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Broughton Castle

Hook Norton Brewery

Exploring the Oxford Canal also comes highly recommended. Built in the late 18th century to carry commercial barges between Coventry and Oxford, its route in the main follows the scenic course of the River Cherwell. You can hire narrow boats at either Lower Heyford or Thrupp, or enjoy one of the towpath walks. The stretch of the canal between Banbury and Oxford is also accessible by train, with stations at Banbury, Heyford, Tackley and Oxford. Rousham House, a Jacobean country house with gardens landscaped by William Kent in the early 18th century, is set in woodlands close to Lower Heyford. The district has a rich tradition of festivals and events, ranging from Bicester’s summer music events to Banbury’s Canal Day, Folk Festival and Old Town Parties. North of Banbury, the canalside village of Cropredy hosts the Fairport Cropredy Convention in August each year. This village is famous too for its place in Civil War history, with the 1644 Battle of Cropredy Bridge, and there is a battlefield walk around the village. Another interesting waterside village with Civil War history is Islip, set on the River Ray just before it joins the River Cherwell, and the birthplace of King Edward the Confessor.

Canal at Cropredy - credit CDC

Six miles south of Banbury, the village of Deddington has a well-established Antiques Centre and a range of independent shops clustered around an impressive market place. The village is known for its excellent Farmers’ Market which is normally held on the last Thursday of each month, with over 40 stalls. In July each year Deddington also hosts a four day festival with a variety of cultural and community events. Just five miles north of Oxford, Kidlington claims to be the largest village in the country. Historic buildings of grey stone characterise its core and there is a lively shopping centre with weekly markets as well as pubs, restaurants and cafes. A central location with excellent transport links, North Oxfordshire is not only a rewarding destination in its own right, but also an ideal touring centre. A wide range of overnight accommodation provides ease of access to many world famous destinations, including Silverstone Circuit, Blenheim Palace, Oxford, Warwick Castle, Stratford-uponAvon, and the Cotswolds.

Banbury Tourist Information Centre (entrance within Castle Quay) Banbury Museum Spiceball Park Road Banbury OX16 2PA 01295 753 752

Bicester Visitor Centre Bicester Village Outlet Shopping Centre Pingle Drive Bicester OX26 6WD 01869 366 266

Experience Oxfordshire 2017 Oxfordshire Visitor Guide | 21

Oxfordshire Visitor Guide 2017  

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...

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