Places Of Interest

We are so fortunate in being almost in the centre of the country.  We have many local places of interest and listed below are just some of the delights awaiting you if you come to stay at Hanwell House


banburyBanbury is a market town on the River Cherwell.  Banbury is a significant commercial and retail centre for the surrounding area, which is predominantly rural.  Banbury’s main industries are car components, electrical goods, plastics, food processing, and printing. Banbury is home to the world’s largest coffee-processing facility (Kraft Foods), built in 1964. The town is famed for Banbury cakes – similar to Eccles cakes but oval in shape. Since July 2000 Banbury has hosted a unique gathering of traditional mock animals, from around the UK, at the annual Banbury Hobby Horse Festival.

We have put together a self-explanatory pictorial “Walking Tour” of Banbury taking in many of the historic sites of this very interesting town.  Our guests are very welcome to borrow these tours while they are staying with us


oxfordOxford is one of the oldest, most historic cities in England.  The world-famous University of Oxford has many colleges situated in the city centre.

Parts of the Harry Potter stories were filmed in and around Oxford.  Hogwarts, Harry’s prestigious wizarding prep school, is a composite of several locations, many of them real places in Oxford.

Christ Church College inspired two film sets familiar to Potter fans. In ‘The Sorcerer’s Stone’, the kids are ferried to Hogwarts and then ascend a stone staircase that leads into the Great Hall.  Christ Church’s high-ceilinged dining hall was a model for the one seen throughout the films.

Much of the much-loved ‘Morse’ television series – and it’s spin-offs ‘Lewis’ and ‘Endeavour’ – were filmed in and around Oxford and several of Morse’s watering holes can be spotted throughout the city..

We have put together a self-explanatory pictorial ‘Walking Tour of Oxford’, starting at the railway station and taking in many of the historic sites of this wonderful city. Our guests are very welcome to borrow a copy whilst they are staying with us.



Within easy reach is another world-famous location, made famous mainly because of William Shakespeare. The newly-rebuilt Royal Shakespeare Theatre on the banks of the River Avon has a very busy schedule throughout year with programmes by Shakespeare and others.

We have put together a self-explanatory pictorial Walking Tour of Stratford-upon-Avon’, which takes in most of the historic sites of this wonderful city.  Our guests are very welcome to borrow this while they are staying with us.

The Cotswold towns

Some of the area’s prettiest small towns and villages are within a 30 – 45 minute drive from Hanwell House and are well worth visiting.

Moreton in Marsh

One of the principal market towns of the northern Cotswolds situated on the historic Fosse Way and served by direct trains from London Paddington. It grew up in the thirteenth century as a market town with a wide main street, narrow burgage plots and back lanes. There still is a busy Tuesday market with about 200 stalls attracting many visitors.

Stow on the Wold

A delightful market town and along with Moreton in Marsh, perhaps the best known of the small Cotswolds towns.

Stow-on the-Wold stands exposed on a 700 feet high hill at a junction of seven major roads, including the Roman Fosse Way.

At the height of the Cotswold wool industry the town was famous for its huge annual fairs where as many as 20,000 sheep were sold at one time.

The vast Market Square testifies to the towns’ former importance. At one end stands the ancient cross, and at the other the town stocks, shaded between an old elm tree. Around the square the visitor is faced with an elegant array of Cotswold town houses.

Stow is an important shopping centre and has many fine Antique shops, Art galleries, Gifts and Crafts and is a centre for walking the Cotswolds countryside.

Bourton on the Water

Only 4 miles from Stow-on-the-Wold and straddling the river Windrush, Bourton is renown of its series of elegant low bridges beside neat tree-shaded greens and tidy stone banks. Standing back from the river are traditional Cotswolds buildings, many of which are now tourist shops for day-trippers and visitors.

Bourton-on-the-Water has been described as the ‘Little Venice’ of the Cotswolds and is one of the most popular tourist spots in the region being serviced by the many shops, cafes, and attractions.

Bourton-on-the-Water Attractions

Birdland – Is an authentic zoo for birds, with a remarkable collection of penguins, some of which have come from the owner’s islands in the South Atlantic. Established by the late Len Hill and is also home to a huge variety of exotic birds.

Model Village – Excellent miniature of Bourton using authentic building materials depicting Bourton-on-the-Water as it was in 1937 at 1/9th scale.

Other attractions include a perfume factory and model railway exhibition.


Situated in north Oxfordshire, twenty miles west of Oxford, and is considered the southern gateway to the Cotswolds. A beautiful old Cotswold town, its High Street sloping from the high Wolds, where you have beautiful views over the open countryside, down to the willow fringed River Windrush in the pretty Windrush valley. A fine three arched medieval bridge crosses the river at the foot of the hill.

The beautiful town of Burford on the river Windrush was the site of a fortified ford in Anglo-Saxon times. The town grew to be an important crossroads and very wealthy wool town and is today very popular with visitors.

The broad main street slopes gently down to the river and is lined with dignified old houses and ancient cottages and many shops all of which appear little changed since Tudor times as witnessed by the precarious angles the buildings have come to rest at.

There are wonderful little side streets to explore, old pubs, tea and antique shops aplenty. The 15th century parish church of St. John Baptist is magnificent and is another sign of bygone riches based on wool.