With just under 30,000 residents, Witney is Oxfordshire’s fifth-largest location by population. The town hosts its own market every Thursday and Saturday supplying fresh local produce to locals and visitors.
The town was home to a train station for 89 years between 1873 and 1962. These days, locals rely on bus services, taxis or their own vehicles to get around with the A40 on the south side of Witney providing a direct link to Oxford, Burford and Cheltenham.
Witney is home to four museums including The Cogges Manor Farm Museum, the Witney and District Museum, Witney Blanket Hall and the Wychwood Brewery. The town also has three secondary schools and five primary schools.
Did you know, Witney has been associated with blankets and gloves for centuries. In 1669, Early’s was formed and was in business for more than 300 years. Despite this, the town’s last blanket mill sadly closed in 2002.
The town was recently named as one of the most idyllic places to live in Europe by global media company Forbes and is recognised for its iconic high street dotted with independently owned shops and cafes.
Transport links in Burford are limited, although regular bus services connect people to nearby towns and villages. The nearest train station is located five miles north of Burford in Shipton, which serves Worcester and Oxford plus operates direct services to London Paddington twice an hour.
Burford has a primary school, secondary school and is home to a summer fete each year packed with activities including a procession down the high street.
Did you know, locals water the third arch of Burford Bridge when the River Windrush is drying out. It is claimed a bottle containing the evil spirit of Lady Tanfield – a disliked resident in the 1600s – is wedged inside.
Locals believe her evil spirit will be released if the bottle dries out.
The town has a population of approximately 8,000 and is part of Oxfordshire’s Vale of the White Horse district, which extends to the River Thames in the north and the Ridgeway in the south.
Faringdon is also home to the last major Folly Tower to be built in the UK. The town’s Folly is 100ft tall and sits at the top of Folly Hill with views looking over all corners of Oxfordshire. The Folly is open on the third Sunday of every month for locals to visit
Faringdon’s market each Tuesday morning has been held since 1218 while bus services connect the town to nearby Swindon, Oxford and Wantage. The town has two primary schools and a community college for 11-18-year-old’s.
The town’s growth has been facilitated by the construction of nearby RAF Brize Norton, which was built in 1937 and is the UK’s largest station of the Royal Air Force.
Shortly before the turn of the millennium and into the 2000s, the town centre was transformed to include a shopping centre, leisure facilities, a new housing estate and a new access road to ease congestion.
Subsequently, Carterton now has five primary schools and one secondary school. Access to and from Carterton is limited as the town is not home to a railway station, however regular bus services connect the town to nearby Witney, Oxford and local villages. Carterton’s nearest train stations are Shipston-under-Wychwood and Finstock.
Local facilities include three major supermarkets, four pubs, dozens of high street shops, a library and a football, squash and bowls club.
Charlbury is a popular location among city workers due to its unrivalled transport links in west Oxfordshire.
The town’s railway station serves London Paddington, Oxford, Great Malvern, and Worcester all within 75 minutes. Bus services running between Charlbury and Oxford via Woodstock also operate with easy access to neighbouring towns Chipping Norton and Witney too.
Charlbury also hosts several free-to-attend events through the summer months as well, including a the Charlbury Beer Festival and a Riverside Music Festival in July, a Wilderness Festival in August and a Street Fair in September.
The beer festival is home of the Aunt Sally Singles World Championship, a popular game in Oxfordshire pubs where players use wooden sticks to cleanly knock a dolly off a stand known as the ‘iron’.
Bampton’s history dates back to the Iron Age and Roman periods and is home to several buildings of significance including the Grade I listed parish church, Bampton Castle and Weald Manor.
Bampton also has a historic library, which was built in the 17th century after a local wool merchant left £100 in his will to build a free school, which opened in 1653.
Locals rely on their own form of transport of bus services which connect Bampton to Carterton and Witney. No services run on Sundays or bank holidays.
If you ever visit Bampton and the surroundings appear familiar, then there is a reason why.
It was selected as a regular filming location for the popular TV drama Downton Abbey with the Old Grammar School building used as Downton’s hospital and St Mary’s Church also often featured.
Bampton is also known for its ‘Bampton Day of Dance’ where Morris Dancers take to the streets each late May bank holiday.
“Blenheim Palace, found in Woodstock, and dating from the early 1700s is a big draw for tourists who flock to the home of the Dukes of Marlborough to enjoy its Baroque architecture and Capability Brown designed gardens”