The small market town of Banbury in north Oxforshire is home to the famous Banbury Cross, Banbury Cakes and is even the setting for a well-known nursery rhyme. The town still holds regular weekly markets, and is home to many interesting and unique arts and crafts shops.
The town’s most famous landmark is Banbury Cross, located just slightly west of the town center at the end of High Street. Banbury is also famous for its weekly markets, held every Thursday and Saturday in Market Place to the north-east of the town center, where a Farmer’s Market is also held on the first Friday of every month.
Banbury is easily explored on foot, with perhaps the most interesting walk being from Banbury Cross in the east, along High Street and ending at Market Place, home of the Town Hall. North of Market Place and across the Oxford Canal is Banbury Museum and Tooley’s Boatyard on Spiceball Park Road. The museum illustrates themes from Banbury’s past, including the English Civil War, the manufacture of plush, and the Oxford Canal.
Tea shops and small restaurants line the streets and are a pleasant while you gaze out at the beautiful architecture constructed from glowing Cotswold stone. After your break, visit the more modern Castle Quay Shopping Centre bordering Market Place, where you will be able to pick up any essential items you may need.
A short drive to the south-west is the Gothic masterpiece of Blenheim Palace, home of the 11th Duke of Marlborough and birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill. Excellent road connections also make Banbury a 30-minute journey from numerous other attractions such as Oxford with its historic University, and Stratford-Upon-Avon, the home of William Shakespeare.
Banbury is located close to the M40 motorway, mid-way between London and Birmingham, and north of Oxford. It is served equally well by Heathrow airport to the south-east and the East Midlands Airport which is now a major destination for many European airlines who operate daily flights here. Direct trains depart hourly from London Paddington station.