The famous nursery rhyme, “Ride a Cock Horse to Banbury Cross”, is a favourite with children throughout the English-speaking world. In April 2005 Princess Anne unveiled a large 13 foot bronze statue depicting the “Fyne Lady upon a White Horse” of the nursery rhyme. It stands on the corner of West Bar and South Bar, just yards from the present Banbury Cross.
The town is famous for its Banbury cakes – similar to Eccles Cakes – which are still available in a few local bakeries and restaurants. These delicious, flat pastries with their spicy, currant fillings have been made in the area to secret recipes since at least 1586, although their origins are said to date back to the Crusades.
The Castle Quay Shopping Centre – opened in 2002 – utilises the entrance to the former Corn Exchange dating from 1857 and boasts over 70 shops, cafes and the town’s tourist office and museum. Built alongside the canal, it complements the commercial centre of the town, with its narrow, cobbled alleyways featuring excellent shopping from small, independent shops to well-known High Street stores, whilst the Saxon-built market square retains an ‘olde worlde’ atmosphere with its traditional markets on Thursday and Saturday and Farmers’ Market on the first Friday of each month.
Banbury is about 30 – 45 minutes drives from all the beautiful little Cotswold villages and towns including Moreton in Marsh, Stow on the Wold, Broadway, Chipping Camden, Bourton on the Water and Stratford upon Avon and about the same distance from Royal Leamington Spa, Warwick and Oxford.
Nigel has put together three excellent circular walks of Banbury, Oxford and Stratford upon Avon, which our guests are very welcome to borrow to follow the historic streets with full explanation and photographs of the beautiful buildings.