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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Chinese artist Cai Guo-Qiang (b. 1957) is best-known for his gunpowder explosion events staged in public spaces worldwide and, in particular, for his firework display for the opening ceremonies of the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. This exhibition focuses on the artist’s smaller-scale works, exploring the presence of Chinese culture in his art through the mediums of painting, drawing, and gunpowder on canvas, paper and silk. Learn about the significance behind the materials Cai Guo-Qiang chooses to work with, as…Find out more »
An exhibition that explores the ways in which humour and fun were used to spur on both troops and the people back at home - before, during and after war. Objects, music, posters, art, and testimonials from Oxfordshire people all illustrate how some of those who lived through times of conflict still managed to put a smile on their faces. Museum open Tuesday-Friday 10am - 5pm, Saturday 11am - 5pm and Sunday 2pm - 5pm. Last admission 4.15pm each day.…Find out more »
Seven Oxfordshire women artists in metal, glass and ceramics show enticing offerings for Christmas and beyond from 16 November to 25 April. Julie Grose and Sophie Thompson work in metal, Harriet Coleridge, Sally Dorrity and Laura Laub in ceramic and Anne Arlidge and Judith Berger in glass. Add an outdoor element to your Christmas gift-giving for long-term delight. 16 November - 25 April Through Summertown Library, South Parade, Oxford OX2 7JNFind out more »