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).
  • Head just a short way (9 miles) out of the town and make a visit to Hook Norton Brewery and enjoy a tour around the Victorian Tower Brewery.
  • Visit Broughton Castle, a 13th Century manor house fortified by a three acre moat
  • 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.

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.

Book Tickets


Map & Directions

Road Directions

Banbury is about 75 miles north west of London, is easily accessible via the major motorway network of the M40 and is well served by public transport.

What's Nearby

  1. The Mill Arts Centre

    The Mill Arts Centre is a delightful family-friendly canal-side venue based in a…

    0.31 miles away
  2. Broughton Castle

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

    2.63 miles away
  3. College Farm Fishing

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

    5.8 miles away
  1. Deddington Castle (Site Only)

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

    6.05 miles away
  2. A Day in the Country

    Stunning venue set in 250 acres of wooded estate - facilities include a conference suite…

    7.02 miles away
  3. Sulgrave Manor

    Sulgrave Manor is a superb example of a modest Manor House and Garden of the time of…

    7.2 miles away
  4. Hook Norton Brewery

    Hook Norton is one of only 32 family owned breweries and is the finest example of a…

    8.03 miles away
  5. Catanger Llamas

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

    9.24 miles away
  6. Canons Ashby House

    Elizabethan Manor House, home of the Dryden family. Unaltered…

    9.78 miles away
  7. Heyford Wharf

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

    10.06 miles away
  8. Cotswolds Distillery

    Situated in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty famous for its horticultural heritage…

    10.17 miles away
  9. Fairytale Farm

    Mixing classic fairy tales, animals and adventure play, children will love Fairytale Farm…

    11.1 miles away
  10. Silverstone

    The home of British Motor Racing, Silverstone is the venue for the British Formula 1…

    13.43 miles away
  11. Charlbury Museum

    Charlbury Museum is an independent museum, run entirely by volunteers. Its five rooms are…

    14.49 miles away
  12. Blenheim Palace

    Birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill and home to the Duke of Marlborough, Blenheim Palace,…

    14.71 miles away
  13. Soldiers of Oxfordshire Museum

    A museum which tells the personal lives of generations of men and women experienced…

    14.89 miles away
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