Leaving aside the treasures to be found in Oxford, that Mecca of museums, there are many intriguing collections to be found near Brightwell. Steam train nostalgia is on offer all the year round at Didcot Railway Centre, http://www.didcotrailwaycentre.org.uk/ while Long Wittenham’s Pendon Museum, open weekend afternoons and bank holidays, has an indoor model village and railway, created entirely by volunteers. http://www.pendonmuseum.com/
Wallingford Museum, open from March to November, is housed on two floors of a medieval oak-beamed building in the town’s High Street. Its permanent displays include a walk through time from the Romans and Saxons to the Civil War, with a miniature re-creation of Wallingford Castle; there is also a Victorian street scene with walk-in shop, pub, workshop and workhouse. http://www.wallingfordmuseum.org.uk/
Visitors to Henley, half an hour by car from Brightwell, can see the River and Rowing Museum http://www.rrm.co.uk/. This tells the story of the world-famous Henley Regatta, which has been held at the town since 1839, and has an extensive collection of rowing objects and images.
National Trust properties in the area include two near Henley: Grey’s Court, with its donkey wheel and maze (http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/greys-court/
), and Nuffield Place, home of William Morris, Lord Nuffield - founder of Morris Motors - open to visitors seven days a week from March – end October (http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/nuffield-place/
). The house is a rare survival of a complete middle-class home of the 1930s. Designed by Oswald Partridge Milne and built in 1914, it is situated at Huntercombe/Nuffield,halfway between Wallingford and Henley on the left-hand side of the A4130.
Towards Reading lies another National Trust property, Basildon Park (http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/basildon-park/
), an impressive Georgian mansion, surrounded by glorious parkland, which was lovingly rescued from ruin by Lord and Lady Iliffe in the mid 1950s.
The house at Stonor Park, owned by the same family for 650 years, is open only from April to September. However, the estate with its herds of deer can be viewed from a public footpath all the year round. http://www.stonor.com/
Oxfordshire County Council’s website aimed at helping visitors and residents explore the county’s attractions.
Pictures and descriptions of some of South Oxfordshire’s most picturesque villages.