The official website for Banbury, Bicester and surrounding North Oxfordshire countryside
Let time pass you by during a relaxing waterways holiday in North Oxfordshire! The Oxford Canal running between Oxford and Coventry is home to delightful scenery and wildlife for you to explore, whether its on a narrowboat cruising down the Cherwell valley or on foot walking along the towpath and maybe having a go at fishing.
It is the perfect way to get back to nature and make your holiday just that little bit more special, with some beautiful views and maybe even a catch of the day! The Cherwell valley has got to be one of the best British spots for waterways and for holidays with a difference.
A haven for wildlife and wild flowers, en-route you will discover picturesque thatch topped villages with Cropredy, Claydon and Thrupp being just a few of the villages providing attractions including an art gallery, coffee shop, the Bygones Museum and not forgetting the village pub for a welcome lunch stop.
At Banbury, the Canal runs through the heart of the town, recent developments including the Banbury Museum & Tooley's Boatyard and the Castle Quay Shopping Centre have regenerated the area providing a viewpoint to watch the narrowboats go through the locks, enjoy a picnic or visit one of the cafes overlooking the Canal. Short term moorings provide a safe location to visit the attractions, restaurants and entertainment venues within the town. At Tooley's Boatyard guided tours are offered around this scheduled ancient monument and working boatyard and boat trips and dining cruises are available by prior arrangement. Tel: 01295 278690.
The railway line runs through the beautiful countryside of North Oxfordshire between Oxford and Banbury. For much of its route the line runs alongside the Oxford Canal, which runs for 77-miles between Oxford and the outskirts of Coventry. The Oxford Canal is a wonderful place to relax and enjoy leisure activities, including walking, boating, angling and places of historic interest.
There are regular train services from Oxford to Banbury, stopping at Tackley, Heyford and Kings Sutton, making the canal and the countryside easily accessible by public transport.
There are walks around the picturesque village of Tackley, with its 11th century church dedicated to St Nicholas. It is also the site of an English Civil War skirmish on the banks of the Cherwell: "The Battle of Tackley". From Heyford station, there are easy to follow self-guided circular walks. These take in some of the towpath, Heyford Wharf - still a proper working boatyard and popular tourist haunt - as well as Lower and Upper Heyford villages and the surrounding area.
Narrowboats can be hired for a day, or even longer if you want to really discover the area. There are many pubs, bistros and cafes where you can enjoy a drink and a meal or snack.
Why not discover North Oxfordshire and the Oxford Canal.
Cherwell Valley Walks
Waterscape – discover more about walking alongside the best of the UK’s inland waterways.
Sunday services between Oxford and Banbury will operate between May and September 2008. There will be three services in each direction on each day. A new ranger ticket is available which allows unlimited travel for a day on all First Great Western Sunday services between Banbury and either Oxford, Didcot Parkway or Reading, giving you the freedom to explore the canal.