Ride a cock-horse to Banbury Cross,
To see a fine lady upon a white horse;
Rings on her fingers and bells on her toes,
And she shall have music wherever she goes.
— Traditional British nursery rhyme
Banbury is a market town in the Cherwell district of Oxfordshire. It is known for the nursery rhyme "Ride-a-cock-horse" (shown on the right) and Banbury cakes. The local football team is Banbury United and they play at the Spencer stadium.
Due to the building of the M40 motorway, Banbury is now a town with good industry. It is now one of the major commuter towns for London, Oxford, Solihull and Birmingham. The M40 also provides local residents access to the Midlands and the southeast.
Hennef Way (A422) was upgraded to a dual carriageway easing traffic on the heavily congested road and providing better links to north Banbury and the town centre from the M40.
Banbury has an inter-urban bus service provided by Stagecoach Group which feeds the outlying villages and provides transport to places such as Oxford, Chipping Norton and Brackley.
- Wikivoyage has a guide to Rail travel in Great Britain.
1 Banbury station has rail services run by Chiltern Railways to London Marylebone, Warwick, Kidderminster and Birmingham Moor Street / Snow Hill via the non-electrified Chiltern Main Line.
It also has direct services run by First Great Western to Oxford, Reading and London Paddington.
Services to other parts of the country are provided by CrossCountry via Birmingham New Street, to Cardiff, Bristol, Gloucester, Leicester, Stansted, as well as direct services to other cities across England and Scotland.
In addition to longer distance services, Stagecoach also operate local bus services within the town, whose route numbers begin with the letter "B". Most single journeys cost £2.20 with a day ticket available for £3.40 covering just Banbury (more expensive options cover rural areas as well).
There are also a number of taxi companies who operate in the town.
- Castle Quay Car Park. 7AM-8PM. An inexpensive car park that is part of the Castle Quay Shopping Centre. Valeting is also offered. Parking can be paid via cash or card. Under 1 hour (and all-day on Sundays and Bank Holidays): £1, 1-2 hours: £1.70, 2-3 hours: £2.20, 3-4 hours: £2.80, 4-5 hours: £4, Over 5 hours: £6.50.
- 1 Banbury Cross. A memorial erected in 1859 at the centre of the town of Banbury, Oxfordshire, to commemorate the marriage of Victoria, Princess Royal (eldest child of Queen Victoria) to Prince Frederick of Prussia.
- The Canal. Apparently the oldest dry dock in Britain.
- 2 Banbury Museum, Spiceball Park Rd, OX16 2PQ, ☏ +44 1295 753752. M-Sa 10AM-5PM; Su closed. Free entrance, but donations recommended.
- 3 Upton House and Gardens, OX15 6HT (7 miles north east of Banbury), ☏ +44 1295 670266, firstname.lastname@example.org.
- 4 Broughton Castle.
- 1 Banbury United, Spencer Stadium, OX16 5AB, ☏ +44 1295 263354.
- 2 Canal Boat-trips, Tooley’s, Banbury Museum, Spiceball Park Road, OX16 2PQ, ☏ +44 1295 272917. Tooley's Boatyard does a variety of narrowboat services and also offers boat trips down the canal.
- 3 MFA Bowl (formerly Lakeside Bowling), Cherwell Centre, George St, OX16 5BH, ☏ +44 843 290 8938. Has a restaurant and an amusement arcade.
- 4 Odeon Cinema, Horsefair, OX16 0AH, ☏ +44 333 006 7777. The town's small cinema.
- 5 Spiceball Leisure Centre, Cherwell Drive, OX16 2BW, ☏ +44 1295 257 522. A leisure centre with a large swimming pool and gym. It also offers activities such as roller disco.
- 6 Spiceball Park. The town's park. Has amenities such as a large playground and ramps for skateboarding or BMX.
- 1 Banbury Charter Market, Market Pl, OX16 5LG. Th Sa 9AM-4:30PM. Has 30 different stalls selling fruit and vegetables, clothing and shoes, tools, greeting cards and garden plants. Available every Thursday and Saturday.
Shopping centres and retail parks
- 2 Castle Quay Shopping Centre, Castle St, OX16 5UN, ☏ +44 1295 256296. M-Sa 8:30AM-6PM (M&S opens 8AM), Su 10:30AM-4:30PM. A large shopping centre with most of your big name shops somewhere. Has a large Debenham's and M&S, along with a GAME, Waterstone's, H&M, Accessorize, etc.
- 3 Banbury Cross Retail Park, Lockheed Cl, OX16 1LX. A retail park with an Argos, Currys/PC World, Pets at Home, DFS, Costa Coffee and Tesco's.
- 4 Banbury Gateway Shopping Park, Acorn Way, OX16 3ER. M-Sa 9AM-8PM, Su 10:30AM-5PM. Newer retail park with a large M&S, a 24-hour McDonald's, Poundland, Primark, Fat Face, New Look, Costa Coffee, Starbucks and other chain stores.
Three of the big four supermarkets:
- 5 Tesco Extra, Lockheed Cl, OX16 1LX, ☏ +44 345 677 9030. M-F 24 hour; Sa 6AM-midnight; Su 10AM-4PM. Banbury's largest Tesco branch is part of the Banbury Cross Retail Park. It has a cafe, clothing section and a petrol station nearby.
- 6 Tesco Express, 23 High St, OX16 5EG, ☏ +44 345 674 6354. 6AM-11PM.
- 7 Tesco Express, 1-2 Blacklock House, Middleton Rd, OX16 3QT, ☏ +44 345 671 9485. 6AM-11PM.
- 8 Sainsbury's, Oxford Rd, OX16 9XA, ☏ +44 1295 275130. Large branch with a cafe, petrol station, pharmacy and clothing.
- 9 Morrison's, Swan Cl Rd, OX16 5AQ, ☏ +44 1295 276170. Large branch with a cafe, petrol station and a garden centre.
The town's own delicacy are the Banbury cakes – small, flat pastry cakes filled with currants, zest and spices.
- 1 The Granary, 6 Butchers Row, OX16 5JH, ☏ +44 1295 250628. Cafe that does Banbury cakes and other British teatime classics.
- 2 Chen's Cottage, 45 High St, OX16 5LA, ☏ +44 1295 264675.
Thursday nights in Banbury are the well-known "Student Night", but have declined in popularity. Banbury is still busy with a slightly older crowd on a Friday, and is always generally busy on a Saturday.
- 1 Zinc, 49-50 High Street, OX16 5LA (at The Exchange), ☏ +44 1295 275057.
- Fever, 49-50 High St, OX16 5LA, ☏ +44 1295 275057.
- Sound Exchange (Bliss). Renovations left the club half its former size. Still relatively busy on weekends.
- Sound Exchange (Toko). Often quiet, past its glory days.
Pubs and bars
Many of the town's recommended pubs and bars are found on Parson's Street.
- 2 The Wine Vaults, 5-6 Parson's St, OX16 5LW, ☏ +44 1295 261281, email@example.com. Wine bar with friendly staff, relaxed atmosphere, great prices.
- 3 Also Known As (AKA), 54-56 Parson's St, OX16 5NB. A "trendy" bar, live music on a Friday.
- 4 Ye Olde Reindeer Inn (The Reindeer), 47 Parson's St, OX16 5NA, ☏ +44 1295 270972. Live music on Saturdays.
- 5 The Old Auctioneer, 44 Parson's St, OX16 5NA, ☏ +44 1295 270492. Pub that was an auction house. Apparently the town's third oldest building.
- 6 The Exchange, 49–50 High Street, OX16 5LA, ☏ +44 1295 259035. Wetherspoons pub.
- The Bar With No Name- No one is ever in this bar.
- Wetherspoons Sound Exchange. Underneath 2 of Banbury's clubs, good location.
- 1 Hanwell House Bed & Breakfast, 2 Lapsley Drive, OX16 1EJ, ☏ +44 1295 263001, firstname.lastname@example.org. Check-in: 3PM (early check-in by arrangement), check-out: 10:30AM (late check-out by arrangement). This bed and breakfast is a modern three-storey home, boasting character and charm, quietly situated on the Hanwell Fields estate just off the Southam Road. Offering en-suite accommodation in a luxurious and comfortable environment. Hanwell House bed & breakfast is privately-owned and operated with a beautiful landscaped garden, a fishpond and private parking for guests. All rooms have private facilities with tea, coffee and hot chocolate facilities, bottled water, flat screen televisions with Freeview and DVD player, clock radios, hairdryers and quality toiletries. A small library of DVDs is also available for guests. from £49 single, £59 double inc breakfast.
- 2 Premier Inn (M40, J11), Ermont Way, OX16 4AE, ☏ +44 871 527 9458.
Map of places with Wikivoyage articles nearby
- Oxford, the heart of the county and the home of the oldest English-speaking university
- Bicester, market town, most well known for its Bicester Village outlet
- Chipping Norton, an ancient market town
- Woodstock, home of Blenheim Palace, 'the English Versailles' and the birthplace of Churchill
- Stratford-upon-Avon, the home of Shakespeare.
|Routes through Banbury|
|Birmingham ← Warwick/Leamington Spa ←||NW SE||→ Bicester/Oxford → London|
|Northampton ← Brackley ←||N S||→ merges with|
|Coventry ← Southam ←||N S||→ merges with and|
|Stratford-upon-Avon ← Ettington ←||NW SE||→ Brackley → merges with (Milton Keynes)|
|Daventry ← Byfield ←||N S||→ END|