Banbury Town and Canal Walk

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A short walk in Banbury, famous for its Nursery Rhyme and Cross the world over, and its canal that brought great wealth to the town in the 18th century. The route starts from the Spiceball Centre car park and takes the canal-side, where much development has taken place. Tooley's historic boatyard still operates here, flanked by modern buildings, but retaining much of its traditional past and marked for ever in L.T.C. Rolt's wonderful book, 'Narrow Boat' as the starting place for his epic cruise of England's waterways in 1939. Banbury Lock, unrecognisable from its working boat days, takes vast numbers of leisure boats and it is from here that a walk into the town reveals some of the historic buildings that remain; and the famous Banbury Cross in the Horsefair, now enhanced by a beautiful statue of the Fine Lady on a White Horse bearing the well-known nursery rhyme, just yards away. The walk rejoins the canal for a peaceful section north of the town to Hardwick Lock, then returns via the green and pleasant Spiceball Country Park.

England - Central England - Oxfordshire - Town or city


Ancient Monument, Birds, Cafe, Church, Flowers, Food Shop, Gift Shop, Good for Kids, Mostly Flat, Museum, Play Area, Pub, Public Transport, Restaurant, River, Tea Shop, Toilets, Wildlife
2/1/2020 - Patricia Daw

I did this walk on a sunny February Saturday with a friend. We parked in the Spiceball car park as suggested, but there seemed to be a lot of building work going on, so finding spaces was challenging. You can also only stay 3 hours (£2.40) so if you're thinking of going for lunch after, like we did, I'd recommend parking in the Castle Quay Car park and then walking back to the leisure centre to start the walk. The walk was nice, but some of the instructions were a little misleading so keep your wits about you, and perhaps use Google Maps every now and then to make sure you're aiming for the right landmarks. Banbury also seemed to have very few road signs. But the part along the canal was lovely, and only slightly muddy - but walking boots still required.

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