Things to Do in Banbury, Oxfordshire

things to do in Banbury

Banbury is a market town in Oxfordshire with a wealth of things to do. Take in the statue of a fine lady from the nursery rhyme “Ride ye cock a pee” at Banbury Cross, and try a local delicacy called a Banbury Cake – an oval pastry that was once a favourite treat for Queen Victoria.

Spiceball Country Park

Located in the heart of Banbury and adjacent to the Oxford Canal, Spiceball Park is a family-friendly attraction. The park has a variety of activities and attractions including circus workshops, crazy golf, laser quest, bouncy castles and fairground rides.

It also has a children’s play area, interesting trees and art sculptures. The park is home to a number of events and festivals throughout the year including food fayres, Christmas markets, Banbury Canal Day and more.

The town centre has a wide range of shops, from independents on Parsons Street to chains at Gateway Retail Park. It’s also home to the Banbury Museum, which has an exciting all-year programme of exhibitions and events. A bronze statue of the ‘Fine Lady’ from the famous ‘Ride a Cock Horse to Banbury Cross’ rhyme stands close by. Its 13 flowers represent each ancient month of the year and her raised hand sprinkling flower petals represents creative imagination. She sits next to the town’s canal, with Tooley’s 18th-century boat yard and historic narrowboat dry dock nearby.

People’s Park

The park was designed with everyone in mind. It features a bowls green, children’s play area and picnic tables. It’s also home to the famous Hickory Dickory Dock clock, crafted by students at Oxfordshire-based OCVC College.

A variety of trees are found here including Ash, Beech, Elm, False Acacia and Horse Chestnut. In the summer, a selection of flowering shrubs are in full bloom.

In the heart of Banbury sits People’s Park, a beautiful open space created by architect Robert Hilton for the town. Hilton planned the green for Banbury Borough Bowls Club and, using his own direct labour force, built it in the interwar years.

Other sights worth a visit include Broughton Castle, an historic ironstone manor house and film set for both Shakespeare in Love and The Madness of King George. History buffs can learn more about the region at Banbury Museum, and those looking for a relaxing place to spend a few hours should visit Upton House with its 1930s style gardens.

Banbury Museum & Gallery

Banbury Museum is a small family friendly museum situated at the heart of the town’s vibrant canalside. Its displays examine the history of Banbury and its surrounding area including the English Civil War, plush manufacturing, the Victorian market town and costumes from 17th century to the present day. There are also permanent collections of objects relating to the Oxford Canal including Tooley’s Boat Yard. The Museum also hosts a variety of international temporary exhibitions as well as talks, tours and family fun events.

Take in the views at nearby People’s Park and stroll around the old town where you can explore shops, bars and restaurants. The Moated Manor House of Broughton Castle is another must-visit attraction, as is the National Trust property of Upton House with its 1930s style gardens. Or for some high adventure, visit mighty Bamburgh Castle where you can roam the motte and baily castle’s extensive earthworks, atop its lofty ramparts. Web

Fir Tree Falconry

Whether you’re looking for a restaurant to treat yourself, a pub for a hearty lunch or an eatery serving up something healthy for the family, Banbury has got you covered. You’ll find plenty of British dishes alongside international flavours. Options include traditional Sunday roasts, baked Camembert, tandoori king prawns and braised shoulder of lamb with minted new potatoes.

The town’s centre is a bustling hub, with twisting medieval streets and old-fashioned buildings. At the nearby Banbury Museum you’ll find displays on the history of the town, including details of the original Market Cross.

Fir Tree Falconry is located in a picturesque valley north of Banbury on the Warwickshire/Oxfordshire border. They have a stunning collection of birds that are sure to captivate all generations. They also offer a variety of experience days – from a mystical owl evening to an educational visit or even a falconry course. They can also provide static displays for shows and events.

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