Banbury Circular walk

A peaceful circular walk with a variety of lunch stops.


This is a list of previous times this walk has been done by the club (since Jan 2010). For more recent events (since April 2015), full details are shown.

Date Post # Weather
Sat, 19-Sep-20 Banbury circular 7 gloriously sunny
Sun, 17-Jun-18 Sunday Walk – A Long or Short Peaceful Clockwise Circular Around Banbury 6 overcast mostly
Sat, 23-Sep-17 Cromwell's stronghold 4
Sat, 19-Sep-20
Banbury circular

Length: 17.2km (10.7 miles) / 32.5 km (20.2 miles) 29.4 km (18.3 miles)
Toughness: 2 out of 10

Catch the 9:40 9:46 from London Marylebone arrives Banbury 10:36 11:01.

This is a map based walk, so there are only basic directions included, with more detail in certain sections (Deddington option) where it is not so obvious.
Standard walk: The recommended pub The Black Boy Inn, Milton is currently closed

Lunch at one of the pubs in Bloxham.

Longer walk option via Deddington: Lunch at one of the Deddington pubs, 12km into the walk.
Fast return trains: xx:05 xx:41, then final slow trains at 21:46 and 22:16

  • 17-Sep-20

    That train seems to have disappeared....

  • 17-Sep-20

    Thanks for pointing that out Pete. (On the off chance any further timetable changes catch the first train on or after 09:40.)

  • 20-Sep-20

    There was a perfect 6 of us at Banbury station, so we didn’t have to shout at people to split into groups or anything. Five opted to do the longer walk and the sixth (me) acquiesced. I had not done this walk before and am a noted sceptic of the virtues of rushing off into the flatlands to the north of the Chilterns to do walks, but this was a very pleasant outing, with lovely rolling hills, an endless procession of eye-wateringly pretty villages (but are they happy?), and fine views. A fair quotient of arable fields that would be a muddy hell in winter, but who even thinks of the possibility of winter on such a gloriously sunny day?

    We lunched in the delightful garden of a pub in Doddington, after some had inspected a supposedly fascinating castle ruin that bore an uncanny resemblance to a football pitch. The pub seemed to have one member of staff, a cheerful youth who was manning both the bar and the kitchen. The menu was thus limited to fish, chips and burgers, but they were fairly upmarket ones - good enough for a certain local MP to feed to the Chinese president, if he had a mind to.

    Somewhat awkwardly a seventh walker joined us at lunch, sparking a major social-distancing crisis. Luckily one walker elected to set off ahead, muttering something about going outside, and maybe being some time. But still, there is no getting round the fact that technically, for a brief period, there were 7 of us. Don’t tell the rozzers.

    During the long afternoon I got somewhat held up by the spectacle of some 40 green-veined white butterflies feeding on thistle on a field edge. I took a short cut down a main road to overtake the others. We had a drink in Bloxham and then yomped in the gathering gloom (nights are drawing in!) towards Banbury, speculating about what trains we were about to miss.

    Then somewhere near Banbury, Lord, I let them slip away, looking for the pub I hope they found, while one of the party gave me a lift home.

    A great day out. Will it be the last for a while? We await our fate.

Sun, 17-Jun-18
Sunday Walk – A Long or Short Peaceful Clockwise Circular Around Banbury
SWC Walk 293: Peaceful Honey Colored Villages and Rolling Hills on a Banbury Circular (Long or Short) t=swc.293

Short: 10.7 Miles or 17.2 km for those more metrically minded
Long: 20.3 Miles or 32.7 km for those more metrically minded

Difficulty: Short: 2 out of 10/Long: 4 out of 10

Train: Take the 9:40 AM Birmingham Snow Hill train from London Marylebone, arriving at Banbury at 10:36. Return trains are at 17:40; 17:44; 18:07; 18:40; 18:44; 19:07; 19:41; 20:07; 20:13; 20:36; 21:07; 21:14; 21:28. Buy a day return to Banbury.

I am posting this walk as a special request and also because it looks like an interesting and fairly new walk. It covers some nice undulating countryside near the Cotswold and passes through some pretty honey colored villages. Being Father’s Day, this walk also benefits from a number of pubs – on either the short or long route, there should be a choice of three hostelries. Please note that this walk is designed as a map-led outing with instructions provided only at key points. As such, in addition to the walk instructions, it is recommended to print out and bring the map from the OS tab on the walk information page. You can find more information about the walk and the instructions here.

On the short walk, there are three pubs located in Bloxham (about 6.5 miles/11 km into the walk). On the long walk, there are three pubs located in Deddington (about 7.5 miles/12.5 km) into the walk. Tea and other post walk libations can be had at a variety of establishments in Banbury.

Enjoy the walk!
  • Anonymous

    what do you mean 'Peaceful' Karen? am bringing the DOG! ☺ ☺ lol

  • Anonymous

    A few of us Plan to do the short version.

  • Mike

    I arrived in Banbury by an earlier train, so I found a spot by the canal and waited for the others. No one showed up, so I set off. It would be easy to go wrong leaving Bodicote (I know a man who did). There are 2 paths either side of a hedge, the first leads West so I soon realized my error. I don't understand the ref to turning right to go under the rail bridge at Milton, which is on your left. I went in to the Black Boy Inn but again could find no sign of life so I pressed on. The next path was also hard to follow, but after straddling a barbed wire fence it got much better. I dined at the Joiners Arms in Bloxham (which also has another pub). The path approaching Bloxham Grove was obscured by waist high crops, but not impassable.

  • Anonymous

    Just to add to Mike's comment, 4 on scheduled train, 1 on the train 30 mins later, so 6 . overcast mostly . Despite only 6 walkers in total, we managed to split into 4 groups in the morning. The instruction was on the economic side, but the GPS map on the mobile was most helpful. We did find the railway bridge aided by GPS, tucked above the overgrown path and and easily missed. Two dined at Joiners Arms in a literally empty pub on father's day, we should have taken the hint and follow the advice from a local - Red Lion was the best pub in town. We were later joined by another who did a longer loop, but by that time, the pub stopped served food. Three of us enjoyed walking together in the afternoon and took 5:40 very crowded train back to London.

  • 19-Jun-18

    Just to add a few more details...3 from the appointed train set off promptly on arrival while the 4th waited for the late arrival. We did not notice anyone waiting on the canal...2 of these did the short walk while 1 was keen to explore the terrain further afield, but lacked the resolve to complete the full 20 miles -- so set off on the long route with the aim of exploring a "medium" option. The outer stretches of the route are pretty with gentle undulations and some charming villages...some scope definitely exists for a medium route -- though potentially at the expense of lunch in a pub....the explorer then caught up with the late starters in Bloxham for a glass of wine....

Sat, 23-Sep-17
Cromwell's stronghold
SWC Walk 293 – Banbury Circular
Length: 17.2km (10.7 miles) / 32.5 km (20.2 miles)
Toughness: 2 out of 10

Catch the 9:40 from London Marylebone arrives Banbury 10:36.

This is a map based walk, so there are only basic directions included, with more detail in certain sections (Deddington option) where it is not so obvious.

Short walk: The recommended pub The Black Boy Inn, Milton is open at the weekend. (Noted as they've had to close for periods during the week due to the nearby road closure affecting business.) It would be advisable to phone on the day to check (otherwise you may opt for an early lunch at the Horse and Jockey or The Plough at Bodicote or a later lunch at one of the pubs in Bloxham).

Longer walk via Deddington: Lunch at one of the Deddington pubs.

Fast return trains: xx:04 xx:40, then final slow trains at 21:45 and 22:16 T=3.293
  • 19-Sep-17

    Intend going (via Deddington).

  • 24-Sep-17

    4 on this walk. Pleasant honey coloured villages and large arable fields were noticeable on this walk. Accidentally walked through the garden of a farmer, who was naturally really cross, however I thought he was a bit churlish in not accepting our apologies. Two of us stayed on in Banbury to visit, the museum is recommended but the Banbury Cross was a bit disappointing sitting as it does on a busy roundabout. Tea and Banbury cakes (bought in the museum) were enjoyably consumed on the way home.