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Banbury

Towns & Villages

Oxfordshire

Add Banbury to your Itinerary

Statue of the Fine Lady, Banbury

An important centre for wool trading in the 13th Century, Banbury developed into a small industrial hub after the Oxford Canal was opened in 1790.

Today, Banbury is a lively town with a thriving commercial core and you'll find charming streets and historic buildings alongside new developments here - such as the Castle Quay Shopping Centre in the recently regenerated Oxford Canal area.

However for many people the first thing that springs to mind when Banbury is mentioned is “Ride a Cock Horse to Banbury Cross”. In fact, the “fine lady” from that beloved nursery rhyme (some say it was Lady Godiva, some say Elizabeth I) is immortalised as a statue in the town centre. As for the Banbury Cross, the original was destroyed in the late 1500s, but a replacement erected in 1859 still stands today. 

Banbury is a wonderful place for a short break, and the perfect base for exploring the surrounding Oxfordshire countryside.

Things to do in Banbury

  • Float down the Oxford Canal in a colourful narrowboat, stopping off at Tooley's Boat Yard for an ice-cream and to find out about Banbury's industrial history.
  • Tuck into an authentic Banbury Cake – a juicy fruit and pastry delicacy that's rightly famous around the world.
  • Take a day trip to the Oxfordshire Cotswolds and walk through stunning green landscapes (perhaps stopping at a village pub for a spot of lunch).
  • Indulge in a spot of shopping at one of South East England’s top shopping destinations at Bicester Shopping Village, just a short drive south of Banbury.
  • Visit Broughton Castle, a 13th Century manor house fortified by a three acre moat

Find more things to do near Banbury in our guide to Oxfordshire or see what's on in Banbury this weekend with the Oxfordshire events guide.

For more places to visit near Banbury, take a look at surrounding towns and villages in the 'What's Nearby' listings below.

What's Nearby

  1. The Mill Arts Centre

    The Mill Arts Centre is a delightful family-friendly canal-side venue based in a converted heritage...

    0.31 miles away
  2. Broughton Castle


    Broughton Castle is essentially a family home lived in by Lord and Lady Saye and Sele and their...

    2.63 miles away
  3. Walk the Landscape

    Walk the Landscape is a family company, based near Banbury, providing walking holidays and hiking...

    3.7 miles away
  4. Waterfowl Sanctuary & Children's Farm

    You can find the 'ah' factor here, open all year round except Mondays, term time. Children are...

    5.35 miles away
  1. Water Fowl Sanctuary and Children's Farm

    Reception barn, leading to natural environment for hundreds of birds and animals. Oxfordshire...

    5.54 miles away
  2. Farnborough Hall

    National Trust Property.
    Home of the Holbech family since 1684, reconstructed in the early 18th...

    5.6 miles away
  3. College Farm Fishing

    OS GRID REF: SP522342
    College Farm Fishing is a family run and owned fishing lake providing...

    5.8 miles away
  4. Deddington Castle (Site Only)

    Extensive earthworks conceal the remains of a 12th Century castle.
    Open during daylight hours...

    6.05 miles away
  5. A Day in the Country

    Stunning venue set in 250 acres of wooded estate - facilities include a conference suite that is...

    7.02 miles away
  6. Sulgrave Manor


    Sulgrave Manor is a superb example of a modest Manor House and Garden of the time of Shakespeare,...

    7.2 miles away
  7. Hook Norton Brewery

    The brewery tours run throughout the day with an experienced local guide, it finishes with a...

    8.03 miles away
  8. Catanger Llamas

    Try something different - take a Llama to lunch! Discover the beautiful Northamptonshire...

    9.24 miles away
  9. Canons Ashby House

    NATIONAL TRUST PROPERTY
    Elizabethan Manor House, home of the Dryden family. Unaltered since 1710....

    9.78 miles away
  10. Heyford Wharf

    Just 20 minutes from Banbury or Oxford takes you to the idyllic Heyford Wharf with its convenient...

    10.06 miles away
  11. Cotswolds Distillery

    Situated in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty famous for its horticultural heritage and set in...

    10.17 miles away
  12. Fairytale Farm

    Children will love Fairytale Farm just outside Chipping Norton - a sensory and learning wonderland...

    11.1 miles away
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