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.
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.
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.
Aston le Walls
Barford St. John
Barford St. Michael
Lower Thorpe Mandeville
Marston St. Lawrence
Sandford St. Martin
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.