Cherwell the impressive north North Oxfordshire offers rich rewards for its visitors. Centred on the valley of the River Cherwell, with the Oxford Canal alongside, there are landscapes of beautiful countryside with picturesque villages and the market towns of Banbury and Bicester to explore.
Fine Lady Banbury - © CDC
Bicester Village Shopping
Banbury is set amidst the gentle rolling hills in the north of the district. 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 atmospheric lanes and streets of the Old Town and the Castle Quay shopping mall with the 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. Bicester lies just 12 miles northeast of Oxford. At the heart of Bicester is a historic market town with buildings of old stone and the delightful gardens of Garth Park which host a summer programme of music events. On the town’s edge is Bicester Village – the enormously popular luxury brand retail outlet with more than 130 boutiques, and served directly by a railway station with trains from London Marylebone taking only 46 minutes. The district has a wealth of beautiful villages to enjoy. The uplands northwest of Banbury are known as ‘ironstone country’, with pretty villages built of the richly coloured local Hornton ironstone, welcoming pubs, and interesting walking and cycling routes. Well worth a visit is the moated manor house of Broughton Castle, built of Hornton stone in the 14th century, and used as a film setting 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 17th century Upton House, a National Trust property famous for its art collection and 1930s style gardens. Further south, a few miles off the Banbury to Chipping Norton road, there is brewing heritage to discover in the village of Hook Norton, where you can enjoy a tour of the Hook Norton brewery, a wonderful example of a Victorian tower brewery which is still thriving today and supplying many local pubs. There are dray horses, a museum, and a visitors’ centre.
20 | Experience Oxfordshire 2017 Oxfordshire Visitor Guide
From the ancient University of Oxford to the rolling hills of the Cotswolds, there is so much rich history and culture for you to explore. W...