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  • Tell me about Banbury
  • Richie_B
    Full Member

    Starting work down there at the beginning of June and know nothing about the town/surroundings. Just on the off chance I’m looking for Monday to Friday lodgings in the area, if anyone is looking for a lodger (or knows anyone) (particularly if its got bike storage). Whats the riding like on the immediate area?

    nickc
    Full Member

    Whats the riding like on the immediate area?

    Banbury has good links to the motorway network….

    What’s it like? It’s a middling market town with too much industrial/warehousing space, and nowt to do in the evening except get pished and fight.

    roadie_in_denial
    Free Member

    I think nickc has covered all the bases there…never got into any fights there tho. Oh, and there’s a couple of fair to good curry places in town too.

    Regarding the riding in the immediate area, I can remember thinking that I’d like to take my road bike down that way…

    ourmaninthenorth
    Full Member

    I grew up near there (in Milcombe, a small village just to the south west of the town, near the housing boom honeypot Bloxham).

    Though I left nearly 15 years ago, and my folks have moved away in the last couple of years, I doubt much has changed.

    MTBing doesn’t exist, unless you like slogging along bridleways at the muddy edges of fifleds. That said, it’s where I started out. The road riding can be very good, especially if you head off towards the Cotswolds, where the lanes are small and the villages pretty.

    Banbury became famous a few years ago for being the place with the fastest growth in the UK, which came as a result of the M40 motorway being built right beside it, allowing much better access to Birmingham one way and London the other.

    As with all market towns, the town itself doesn’t have an awful lot to say for itself, but the outlying villages can be very nice. There are some great village pubs to visit during the summer evenings – you may even get to play some Aunt Sally..!

    In terms of where to live, it depends on whether you want to live in the town, or are happy to travel in. Note that public transport from outlying villages is pretty non-existant, so you’ll need to drive or ride. If it was me, I’d select somewhere nice with a decent pub (Great Tew – you can drink in my favourite pub, the Falkland Arms) and travel in and out every day.

    Richie_B
    Full Member

    ourmaninthenorth thanks thats helpful. Shame about the riding but have to admit that since we had kids the balance of my riding has tipped towards road riding. You’ve pretty much confirmed my impressions when I had a brief look round last month

    ourmaninthenorth
    Full Member

    Road riding would be good. Steer clear of the main roads, and you’ll be fine.

    Not sure whether there are any decent bike shops in the town (wasn’t ever really *that* well served, as I recall).

    Fantastic organic* chickens available from Broughton Grounds Farm (in the village of Broughton, where Broughton Castle** is).

    The local beer is Hook Norton, brewed – strangely enough – in the village of Hook Norton. The brewery was one of the last to deliver beer to local pubs using horse and dray (I remember that and I’m only 32!).

    *organic as in you select something that’s scratching round the farmyard
    **a key feature of the English civil war, and home to the Fiennes family. Yes, the same family (though not directly) that produced Ranuplh (explorer) and Ralph (actor). Hence, in the old nursery rhyme Ride a cock horse to Banbury Cross you could “see a fine lady on a white horse”.

    crispedwheel
    Free Member

    Malvern hills will be just over an hour’s drive from Banbury. Similarly the Chilterns – straight down the M40 and off at junction 4/5. Lots of good biking round there.

    Richie_B
    Full Member

    Ride a cock horse to Banbury Cross you could “see a fine lady on a white horse

    Our two year old is convinced this is the only reason I’m going (Mrs Richie_B’s views on the matter are a tad more circumspect)

    ourmaninthenorth
    Full Member

    With rings on her fingers and bells on her toes, she shall have music wherever she goes…

    Oh, and Parsons Street (before the parsonage was built) used to be the red light district a long time ago. Mind you, it wasn’t called Parsons St then. It was called C**t Pit Lane….

    Nice pub down there called the Reindeer. Which is where Cromwell was supposed to have planned the decisive Civil War battle of Edge Hill.

    Any more info I know? Oh yes, Fortnum and Mason (the great London food shop) was founded by two farm hands called (guess), who came from Banbury.

    My god, this is turning into History Today…

    simonb
    Free Member

    I live there its a niceish town but not brilliant for Mountain Biking much much better for road riding where there are plenty of quiet roads around the surrounding villages west towards the Cotswolds. For decent MTBing from Banbury you need to drive 40 mins west towards the cotswolds or south to the Chilterns.

    crispedwheel
    Free Member

    Second vote for the Reindeer. The Woolpack used to be reasonably good for lunch too.
    Richie-B – I take it you’ve already seen the statue of the fine lady?

    ourmaninthenorth
    Full Member

    Funnily enough, for the first time in over a decade, I have slightly missed the place.

    Funny that.

    PePPeR
    Full Member

    I live here too, its an ok market town, and yes the MTBing is mainly field edge, canalside and a few hills.

    I “may” know someone who has space for a lodger.

    Trimix
    Free Member

    Flipping heck – I live near by ! Oh, and I spent a night in the nick for fighting in town. In Parsons St.

    The Hook Norton beer is still delivered by horses. If you need to do some local riding email me. Me and a bunch of idiots go every Tue night and almost every Sat / Sun.

    PePPeR
    Full Member

    Richie_B I’ve sent you an E-mail.

    mikertroid
    Free Member

    It’s not too bad near Chipping Norton.

    rOcKeTdOg
    Full Member

    if you like feisty 5ft3 irish women into the fetish scene it’s ideal

    renton
    Free Member

    i work on the site where the battle of edgehill took place !! which is about 7 mile from banbury.

    over the road from me are the dasset hills which are ok to ride.

    i have found a couple of trails in the woods below the castle pub (ourmanin thenorth might know it.)

    other than that i would stay on a road bike!

    richcc
    Free Member

    I once read an article describing some problem with a sewerage system near Banbury – raw sewage was being discharged into a stream/river. The floating turds were described by the rather upset locals as ‘Banbury Trout’. Don’t know why that has stuck with me!

    If you see Banbury Trout on the menu anywhere you may want to avoid it!

    Jamz
    Free Member

    I think there’s a coffee factory there, or it might be in Brackley. Anyway, if its in Banbury then it stinks of coffee sometimes.

    nickc
    Full Member

    The Kraft food site is definitely in Banbury, I live in Brackley where it smells of dead chicken because of Feccenda, the country’s largest chicken “processor” (makes real chicken into KFC and MCD bits…)

    mboy
    Free Member

    I think there’s a coffee factory there

    The Kraft food factory in Banbury STINKS, and can often be smelt a couple of miles up the M40 even! Not a pleasant smell either, but totally depends which way the wind is blowing as to whether you can smell it or not.

    If the wind is favourable though, you can often smell the Fine Ladies Bakery further down the Southam Road. Just remember from my 9 months working just off the Southam Road just how nice the bakery smelt and how hungry it made me, and how vile the Kraft Foods factory smelt!

    Piss Poor for a night out though as already stated, unless you like drunken fights and your idea of a classy joint is a Wetherspoons!

    stow-away
    Free Member

    I Used to live there and worked in the Kraft factory for a few weeks after i graduated till i got a proper job. It was called the General Foods factory then and we were always on the alert for powder explosions as caused by custard powder spontaneosly ignighting. Amazing.

    Its close to Oxford – Oxford has going out ness in spades if you like theatre and filums. and museums…and laser quest and punting.

    Oh and watch out for BMXers with no brakes.

    Spongebob
    Free Member

    I passed through Banbury on a canal boat in 1976. Do you really want my opinion?

    Spongebob
    Free Member

    Beer was 27p a pint!

    Happy days!

    ps44
    Free Member

    Sorry, don’t agree with this “MTB doesn’t exist” line. So how many places in the UK are good for “mountain” biking ?? Like most bits of the country, it’s ok for off road riding. I live about 10 miles NW, and have a whole load of 2-3 hour off road rides from my door, including a couple that go close to Banbury. Yes there’s some field edge involved on most, but if you know your way around there’s plenty of riding to do, and when mud conditions get bad there is no end of all weather stuff in the Cotswolds.
    And re road riding, it’s also good in this area as traffic levels are low even on major roads. Still the normal count of dickheads though.
    As for the town – avoid ! Live in one of the lovely surrounding villages and ride to work.

    renton
    Free Member

    ps44 , where abouts are you then ?? anywhere near the dasset hills or edgehill??

    chopperT
    Free Member

    I used to live in Greatworth (village 10mile east of Banbury). The road riding there was excellent, loads of lanes, villages etc. It was even good for road night rides and my commute to Banbury was a nice little ride in itself. Singletrack type off roading can be problematic, but it’s not too hard to put together a bridleway type ride with plenty of interest. As said above, Cotswolds riding is 40minutes west.

    As for lodgings, I lived for a while in the big old house on Boxhedge Road, owned by Sam the Flowerman. It’s a great place, always different people moving through, quite social but enough space to have privacy, and a cool family feel. Track Sam down at Castle Flowers in town, and have a word.

    catnash
    Free Member

    I have been to the Prodrive factory twice. So the smell was the Kraft place, thought it was a chocolate smell…

    MrK
    Free Member

    lots of rides around banbury, burton dasset, broughton castle, newbottle woods, badby… assuming those places still exist. not worth travelling to but great fun if you live there. twas a shame when the hornton 4x track closed. i was involved in the first generation of building there!

    chopperT
    Free Member

    Chocolate = Fine lady bakeries

    Stink = Kraft making processed foods

    PePPeR
    Full Member

    There is a specialist chocolate factory on the same industrial estate as Prodrive, it does smell yummy sometimes.

    dirtbiker100
    Free Member

    wasn’t there a 4x track over that way once upon a time?

    PePPeR
    Full Member

    Yeah Hornton 4x as mentioned by MrK above, I know the farmer whose land it was based on, never did hear why it ended up closing, it was a great place for the kids…

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