Due to the fact that much of the surrounding region is primarily rural, Banbury draws in many local visitors to its wide range of retail areas. The busiest of these is the Castle Quay shopping centre, which is home to a plethora of major high street names alongside many smaller retailers.
The main square in the centre of town hosts a popular market most days of the week and also is home to a regular farmers' market several times a month which offers a wide array of fine fresh produce.
Alongside many high quality restaurants, central Banbury has a huge variety of traditional pubs, more than most towns of its size certainly, one well worth a visit is The Reindeer. Owned by the local Hook Norton Brewery, the pub offers an unparalleled range of real ales and is thought to be the site where Oliver Cromwell planned the Battle of Edge Hill.
Visitors with an interest in local history should take a look at the town's museum that lies adjacent to the canal. The museum charts the town's beginnings in the Anglo-Saxon era and has exhibits covering the destruction of many of the town's landmarks by the Puritans in the seventeenth century, as well as Banbury's industrial heritage including the arrival of the railways.
Nestling in the beautiful Cherwell Valley, Banbury is surrounded by picturesque countryside popular with ramblers and there are many scenic footpaths and trails on offer for the first-time visitor to enjoy.