Banbury, a market town in Oxfordshire, England, is known for its special Banbury Cakes and rich history. Inhabited by the Saxons in the 5th century, Banbury became a leader in the wool trade that brought wealth to the land. The town has experienced exponential growth and tourism in recent years due to the completion of the new M40 motorway. More and more tourists are flocking to Banbury to see what it has to offer. Here is a list of the top 7 things to do on a trip there.
1. Have a tea party at Broughton Castle
Built in the 1300s, Broughton Castle is truly a historical sight. Little boys and girls often imagine themselves as royal fairy tale characters who live in enormous castles. Adults and children of all ages will be able to make their stories of princes and princesses come true.
With a moat and lush gardens surrounding it, Broughton Castle’s picturesque scenery is straight out of a storybook. Visitors to the castle can book a private tour and relax in the tearoom. On warm, sunny days, chairs are placed on the front lawn for visitors to enjoy views of the castle and the surrounding nature as they sip their tea. The castle is open on Sundays, Wednesdays, and bank holiday Mondays from 2 to 5 p.m. during the months of April to September. Adult admission is 10 USD.
Address: Broughton, OX15 5EB Banbury, Oxfordshire
Price: from 10 USD
Website: Broughton Castle
2. Sink your teeth into a traditional Banbury Cake at The Granary
A trip to Banbury wouldn’t be complete without trying the town’s most famous delicacy. The owners of The Granary take pride in their enthusiasm for their specialty, the currant-filled puff pastries called Banbury Cakes. They are also proud to be the longest standing cafe in Banbury. Since 1996, they have been serving tea, coffee, and bites to eat with a friendly smile. After a long day of shopping at the nearby Castle Quay Shopping Centre, stop in for a taste of the real Banbury.
Address: 6 Butchers Row, OX16 5JH Banbury, England
Website: The Granary
3. Travel through time at the Banbury Museum
Opened in 2002, the Banbury Museum is a family friendly place to learn about the history of Banbury through a series of educational exhibitions. From The Civil War to 17th-century fashion, there is something for everyone to see. Don’t worry if you’ve already visited. The museum exhibitions are constantly changing, so there is always something new to see. Banbury Museum is open Monday to Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is free, but donations are welcome.
Address: Spiceball Park Road, OX16 2PQ Banbury
Website: Banbury Museum
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4. Take a blacksmithing course at Tooley's Boatyard
Some people dream of using a hammer, forge, and anvil to make a sword just like on television. This dream can come true when visiting Tooley’s Boatyard to take a blacksmithing course. The Forge at Tooley’s Boatyard is special because it is a scheduled ancient monument dating back to the year 1790.
Visitors have a number of classes to choose from, including The ‘Have a Go’ Course, The Beginners Course, and The Advanced Course. Each course is taught by a resident blacksmith. After completing any course, The Forge can be rented by the hour for additional practice. For prices, call or e-mail Tooley’s Boatyard.
The Forge at Tooley's Boatyard
Address: Tooley’s, Banbury Museum, Spiceball Park Road, OX16 2PQ Banbury, Oxon
E-mail: [email protected]
Phone: (01295) 272-917
Website: The Forge at Tooley’s Boatyard
5. Pick up some souvenirs at Castle Quay Shopping Centre
After a stroll around Tooley’s Boatyard, head in for some retail therapy at Castle Quay Shopping Centre. With over 80 shops and restaurants, this shopping mall is a great place to buy souvenirs, try on some clothes, and satisfy your hunger. In the future, Castle Quay Shopping Centre will be extended across the land between the canal and Spiceball Park.
This new extension will add new businesses to the mall as well as entertainment and lifestyle facilities such as a cinema and 117-room hotel. The endeavor will begin in fall 2017 and is scheduled to be finished by December 2018. In the meantime, tourists can visit Castle Quay Shopping Centre Monday to Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. and on Sundays from 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Castle Quay Shopping Centre
Address: Castle Street, OX16 5UN Banbury, Oxfordshire
Website: Castle Quay Shopping Centre
6. Listen to the choir at the historic St. Mary's Church
If you are interested in Sunday church worship or if you just want to take in the beautiful historic atmosphere, St. Mary’s Church is a wonderful place to visit. The church offers an open and welcoming environment for all people to worship, pray, and ask questions. The original church was built in medieval times but was replaced in the 1790s due to damage during the English Civil War.
Nonetheless, St. Mary’s offers visitors a view into the classical architecture found in Banbury. There are services at 8 a.m., 9:30 a.m., and 11:15 a.m. on Sunday mornings. Since the 8 a.m. service is meant to be quiet and reflective, visitors wanting to listen to the robed choir should attend the 9:30 a.m. or 11:15 a.m. services.
St. Mary's Church
Address: St. Mary’s Church Centre, St. Mary’s Church, Horse Fair, OX16 0AA Banbury
Website: St. Mary’s Church
7. Enjoy the greenery at People's Park
People’s Park, located in the city center, is most famous for its rose garden and war memorial. The park also has a seasonal bed of flowers that are planted by the children of Banbury each year. Park-goers can choose to relax on the benches and listen to the songs of the various bird species that live there, or they can utilize the park’s many modern amenities. It is hard to be sedentary when People’s Park offers tennis courts, a club house, fitness facilities, and a place for children to play.
Address: Warwick Rd, OX16 0AD Banbury, UK
Website: People’s Park
Have a brilliant time in Banbury
Who could ever be bored in Banbury, UK with all the delicious food, historical landmarks, and unique attractions? Use this top 7 list as a stepping stone to learn about all that Banbury has to offer.
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