You may have noticed we’re using a new hashtag on the Banburian lately – #GetThereFromBanbury. What do we mean by that? Well, it occurred to us that there a lot of events and places of interest which you could reach in an hour or less from Banbury. So we decided that if you could #GetThereFromBanbury in an hour or less (most are a lot less), it qualified for the hashtag. It all ties in to our belief that Banbury is a great base for exploring some of the most beautiful, historic and interesting places in the country, no matter what your interests might be.
We’ve already touched upon how much the area offers for the motorsport and historic motoring fans. But what if your definition of a good time is a castle or a palace? Maybe grand homes, manors and gardens are more your speed? No worries. Banbury, so close to so many iconic locations, is the perfect base for you too. Here are just a few:
- Blenheim Palace: this is a truly monumental country house – the word palace is a clue – and gardens situated in Woodstock between Oxford and Banbury. It is the principal residence of the Dukes of Marlborough, and is the only non-royal house in England that has the title of palace. I did mention it was monumental, right?
- Broughton Castle: a medieval fortified manor house in Broughton, about two miles SW of Banbury. It is the home of the Fiennes family, Barons Saye and Sele. If during your visit, you have that sensation of deja-vu, it’s quite likely you watched Wolf Hall, Shakespeare in Love or Madness of King George. All filmed here.
- Canons Ashby: an Elizabethan manor house and 18th century terraced gardens located in Northamptonshire. It’s been home to the Dryden family since the 16th century but you can stay there too! No, no I am not kidding. The Tower is available for holiday makers!
- Chastleton House: a Jacobean country house near Moreton-in-Marsh
- Compton Verney: an 18th-century country mansion at which has been converted to house the Compton Verney Art Gallery and which sits in parkland landscaped by “Capability” Brown in 1769.
- Farnborough Hall: an 18th century country house estate with gardens and parkland. It is particularly notable for its remarkable terraced walk.
- Sulgrave Manor: a Tudor and Georgian house built by direct ancestors of George Washington, the first President of the United States. The only proper place to celebrate 4th of July if you are an American ex-pat. I really must do that at some point.
- Upton House: Work on Upton House began in the very late 17th century and the external appearance of the main house reflects that. Once you get inside, the changes are more apparent with interiors that were heavily remodelled in Art Deco style by the Bearsted family who acquired the property in 1927.
- Warwick Castle: just what it says on the tin. A medieval castle developed from an original built by William the Conqueror in 1068.
- Waterperry Gardens: 8 acres of beautifully landscaped ornamental gardens, a quality plant centre and garden shop, gallery and gift shop, museum and tea shop.
- Wroxton Abbey: though the Abbey itself (an enormous Jacobean house built on the foundations of a 13th-century Augustinian priory) is not open to the public (it is currently the UK campus for Fairleigh Dickinson University), the grounds and gardens are open to the public every day from dawn to dusk. The gardens are extensive – a 1727 garden which was partly converted to the serpentine style years later including a serpentine lake, a cascade, a rill and a number of follies