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Famous for its cakes and cross, the market town of Banbury still holds markets on a regular basis and is an ideal choice for travellers wishing to explore the lovely Oxfordshire countryside. The small town is only 21 miles from Oxford, 27 miles from Coventry, 30 miles from Birmingham and 64 miles from London, making it a great place to use as a base for exploring southeast England. Car hire is the best way to do this, allowing visitors to explore the beautiful countryside as well as numerous nearby attractions.
Who to Book With
International car hire suppliers, such as Avis and Enterprise, have offices right in the town centre, while local firms like Northgate Vehicle Hire can be found on the edges of town. It is best to organise car rental in Banbury online ahead of time to ensure availability and snag the best deals.
Best time to go
Summer is the most popular time to visit Banbury, as this is when the annual Hobby Horse Festival takes place, and the weather is at its best. Many travellers also like to visit in the spring to enjoy the picturesque blooming countryside that surrounds the town.
Need to Know Essentials
The following documents are needed when collecting your vehicle:
- A valid UK driving license
- Proof of identification
- The credit card that was used when making the reservation
- Confirmation of booking
Banbury itself can easily be explored on foot, although the town centre sees little traffic outside of regular morning and evening rush hours. There are secure government car parks available and on-street parking spaces can also be found, with tariffs ranging from £0.80 to £1.20 per hour and rates in long-term car parks being around £3.50 per day.
The best way to navigate around the city is by hire car, although there are several taxi companies more than willing to zip travellers around. There is no public transport system in Banbury itself, but regular coaches run to nearby towns and villages. Still, most visitors find the most convenient way to explore Banbury and its surrounding area is with a car rental. Banbury’s town centre is easy to enjoy on foot, but the majority of visitors also come to see the surrounding countryside and nearby attractions.
Banbury is served by the Banbury Railway station, which handles trains run by National Rail that connect to the rest of the country. The station is on both the Chiltern Main line and the CrossCountry line, and is also the starting point of the historical Cherwell Valley Line to Didcot in the south. Banbury Railway station is located just outside of the town centre, near the Oxford Canal (pictured above).
There are a number of taxi companies in Banbury as a result of the town’s lack of public transport. Companies such as Banbury Cars and A1 Cars Banbury are very reliable and operate on fixed rates.
Urban bus services to and from Banbury are operated by Stagecoach Bus, which links to surrounding towns and villages as well as to Oxford, Northampton and Birmingham. Locations farther away, such as London, Bristol and Manchester, as well as other destinations throughout the UK, are accessible via National Express coach services.
Banbury has a few famous sites of its own, but it is the town’s surrounding area and the rest of Oxfordshire that make it a great destination for sightseeing. There are beautiful manors, historical villages and ancient cathedrals close by, as well as picturesque countryside and the world-renowned Cotswolds, an area of outstanding natural beauty. With a car rental, the entire county can truly be enjoyed.
Oxford University - The oldest university in the UK, dating back to the 12th century. It consists of 40 colleges, world-class museums, cathedrals and gardens, and is home to the famous Bodleian Library.
Sulgrave Manor houses - The UK’s largest collection of George Washington memorabilia and was actually home to some of his ancestors. The Tudor house was built out of limestone, and all of its former splendour is still apparent today. It is open to the public in the summer months, offering a great day out for the entire family.
White Horse Hill - The highest point in Oxfordshire at 261 metres, and home to a hill fort that dates back to the Iron Age. It boasts fantastic views of the countryside and is a great place to enjoy a picnic.