Banbury is a market town on the River Cherwell in northern Oxfordshire.
The town is a bustling commercial and retail centre at the edge of the Cotswolds, with a primarily rural surrounding.
Banbury is set amidst the gentle rolling hills in the north of the district. An impressive bronze statue of the “Fine Lady” from the famous “Ride a cock horse to Banbury Cross” rhyme is set close to the Banbury Cross at the meeting point of the roads from Oxford, Warwick and Shipston-on-Stour. Other points of interest include the Market Place, the St Mary’s parish church, the atmospheric lanes and streets of the Old Town and the Castle Quay shopping mall with the town’s Museum set directly beside the Oxford Canal. The Museum connects to the 18th century Tooley’s Boatyard, where you can take a guided tour of the narrow boat workshop and dry-dock.
A visit to Banbury should also include a visit to the Reindeer Inn on Parson Street, which played an important role in the English Civil War. In the Globe Room, situated in the Reindeer Inn, Oliver Cromwell has supposedly planned the Battle of Edge Hill. Foodies should also try a piece of the delicious ‘Banbury Cake’, a special fruit and pastry cake.
In the surrounding area, you will also find the moated manor house of Broughton Castle, built of Hornton stone in the 14th century, and used as a film set for both “Shakespeare in Love” and “The Madness of King George”. There is more history to discover at nearby Edgehill, the scene of the first Civil War battle of 1642, and at the 17th century Upton House, a National Trust property famous for its art collection and 1930s style gardens.
Banbury is located 21 miles northwest of Oxford.
CrossCountry offers a regular train service from Oxford Railway station to Banbury station.
Additionally, National Express operates a coach bus service between Oxford and Banbury, Bridge Street.
Where is Banbury?
How to get to Banbury
S4: Oxford to Banbury
The S4 service connects Oxford and Banbury via Summertown, Kidlington, Shipton- on-Cherwell, Tackley, Steeple Aston, Deddington, West Adderbury, Twyford, Calthorpe and Banbury. Buses depart every 30 minutes.More info
Bus route 488 goes from Banbury to Chipping Norton, via Poets Corner, Bloxham, Milcombe, Hook Norton, Great Rollright and Over Norton. Buses depart hourly.More info
Things to do in Banbury
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For centuries, artists and scientists have wrestled with how to convey three-dimensional objects on the page. Using some of the Bodleian Libraries’ finest books, manuscripts, prints and drawings, Thinking 3D tells the story of the development of three-dimensional communication over the last 500 years.Find out more »
Every map tells a story. Talking Maps is a celebration of maps and what they tell us about the places they depict and the people that make and use them. Drawing on the Bodleian's unparalleled collection of more than 1.5 million maps, this exhibition brings together an extraordinary selection of ancient, pre-modern and contemporary maps from a range of cultures and in a variety of formats as well as showcasing fascinating imaginary, fictional and war maps.Find out more »
Celebrating champion jockey Lester Piggott who was the first baby born in the maternity unit at Wantage Hospital in 1935. Life size bronze statue of Lester Piggott was unveiled by Lester himself on 18th August in the museum garden. Check out the museum Facebook page @valeanddownlandmuseum to see a video from the unveiling. 19th August – 21st December Vale and Downland Museum.Find out more »