A historic school (founded in 1256) with a stimulating atmosphere, it actively encourages a multi-denominational, multi-cultural feel: school magazines include The Polyglot, which has articles in foreign languages about foreign cultures. Boarders are in the minority – Abingdon is accessible to a big catchment, being just off the A34 Winchester-Oxford road – and the previous head stopped Saturday classes to make life easier. Nearby St Helen and St Katharine girls’ school is handy for sisters and there’s much sixth-form collaboration.
Abingdon, which is academically selective, is big on music and drama (all five members of Radiohead were here, plus actors Toby Jones, Tom Hollander and David Mitchell) with an exceptional film unit, plus, being on the Thames, there’s no excuse for it not to excel in rowing.
- 1,000 boys aged 11–18, day and boarding (plus prep)