Banbury and Villages Area Guide
Banbury is a market town on the River Cherwell in northern Oxfordshire, set amongst rolling hills. The town is a bustling commercial and retail centre at the edge of the Cotswolds, with a primarily rural surrounding.
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.