on one of the Sunday's it's open, it's well worth the ascent, and there is opportunity to rest in the Belvedere room at the top. Usually you can even borrow binoculars from a volunteer.

There are several benches allowing for a refreshing rest.

General Information

  • Address

    87 London St
    Faringdon, Oxfordshire
    SN7 8AA

  • How to get there

    Satnav: SN7 7AQ

    From junction 15 on the M4 take the A419 towards Swindon and then the A420 towards Oxford. Faringdon is off the road to the north. The Folly Tower is signposted from Faringdon.

  • Parking

    It is recommended to park in Faringdon's Stanford Road, which is a dead end, or in a car park in town where the first 2 hours are free.

  • Accessibility

    The path leading up is somewhat uneven and gravelly, and there are no explicit disabled facilities. For detailed information, please contact the Friends of the Folly via their website.

  • Further Information