Historical Towns in Oxfordshire

A getaway would be incomplete without beauty, relaxation and an abundance of history.

As one of the most conveniently situated hotels in Abingdon, we are the perfect base for your exploration of Oxfordshire.



Abingdon is known as one of Britain’s oldest towns which isn’t surprising considering that it was built around the gates of an abbey that was founded in 675. This historical area also claims to be ‘Britain’s oldest continuously occupied town’ – in medieval times the wool trade was the lifeline of Abingdon whereas brewing, the car industry and hi-tech industries contribute to the economy today.


Visitors can expect to embark on beautiful riverside walks that showcase the local river wildlife and town views; the banks of the Thames are lined with beguiling old properties and there are many ancient monuments. Be sure to visit Abingdon Abbey, Country Hall and St Helen’s Church that dates back to the 13th century.



Banbury dates back to Saxon times and by the 13th century it was an important part of the wool trade. Renowned as one of the best-known towns in England there is plenty to see during a visit here. The Georgian architecture of St Mary’s Church is unmissable, Upton House and Gardens date back to the 17th-century and should you wish to explore the countryside, sections of the old Ironstone railway line still exist. Banbury is also known for its cross but of the original three, only the High Cross which was rebuilt in the middle of the 19th-century remains.


As well as many shops and markets, the town is also well known for its delicious 16th century secret recipe Banbury cakes.


Chipping Norton

Chipping Norton is the highest town in Oxfordshire. Its woollen mill was built in 1872 and continued production until 1980. During medieval times merchants thrived in the Cotswolds and Oxfordshire, and by the 17th-century there were many beautiful Cotswold stone buildings erected – you will find many of them in Chipping Norton.


A visit here would be incomplete without exploring the church of St Mary the Virgin – it is one of the largest parish churches in Oxfordshire. Surrounded by lush Cotswold countryside, Chipping Norton boasts attractions such as the Neolithic Rollright Stones and is not far from Stow-on-the-Wold and Bourton-on-the-Water.


Henley on Thames

Henley on Thames is renowned for being both a shopping and a holiday destination. Many visit for the Henley Regatta; this major international rowing event was first held in 1839 and never fails to grow in popularity each year. Those who spend a day here do so to learn more about the heritage of the area – if this is your reason for visiting then you will be delighted by the Georgian buildings such as Kenton Theatre, but there are a plethora of other examples of architecture including 14th century Chantry House, Speakers House, 16th century St Mary’s Church and the arched bridge from 1786.


From enjoying the riverbanks to the houses and quaint cottages, there is plenty to do that includes a spot of retail therapy; visitors also frequent the Shire Horse Centre, the National Trust property of Grays Court and a local history museum.



A true ancient market town, Thame is mentioned in the Doomsday Book of 1087 and boasts plentiful architecture. The parish church of St Mary the Virgin was built during the 13th century and has many notable tombs. Norman in origin with Gothic additions, the church houses an impressive early English font.


Encompassing the town is an abundance of picturesque countryside – you wouldn’t expect anything less in Oxfordshire. In the town itself visitors will find buildings full of character including 15th century abodes and the famous 16th century Spread Eagle inn. In the town centre visitors can enjoy the Victorian town hall, Georgian houses and porches and a mixture of shops. The popular Thame and Oxford Show is also held here.



Woodstock, synonymous with Blenheim Palace, is full of history and a town you must visit when holidaying in Oxfordshire. Construction of the palace was completed in 1722, but it would be many years before it became famous to a new generation for being the birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill. The palace’s gardens emulate the design of those at Versailles – visitors must stop by to witness them on their trip.


The history of Woodstock doesn’t end there. It is believed that English kings stayed here before the Norman Conquest and modern-day guests can expect to see buildings from the 18th century such as the town hall – not forgetting Fletchers house of 17th century origin. Popular for shopping and the Dorn and Evenlode rivers, Woodstock is a prime example a historical town.


If you are looking for hotels in Oxfordshire, look no further.

To find out more and to join us at one of the most convenient hotels in Abingdoncontact us  or call 01235 553456.