All the local information you need at your fingertips; currency conversion, weather, emergency phone numbers, road safety tips and much more. Also visit our Services & Amenities page for information on vehicle hire, banks, Post Offices and more.

Banbury: 52.0629° N, 1.3398° W
County: Oxfordshire.  Post Code Area: OX16
Tel. Country Code: +44. Tel. Area Code: (0)1295
Region: South East.  Country: England
Time Zone: GMT/UTC and BST (British Summer Time) – 5 hrs ahead of EST
Administrative Council: Cherwell District Council

  • Remember that we always drive on the left here in the UK.
  • Please look for ALL roadsigns to help you navigate correctly and safely.
  • Traffic lights flash yellow before green, so please check for pedestrians still attempting to cross the road.
  • There are not many dedicated cycle lanes, so please be aware of cyclists and give them plenty of room when overtaking.
  • Drivers should always stop for pedestrians at pedestrian crossings, marked with traffic lights or with white stripes on the road and/or flashing yellow topped posts.
  • Research car parks before you travel; some are cash only but can be paid for using a mobile/cell phone. Some can be costly if you arrive back to your vehicle late and some close barriers at the end of the day so make sure you vehicle isn’t trapped in.
  • The standard UK electrical voltage is 240v AC/50Hz, so please ensure you have the correct 3-prong plug converter for your devices.
  • Never leave accessories charging while you are not there to check. Phones, Laptops and E-Cigarette chargers can overheat and/or malfunction – potentially starting a fire.

You may need to get used to the unique time settings for the UK as they are not always the same throughout the year.

In winter Britain is on Greenwich Mean Time (GMT), which is 5 hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time and 10 hours behind Sydney.
The clocks ‘go forward’ from late March until late October, to British Summer Time (BST).

This is to compensate for the increased light/dark hours throughout our northern hemisphere seasons, originally created to help farmers be more productive at the hours needed.

If for any reason you do not have a correct watch or phone handy, you can always check the correct time in traditional British fashion, by calling the Speaking Clock service by dialling 123. An automated service will present you with the correct time to the second.

Britain shares different Public (or Bank) Holidays across it’s nations, but for England & Wales the dates for 2018 are:

1 January Monday New Year’s Day
30 March Friday Good Friday
2 April Monday Easter Monday
7 May Monday Early May bank holiday
28 May Monday Spring bank holiday
27 August Monday Summer bank holiday
25 December Tuesday Christmas Day
26 December Wednesday Boxing Day

British currency denominations:

British (Sterling) cash comes in ‘pounds’ (£) and ‘pence’ (p) with the following denominations :

Coins: 5p, 10p, 20p, 50p, £1, £2
Notes: £5, £10, £20, £50

Slang words for some denominations;
p or ‘pence‘ is usually pronounced as ‘pee‘,
£ or ‘pound‘ is sometimes called ‘quid‘ e.g. ‘ten quid‘,
£5 & £10 notes are often called a ‘fiver‘ and ‘tenner‘ respectively.

Credit/debit cards:
When spending using your credit cards be aware that most places do accept Visa, MasterCard and linked debit cards, but most places do NOT take American Express and/or Diners Club due to their feasibility and processing costs, so please plan ahead and contact your bank if you think this will be a problem.

ATMs/cash machines:
Most ATMs will accept cards with the Visa, MaterCard, Plus, Cirrus and Maestro symbols, so again please check with your bank if your card does not have any of these.
Some machines, particularly ones located outside buildings, will charge between £1-£2 for distancing cash, so if you do need to use these then ensure you take out enough rather than going back and forth and accumulating further costs.

Post Offices are Britains customer service outlets for the national Royal Mail postal delivery system and also provide invaluable services for travellers. You will never be too far from a Post Office in any particular place.

Some of the services available;

  • Post letters, postcards and parcels within the UK and abroad
  • Purchase British currency at the Bureau de Change
  • Transfer money abroad
  • Exchange foreign currency
  • Purchase travel insurance
  • Purchase National Express coach tickets
  • Book airport parking
  • Get international driving permits
  • Get European health insurance cards (HIC)
  • Photo booth
  • Have your passport checked and sent
  • Organise Electronic System for Travel Authorisation (ESTA)
  • Top up your mobile phone and pre-pay gas & electricity cards
  • Buy a range of products and accessories, from international phone cards to souvenir stamps and of course stationery.

Postal collections:
Post is collected and distributed at different times and frequencies in different areas, but most post sent 1st class (1x 1st class stamp = 65p) will arrive the next day within mainland Britain, if you post before 4pm.
2nd class post will usually be delivered within the same area within 2 days, but sometimes it will arrive the next day.

If sending any post larger than a flat A4 or Letter size, then you may need to weigh and size the package at a Post Office to determine it’s true delivery cost.

Post Office mail size & cost calculator

999 – The main emergency number
Calls are free, and 999 can be dialled from a locked mobile phone. 112 can also be used to contact the same call centres.

Strictly to be used for an actual emergency, this is the number for Police, Ambulance, Fire Brigade, Rescue services; coastguard, cliff rescue, mountain, cave rescue.

Examples of emergency:

  • Ambulance: Someone is seriously ill or injured. They will coordinate for any other services such as Police.
  • Police: A crime is in progress or someone is in extreme danger or missing. They will coordinate for any other services such as Ambulance.
  • Fire Brigade: A fire has broken out anywhere. They will coordinate for any other services such as Ambulance.
  • Rescue: Someone is trapped or endangered on the sea/water, on a mountain or a cave. They will coordinate for any other services such as Ambulance.

101 – Non-emergency Police
(Calls are charged at a flat rate of 15 pence per call).

Use 101 when you want to contact the police, but it’s not an emergency. A general rule is “if the crime is not currently in progress, use 101 to help emergency services pool their efforts into other immediate 999 concerns.

Examples of a non-emergency

  • Your wallet has been stolen
  • Your car has been damaged
  • Your home has been broken into

101 can also be used to give information about a crime committed, or to contact the police with a general enquiry.

111 – the non-emergency medical number
(Calls are free).

This is available nationwide and replaced and expanded on the former NHS Direct service. Use this for illnesses and minor injuries where life isn’t threatened, but you would like some advice on what to do next.

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Tourist Information Centres

Banbury

01295 753752

Castle Quay Shopping Centre
Banbury
Oxon
OX16 5UN

Oxford

01865 686430

15-16 Broad Street
Oxford
OX1 3AS

Bicester

01869 366266

86 Pingle Drive
Bicester
OX26 6WD

 

Stratford-upon-Avon

01789 264293

Bridgefoot
Stratford-upon-Avon
CV37 6GW

Warwick

01926 492212

The Court House
Jury Street
Warwick
CV34 4EW

Chipping Norton

01608 643384

The Guildhall
Goddards Lane
Chipping Norton
OX7 5NJ