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  • Living in Banbury?
  • JEngledow

    In a bid to reduce my commute, but not increase my wife’s we are considering moving to Banbury. Do you live there or have you lived there and what’s it like? What areas are good and where should we avoid? Thanks.


    ex BIL lives in a village about 10-15 mins outside. They don’t spend much time there as they prefer the country life (walks, pubs etc) but it has the big town amenities for shopping and the M40 is close.


    Rather boring place, but you are close to Oxford for days out and the surrounding countryside is very nice.

    Premier Icon nickc

    It’s a lot better than it used to be. The town has all the usual shops and amenities you’d expect. Links are good, cheap rail to London and brum and the M40.

    Where to live depends on your budget I guess, avoid the area around Middleton road; its rents-ville, and the area around Ruscote avenue is grim. Surrounding villages are almost all Cotswold stone twee numbers so expect prices to reflect that. Riding is ok, lots of quiet roads if roadie is your thang.

    What about the smell from the biscuit factory? It stinks I’m afraid.

    Premier Icon hot_fiat

    What about the smell from the biscuit MARMITE factory? It stinks I’m afraid


    Premier Icon oliverracing

    it’s the smell of coffee that gets me!

    I live there (Grimsbury), it’s OK. Chocolate factory and Finelady’s bakery smell is more regular than the coffee place (and nicer!)

    House prices are pretty reasonable compared to Oxford and even Bicester now.

    Shops are a bit better than a town of it’s size, and Sainsbury’s is one of the “champagne ones” so has a bit more of a Waitrose-ie stock.

    It’s a bit dull in the evenings, not a lot of nice places to eat or drink, and the town centre’s pretty dead from about 7.00 onwards.

    I’ve lived in much worse places, but it’s not top of my list for excitement.

    I lived in a village a couple of miles outside Banbury for quite a few years and still live fairly close now (Silverstone) but rarely ever go there. That might give you an idea of how interesting it is! In short it’s a really boring town, but has improved slightly in recent years. The surrounding area is quite nice though – rolling countryside, roads not too busy. There are worse places to live, but also better ones!

    Where do you both work? It might help with alternative suggestions. For example Leamington Spa is a LOT nicer, but obviously a fair bit North.


    Where do you both work?

    I work between Warwick and Leamington and my wife works at the JR in Oxford (but could also work at the Hospital in Banbury). We currently live in Witney and really like it, but would like to reduce the commute, plus we’d like a slightly bigger house, but cannot afford it in Witney.

    Premier Icon nickc

    Brackley as an alternate? If you think Banbury is dull…

    If your wife could work in Banbury, then you would be better off living in Leamington to be honest. I would anyway. Banbury is really nothing special at all. Although it does depend a lot on whether you actually want to live in the town or in a surrounding village. If the latter then the nearby villages are actually very nice.

    Premier Icon Bregante

    I only know one interesting fact about Banbury.

    There’s a Barclay’s Bank in Banbury and above the doors there is a plaque proclaiming that it was once known as the Gillett Bank before it was sold in 1919 to the Barclay’s.

    The banks founder Joseph Ashby Gillett was my wife’s great great great great Grandfather.

    Granted this is likely to be less interesting to everybody else on here.


    Another fact about Banbury is the rhyme ” ride a cock horse from Banbury Cross” the cock horse being horses from the coaching pub the Cock in my home town of Stony Stratford,

    Strangely enough there’s a second proverb about the Cock pub (which may be myth) and that is the cock and bull story which apparently derived from stories being embellished as they were retold in either the cock or the bull pub in stony Stratford.

    Anyway I digress…. Banbury’s not too bad, loads of pubs, good access to the M40, and if you a motor racing fan or employee then loads of work in that sector.

    Premier Icon ourmaninthenorth

    There’s a third proverb about Banbury:

    Parsons Lane was once less politely named… Link NSFW or for those offended by crude references to female anatomy.

    I grew up in Milcombe and went to school in Bloxham. Passed through Banbury (and Bloxham and Milcombe) for the first time in around 10 years this summer. Everything and nothing had really changed….

    There’s nothing really wrong with Banbury – its a market town with good transport links. I mean, I live near Ormskirk now and that’s hardly a steaming metropolis!

    I work in the JR and commute from Banbury, don’t think I’d fancy it from Leamington (this is by train and bike though, dunno what driving would be like).


    Banbury is just a straightforward market town – i can recommend the villages out toward Daventry, Culworth is nice as is Chipping Warden etc.

    Premier Icon rOcKeTdOg

    Avoid Warwick or leamers if you enjoy off road riding


    Rubbish for mountain biking I’m afraid.
    I lived in Grimsbury which I really liked, Victorian terraces, not too expensive.
    You can walk to the station and get to Leamington and Oxford.
    I work in Oxford and the commute is a struggle, but not as bad as Witney.
    It is cheaper over the motorway to the north.
    We moved south of Banbury, but the prices in those villages have gone mental.
    Chipping Norton? The drive accross country to Stratford and beyond is okay, as is the drive to Oxford.

    There’s a belting Thai restaurant in Banbury.

    That’s all I know.

    Premier Icon PePPeR

    I’m another local (just outside) villages to the North West are cheaper and you can just nip into the Warwickshire borders if you’re after a bigger house.

    It’s an anywhere’s ville reasonable pubs, reasonable shops, with good links to lots of other places, mountain biking is a little crap, especially as there’s so much horse ownership around here.


    It’s worth having a look to the west, I live in shipston on stour which is about 20 mins from banbury. Moved here from Edinburgh via Cambridge and really like this area.

    Some reasonable bridle trails that can be ridden easily from home in the area or better ones further west towards Broadway.

    If you move to the area give me a call, details in profile.

    Premier Icon kayak23

    rOcKeTdOg – Member 
    Avoid Warwick or leamers if you enjoy off road riding

    How very dare you! 😉

    It’s no peak district around here certainly ( I live in Leamington) but you could do a lot worse. We know tons of fun routes about these parts and is nice and central to ride all over the shop…
    There is a good mtb community around here and it’s a nice place.

    One stop on the train from Banbury on the way to Oxford, right on the M40.

    Banbury is ok, some fun riding around there including some steep downhill if you know where to look.
    Leamington and Warwick are more ‘happening’ if that’s your thing.


    Iain, I drive through shipston on stour most days and it looks really nice, but is probably too far from Oxford (my wife will probably still have to get to the JR for weekend overtime etc). One other thing we need to consider is schools, are there any that are particularly good or bad to look out for? Thanks.

    Premier Icon ourmaninthenorth

    One other thing we need to consider is schools, are there any that are particularly good or bad to look out for?

    In the tradition of STW, the one where I went….


    [/quote] Banbury is ok, some fun riding around there including some steep downhill if you know where to look.

    Where would this Steep DH be then Kayak23?

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