About Us

This website aims to provide curious and interested visitors with information about the picturesque, historic and often under-promoted North Oxfordshire countryside. Many travelers think of Oxford when they think of Oxfordshire. However, we believe that there is much more to the county, especially in the northern regions, that contain hidden gems for the curious traveler. This part of the county is characterized by green rolling hills, wide swathes of agricultural land, vibrant meadows, and charming villages and hamlets with cobbled roads and well-preserved old houses.

There are also some Roman ruins, for those who care to find them, and the possibility of stumbling upon an ancient piece of artifact.

North Oxfordshire is one of the most rural counties of southeast England. For travelers who want to discover the charming British villages of picture postcards, the district of Cherwell and its villages should definitely be on their itinerary.

About Cherwell and the River

North Oxfordshire is a loose label for the council district of Cherwell. It spans the edges of the Cotswolds in the northwest and draws its name from the River Cherwell that cuts across most of it. The River Cherwell is a major tributary of the Thames. It flows through forty miles of northern Oxfordshire after rising at Hellidon in Northhamptonshire and empties into the Thames at Oxford.

It is not surprising that along the banks of the Cherwell, there have been several ancient and medieval settlements. Because of the relative remoteness of the region, archaeological finds are being made even today. This also means that a lot of the past is preserved in its pristine form, waiting to be discovered.

The modern Settlement of Banbury grew alongside the river. There used to be a Roman Villa at Wykham Park nearby and an Iron Age settlement was discovered there.

The iconic four lines of the nursery rhyme describes a short, more recent history of the town:

“Ride a cock horse to Banbury Cross,
To see a Fyne lady ride on a white horse.
With rings on her fingers and bells on her toes,
She shall have music wherever she goes”

The Fyne Lady is something of an icon now and has a thirteen-foot tall bronze statue dedicated to her near the current Banbury Cross. There is a whole lot of speculation behind the identity of the Fyne Lady that makes for interesting reading. Walking around even such a modern town as Banbury will reveal the character and charm of its past.
Possibly more appealing for some travelers than this influential but industrial town will be the smaller villages, farms and hamlets that lie along the roads from Banbury to Oxford, Chipping Norton, Brackley, Aynho, Bicester, and between. Small discoveries wait for the patient walking visitor to the area. Some examples include the Gothic piscina and sedilia of the parish church of St. Mary’s at Adderbury, which is 3 miles from Banbury.
A Norman doorway, broken cross and rosy stone parish church of Ambrosden, 3 miles southwest of Bicester, paints another evocative picture of the past. A mile west of Kidlington is an inn that has traded at least since 1711. The districts many small settlements have rich histories and much to see.

Beyond History

There is a lot more to North Oxfordshire beyond history. Farmers’ markets with high standards of produce, award-winning farm to table fine-dining restaurants that serve traditional and British contemporary fare, antique and fashion shopping, and fashionable crowds that drive down from London to stay at rustic-chic cottages establish this part of the county as something of a rustic pleasure resort.

Whether it is a romantic holiday, an exploration of nature, an active holiday, a gastronomic tour, a fun-filled and animal-friendly family holiday that visitors want, North Oxfordshire will be accommodating.

Convivial events like the Banbury Beer & Cider Festival, fine modern theater, family tours and river cruises, and other local attractions will appeal not just to British travelers. Tourists from all over the world can enjoy the offerings of rural North Oxfordshire, no matter what locals say with typical self-deprecating British humor.

We hope to make it easy for travelers find a way to the goldmine of experiences that are possible in this part of the world.