What's On in the Banbury Area?
There's lots to see & do around Banbury - here are just a few links to help you make the most of your visit to Banbury and the surrounding area:
In the village of Broughton, 2 miles south-west of Banbury, you can find this magnificent medieval manor house which dates back to 1300. The house passed to the Fiennes (Saye and Sele) family in 1451 and remains with the family to this day. The house has featured in films, including The Madness of King George (1994) and Shakespeare in Love (1998). With lovely gardens, the house is well worth a visit. Find opening times and further information on their website, http://www.broughtoncastle.com/.
This National Trust property, 7 miles to the north-west of Banbury, houses one of the Trust's most important art collections, including works by old masters such as Joshua Reynolds, Thomas Gainsborough, William Hogarth, George Stubbs, and more. Upton also has a fine porcelain collection, an exhibition of Shell advertising posters, and attractive gardens. Click here for the National Trust website. Other Trust properties nearby include Farnborough Hall and Canons Ashby House.
North Oxfordshire Tourism
The official website for for Banbury, Bicester and surrounding North Oxfordshire countryside can be found here.
Banbury Canalside Folk Festival
An annual festival, comprising a ful weekend of concerts, ceilidhs, morris dancing, workshops, folk theatre, French dance, canalside events, singing and music and now incorporating the Banbury Hobby Horse Festival - visit the folk festival website here.
Banbury Canal Day
Annual event held by the canal in Banbury town centre. Many stalls including, crafts, charities and other merchandise. Entertainment includes local morris dancing groups. Click here for the official website.
The Mill Arts Centre, Banbury
Art exhibitions, music, theatre, dance. See their website and programme of events here.
200-year-old boatyard and forge, situated by the canal and Banbury Museum, and mentioned in Tom Rolt's well-known first book, Narrow Boat (published in 1944). You can visit the boatyard, take a trip on Rosamund the Fair, or take a course in blacksmithing, painting roses and castles, inland waterways navigation, and more - http://www.tooleysboatyard.co.uk/.
Brackley Antiques Cellar
The biggest antiques centre in the local area can be found in the small market town of Brackley, just 10 miles east of Banbury on the edge of Northamptonshire. You'll find the centre underneath Waitrose in the middle of town. Over 140 dealers, a nice cafe and open 7 days a week. Their telephone number is 01280 841841 and you can find them on facebook.
Hook Norton Brewery
9 miles south-west of Banbury lies the pretty village of Hook Norton, home to this 150-year-old independent brewery. Visitors centre, shop and museum. Brewery tours available. Look out for the shire horses, still at work pulling drays for deliveries in the local area - http://www.hooknortonbrewery.co.uk/. Hooky ales can be found in many of Banbury's pubs, including the historic Reindeer Inn on Parsons street. We can recommend a visit to the Reindeer, especially to see the Globe Room there which was regularly used by Oliver Cromwell during the English Civil War.
Banbury is situated just to the north-eastern edge of The Cotswolds, the largest Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in England & Wales. The very tip of The Cotswolds is just a few miles away at Edgehill, site of the famous battle of the English Civil War (23rd October,1642). For a good website on the Oxfordshire Cotswolds, click here.
The Rollright Stones
11 miles south-west of Banbury, near Chipping Norton, is the ancient stone circle, The Rollright Stones. The circle dates to approx. 2500-2000 B.C. and measures 104 ft. across, with 77 stones. The circle is situated on a prehistoric trackway at the edge of a ridge, and whilst you are there you can also visit the remains of a 5000-year-old burial chamber, known as The Whispering Knights and a tall monolith of unknown date, just across the road from the stone circle. The Rollright Trust has a website you can visit here.