Nestled along the spine of England and only an hour from London, the town of Banbury is the centre of an area known unofficially for centuries as Banburyshire. With close transport links to Oxford, London, The West Midlands and The Cotswolds, the area extends roughly 13-20 miles from the centre of Banbury, taking in a handful of market towns and many outlying villages that sit within the counties of Oxfordshire, Warwickshire and Northamptonshire.

map overview of the banburyshire area
Map data ©2018 Google

Origin of the name

The name ‘Banburyshire‘ originated from the 19th century when trade was predominantly local, with family businesses supplying their products and services across an area well serviced by horse and cart routes as well as on water with the Oxford Canal. It made sense to bring this loose network of places together under the umbrella of a single name that the people who lived and worked there could identify with. The name is used frequently today with the advent of the internet and social media bringing together more and more people that have lived in, worked in, visited or travelled through the area.

Yet today Banburyshire straddles the rustic, rural-based world and the new commercial and digitally interconnected world. In recent times the towns of Banbury and Bicester have enjoyed the status of Boom Towns, based on research conducted by business information consultancies. This means that they have the quality of life, employment figures, transport links and business opportunities that help to provide a prosperous future.

castle quay shopping centre entrance in banbury
a narrowboat being steered along the oxford canal in the summer
the charter market in banbury town centre

Within the largely unspoilt countryside (including access to Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty), there is a wealth of independent businesses catering to 21st century tastes; imaginative cafe’s, gastropubs, distilleries, farm shops, spa retreats, boutique B&Bs, music festivals and art events which all point to a bright future in which tradition and heritage take centre stage amongst the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

Banburyshire itself has so much to offer, but if you look on it’s doorstep you’ll find some of the best locations to visit in the world. Oxford’s ‘Dreaming Spires’, Stratford-upon Avon’s Shakespeare connection, shopping destination ‘Bicester Village’, the rolling hills and honey-hued stone of The Cotswolds, England’s ‘Second City’ Birmingham and also the capital city London… all of them under an hour away by car, bus or train.

Towns & Villages in Banburyshire

The area was originally defined as a rough 10 mile radius from Banbury town centre, although with the advent of canals, steam powered railways and motorised travel, this area expanded through the ages. With todays connected world we can extend into some areas further out, for example Chipping Norton wasn’t originally part of Banburyshire but it now takes only minutes to travel straight there.

Banburyshire’s main towns are Banbury, Bicester and Brackley, with Chipping Norton, Shipston-on-Stour, Woodford Halse, Charlbury and Woodstock all right on the doorstep. A few miles further afield are Oxford, Stratford-Upon-Avon, Warwick, Leamington Spa and Buckingham.

Adderbury
Alkerton
Appletree
Ardley
Arlescote
Avon Dassett
Ascott
Aston le Walls
Astrop
Aynho
Balscote
Barford St. John
Barford St. Michael
Baynards Green
Bodicote
Bloxham
Broughton
Burdrop
Byfield
Canons Ashby
Caulcott
Chacombe
Charlton
Chipping Warden
Church Enstone
Clattercote
Claydon
Clifton
Compton Wynyates
Cropredy
Croughton
Culworth
Deddington
Drayton
Duns Tew
Easington
Edgcote
Edgehill
Enstone
Epwell
Eydon
Farnborough
Farthinghoe
Fenny Compton
Fewcott
Fritwell
Gagingwell
Gaydon
Great Bourton
Great Rollright
Great Tew
Greatworth
Grimsbury
Halse
Hanwell
Helmdon
Hempton
Heythrop
Hinton-in-the-Hedges
Hook Norton
Hopcrofts Holt
Horley
Hornton
Kiddington
Kineton
Kings Sutton
Knightcote
Ledwell
Little Bourton
Little Dassett
Little Kineton
Little Rollright
Little Tew
Long Compton
Lower Boddington
Lower Brailes
Lower Heyford
Lower Tadmarton
Lower Thorpe Mandeville
Lower Tysoe
Marston St. Lawrence
Middle Aston
Middleton Cheney
Middleton Stoney
Milcombe
Middle Barton
Milton
Mollington
Moreton Pinkney
Neithrop
Nether Worton
Newbottle
North Aston
Northend
North Newington
Overthorpe
Over Norton
Over Worton
Oxhill
Purton
Preston Capes
Radford
Radstone
Radway
Ratley
Sandford St. Martin
Shenington
Shotteswell
Shutford
Sibford Ferris
Sibford Gower
Somerton
Souldern
Steeple Aston
Stuchbury
Sulgrave
Sutton-under-Brailes
Swalcliffe
Swerford
Tadmarton
Tadmarton Heath
Temple Herdewyke
Thenford
Thorpe Mandeville
Tusmore
Tysoe
Upper Astrop
Upper Boddington
Upper Brailes
Upper Heyford
Upper Tadmarton
Upper Tysoe
Wardington
Warkworth
Warmington
West Farndon
Whichford
Wigginton
Williamscot
Winderton
Wormleighton
Wroxton
Wykham

Only in Banburyshire could you… walk through ancient megalithic sites, watching Red Kites swoop for their prey in the morning… drive a hired supercar through idyllic villages after a riverside lunch… watch giraffes and lions at Cotswold Wildlife Park… and visit ‘Britain’s Greatest Palace’ for a champagne picnic… all in the same day.

We’ll be adding ideas and suggestions in the coming months to make your visit the most pleasant it can be. Sign up to our newsletter for unique and authentically English experiences.

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