Benson is a large Thames-side village at the foot of the Chiltern Hills, and is built on either side of Benson Brook (Ewelme Brook), which enters the Thames at this point. Benson Brook is a chalk stream and flows alongside the road through part of the village, although these days it has now disappeared into culverts.
Benson has a good selection of shops, from beauty shops to a butcher, gift shops and take-aways. Not far away from the village centre is Benson Lock and Weir, a boating marina and café, as well as a local riverside park with a popular paddling pool. St Helen's Church is located in Church Road. A Church of England primary school is located in Oxford Road. Other village services include a GP's practice at the Millstream Surgery, a dentist, two pubs, a part-time post office, as well as many social and sports clubs and associations. See the Links page for useful links to many of these organisations, or below for further details on services and shops.
The village is located about 1 ½ miles north-east of Wallingford, about 13 miles south east of Oxford, and about 8 miles from the M40.
LIVING IN BENSON
Amenities and services available in Benson are listed below in alphabetical order. The list is a general guide, particularly for anyone new to Benson. If you see anything that needs amending or adding, please send your comments to the Council via the Contacts page on this website.
Benson has allotments accessible from Mill Lane and from St Helens Avenue which can be rented from the Parish Council. You can apply for an allotment from the Halls Manager at Benson Parish Hall, Sunnyside, Benson OX10 6LZ, or by calling on 01491 825038
Care and Activities for the Elderly
The Millstream Day Centre is located near the Millstream Surgery (turn down behind the Co-Op Store), and offers meals, companionship. For more details call 01491 834889. They have a voicemail service which can be contacted on 01491 485839. The Community Transport group urgently require relief volunteers to help escorting clients who use the bus. Training is given. If you can help please call the number above. Benson Volunteer Helpline is available for all Parishioners to use. Call 01491 825992 for further information and assistance.
Children's Play Areas
There are play areas for children located at:
• Sunnyside (behind the Parish Hall)
• By Mill Lane allotments, accessed from Mill Lane and from St Helens Avenue
• At the end of Green Close, off Westfield Road
• In the summer months, there is a paddling pool on Rivermead, next to the Waterfront Café
There is one church in the village:
There are churches and places of worship for other denominations and faiths (as well as Church of England) in:
Benson has one cemetery opposite the Parish Church in Church Road, as well as the churchyard around St Helens. Further details are available from the Church of England website at www.achurchnearyou.com, and searching for St Helens, Benson.
The Parish Council office is located at the Parish Hall, Sunnyside, Benson.
The Parish Office is open on Monday to Friday mornings, from 09:30am to 12:30pm.
The Parish Clerk can be contacted in writing at The Parish Hall, Sunnyside, Benson, Oxfordshire OX10 6LZ; by telephoning 01491 825038 within the hours listed above, or by using the Contacts form on this website.
There are many miles of walks on the footpaths and bridleways surrounding the village. Examples can be found in the Chiltern Society Footpath Map No. 10 – Wallingford and Watlington. Benson is not far from The Ridgeway as it passes by Nuffield and Swyncombe. For more details, see the Chiltern Society website - www.chilternsociety.org.uk. The Society maps can also be purchased online on the same website. Free maps showing some walks in the area can also be obtained from Wallingford Tourist Information Office.
ImogenDental provides all types of dental treatments. You can find more details at www.imogendental.co.uk
Millstream Surgery provides general medical support, and NHS doctors and practice nurses. The surgery can be contacted on 01491 838286 or on the internet by accessing the NHS website www.nhs.uk
Benson Library is located in Castle Square, at the top of Church Road and is open:
Monday – 2pm to 6pm / Tuesday – 9am to 12.30pm and 2pm to 5pm / Wednesday – Closed / Thursday - 2pm until 7pm / Saturday – 9.30am to 12.30pm
Benson Library offers Knit ‘n’ Natter sessions on Tuesdays, Computers Buddy Sessions on Fridays, as well as other events. More details can be found www.oxfordshire.gov.uk/cms/content/benson-library
Benson Library can be contacted on 01491 838474. The Library is supported by Friends of Benson Library (FoBL) and are always keen to meet new members and volunteers. More details can be found https://fobl.site/
Parish Hall Located at Sunnyside, on the B4009. The Parish Hall has several rooms, including the main hall, available for rent for events, business meetings and parties. Prices available upon request on 01491 825038, or via the Contacts form on this website
Parish Magazine The Benson Bulletin is circulated to every household in Benson Parish free of charge. Letters, articles and advertising queries can be sent to the Editor at firstname.lastname@example.org. Further details / information can be obtained at www.bensonbulletin.com, or in the magazine itself.
There are four places designated as public parking areas:
• Millstream carpark (behind the Co-Op Stores)
• College Farm (in the village centre)
• Sunnyside Parish Hall (for users of the Parish Hall, Post Office and Sunnyside)
• Adjacent to the public library (for users of the library)
The nearest police station is at Abingdon, and is open from 8am to 10pm daily. Full details of local policing are accessible through the Thames Valley Police website at www.thamesvalley.police.uk and entering Benson or a local post code in the neighbourhood search box. Parishioners can also sign up for e-mail crime alerts and other useful information by accessing www.thamesvalleyalert.co.uk. For all non-emergency enquiries please dial 101. For all emergencies, please dial 999.
Benson Outreach Postal Services are available in the Pavilion, next to the Parish Hall at Sunnyside. The Post Office opening hours are: Tue 09:30 - 12:30 + 13:00 – 16:00; Wed, Thu, Fri 09:30 – 12:30
There are two public telephones in Benson:
Pubs and Places to Eat
There are two pubs, both offering food as well as drinks:
• The Crown, at the junction between Crown Lane, High Street and Old London Road
• The Three Horseshoes, in the Oxford Road (near the school)
There are also the following cafes and takeaways:
• The Village Plaice (fish and chips / pizzas)
• Waterside Café and Bistro (along the River Thames)
• Spice Garden (takeaway Indian food)
Recycling, garden waste and other disposal facilities can be found at Oakley Wood, off the A4130 (east of Crowmarsh Gifford). There is also a clothes bank at the Co-Op Stores in the High Street.
Rubbish collections are the responsibility of South Oxfordshire District Council. You can find more details at http://www.southoxon.gov.uk/services-and-advice/recycling-rubbish-and-waste
Schools and Nurseries
Benson Church of England Primary School is located in Oxford Road, and can be contacted on 01491 202502. More details can be found at http://www.bensoncofeprimary.org.uk/
Other nursery and child care facilities within Benson parish are provided by:
• Scamps of Benson, 10 Churchfield Lane, Benson, at http://www.scampsofbenson.co.uk/ or call on 01491 835047
• The Old Station Nursery, RAF Benson, at http://theoldstationnursery.co.uk/ or call on 01491 577716
The nearest secondary school is located in Wallingford, Oxfordshire.
Shops & Garages
There are several shops and stores in Benson:
• Co-Op Stores, selling general groceries, newspapers and magazines.
• Derry’s Den, selling cards, wrapping paper, toys, presents of all kinds
• Benson Butchers, selling all cuts of meat, prepared sausages, cheeses, preserves, eggs and (on Sat mornings) bread
• Revival, selling hand crafted gifts and painted furniture
• Griffith & Partners, estate agents
• Beauty Works, hair and beauty salon
• Chiltern Produce and Florists, selling fruit, vegetables and flowers
• Lloyds Pharmacy, dispensing chemist
• Chapel Hair Studio, hair and beauty salon
• J V Taylor & Son, Benson Garage, MOT centre and general repairs
• Gurneys Garage (selling petrol and diesel only)
• Marks & Spencer, food outlet
• Benson Sawmills Ltd, selling beams, rough sawn timber, sleepers, logs and fencing
• Crown Lane Garage, MOT and general repairs
• Benson Deli, located behind the Crown pub
• Ugly Apples, selling organic, natural skin care products, crafts and gifts, located in Chapel Lane
There are bus services to:
• Wallingford (Thames Travel) (change here for services to Henley on Thames)
• Oxford (Thames Travel)
• Reading (Thames Travel)
• London (Oxford Tube, via J6 M40)
Larkmead Vets is located at the junction of Old London Road and Brook Street (opposite Crown Lane). They can be contacted on 01491 651 379 or via website wwww.larkmead.co.uk
Village Notice Boards
There are two village notice boards. These are at:
• Parish Hall;
• At Bob’s Corner (outside Lloyds Pharmacy in the village centre);
Council agendas and minutes as well as other important community notices are posted on the notice boards, as well as on this website.
There are both Guide and Scout groups in Benson. The Youth Club meets at the Youth Hall, Oxford Road, Benson.
Contact details as follows: