A Toddler Daytrip to Banbury

As you probably know by now, my boy Tyler is a little bit crazy about trains, so I’m always on the lookout for places to take him to by train that aren’t too expensive. Last Monday I decided to take him to Banbury – it’s £20 for a day return from Slough and is roughly an hour and a half away. We got there at about 11.30, with a change at Oxford, where Tyler got to do some trainspotting from the footbridge. We had a little snack while we were waiting there too.

Oxford Train Station

When we got to Banbury station, my little trainspotter was excited to see the Chiltern Railway trains  – yes really. “Look, a white train! A WHITE TRAIN!!!” We walked down the road out of the station, and turned left – the town centre was just there. We had a walk through the Castle Quay shopping centre, which has all the familiar store names, like Debenhams, H&M, Tiger, M&S. We went into Bhs where I had a nightmare trying to keep an eye on Tyler. He thought it was a big game and was running around and hiding from me. I do sometimes miss those days when he was strapped in a pushchair and I could browse in peace! So I decided to take him up to the Bhs Cafe for a milk and sandwich. It’s on a balcony looking over the shopping centre, under a glass roof so we got all the sunshine. Tyler was so good sitting down to eat his lunch, and then he played with this toy they had there for a while, and I got to catch up with reading my book.

Banbury, Oxfordshire, 2015

After lunch we walked through the other side of the shopping centre, which had a distinctive 70s feel – suddenly the floor tiles looked ancient and the space seemed claustrophobic. We walked through M&S to get outside! Opposite the shopping centre is the High Street which is full of character buildings. It has a real ‘ye olde’ feel. Of course Tyler was too busy looking for ants – much more interesting for a boy 😉

Banbury, Oxfordshire, 2015

He also found running around this tree so much fun, he actually told me to sit on the bench so he could play. The simple things in life! He then sat down next to me, really excited to see a yellow DHL van drive up. “Look mummy, a yellow van. LOOK THE YELLOW VAN IS COMING! Byeee vaaan!!!”

Banbury, Oxfordshire, 2015

I got him to the top of the High Street eventually, with a lot of stopping in doorways, to get to see the famous Banbury Cross.

Banbury, Oxfordshire, 2015

Then we walked back down the other side of the High Street, where I took pictures of buildings that interested me. I liked this blue door and the Tintern House writing.

Banbury, Oxfordshire, 2015

All the shops on the High Street are in really pretty character buildings. Even the McDonalds looks pretty.

Banbury High Street, Oxfordshire, 2015

And Banbury must have the grandest 99p store in the country – look at those pillars. That really made me laugh.

Banbury High Street, Oxfordshire, 2015

Even the post box looks a bit different from the norm.

Banbury, Oxfordshire, 2015

After our wander down the High Street, we went back into the Castle Quay shopping centre to visit Banbury Museum. It took a while to get there, as Tyler decided to crawl for fun. I was like, Tyler, why??? Anyhoo, we got there. We had to walk through a footbridge over the Oxford canal.

Banbury Museum, Oxfordshire, 2015

The museum is free entry, and I actually found it really interesting. It’s about the history of the area, what industries were big in the olden days etc. There was a weave machine which Tyler liked trying out, and lots of drawers to open!

Banbury Museum, Oxfordshire, 2015

Banbury Museum, Oxfordshire, 2015

Banbury Museum, Oxfordshire, 2015

We went downstairs through the museum cafe, which leads on to the canal. This is where Tyler decided to follow the narrow boats up and down the canal – good exercise for me!

Banbury Museum, Oxfordshire, 2015

He even followed the man that got off the boat in order to open the drawbridge!

Banbury, Oxfordshire, 2015

We were here for a while as there was a bit of a canal jam as another one was coming in the other direction in the lock and one behind – all very exciting for Tyler.

After that, I called it a day. We popped into M&S to buy some dinner (Cottage Pie!) and then made our way back to the train station.

Banbury M&S, Oxfordshire, 2015

The boy was knackered, he fell asleep on my lap while we were waiting on the platform and slept all the way to Reading. He woke up when we changed at Reading, and it was like the best thing ever for him. He gasped, “The London train. THE LONDON TRAIN IS GOING!!!” “A high speed train! Another high speed train!!” “Quick, let’s get the blue train!” – Seriously, forget the day out, maybe a day in Reading Station would be enough for him!

Well that was our day out in Banbury. You can see the things that interest Tyler and me were quite different, but we both had a really good day. Sometimes to nice to just visit somewhere different than where you live for a change, and especially after seeing cows and fields on the way there, it really felt like we’d travelled somewhere far away in the country! Now where shall we visit visit next…

Sabrina x

P.S. I also put my Woolies Detective hat on and wrote a post about the old Banbury Woolworths – it used to be where Mothercare and Santander are now on the High Street. Have a read here if you fancy.

 

 

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24 responses to “A Toddler Daytrip to Banbury

    • Yes it was a lovely daytrip – shopping, a canal and pretty buildings – that’s all I need :-D. Definitely give it a visit next time you’re round your in-laws! xx

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    • They are so pretty, character buildings. I like trying to imagine how they were in the olden days. Haha, you sound as excited as Tyler about the white trains! I never even realised the Chiltern Line trains were white till Tyler mentioned it! xx

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  1. Love that you visited my hometown. I don’t think anyone’s ever said that McDonalds looked pretty too, but looking at it with visitors eyes and the setting I suppose it does. You’ve seen more of the museum than us – we’ve only done the bridge area for a special kids science event, really must do the rest.

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    • Aw thank you for your comment, it really made me smile. Haha, yes I bet I am the first to say that about the McDonalds! I don’t remember when I started, but I always look up when I’m looking at shops on any UK High Street, you can always see some of history. Oh yes the museum had lots of interesting things from the past to look at. And it’s small enough that kids won’t get bored quickly! xx

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  2. I always enjoy reading your posts about Oxon/Berks as they’re all places close to me. I haven’t visited Banbury in years, it’s just a place I drive past on the M40. How about Henley-on-Thames for your next visit? Easy to get to on the train from Slough and nice to walk along the river. #Mondayescapes

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    • Ahh thank you, I’m so glad you like reading them! Haha, next time you’re driving past, stop off in Banbury for a cheeseburger in that character building McDonalds! Oh yes Henley, that’s a good idea. I can see Tyler liking the boats there. Thank you xx

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  3. Looks like a fab day out, you can’t go wrong with canals, museums, trains spotting and shopping! I’ve never been to Banbury but I didn’t realise how pretty it is. Thanks for linking up with #MondayEscapes

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  4. It’s genuinely like reading about Zach! e live right by a railway line and today we were stood there waiting for ‘just one more train’ to come past! Luckily it was rush hour so there were trains a plenty! It’s so funny though, their complete fascinatiion with trains while I was standing there thinking how weird we must look! Looks like you had a fab day out though and how fab for you to make this effort for him too fulfil his love of trains! Thanks so much for linking up with #TwinklyTuesday

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  5. It’s such a pretty town, laughed at the 99p store, how grand! I just realised that I had always thought that the song about Banbury cross was Bamburgh cross as we had gone on holiday there as a child! Ha ha, oh well, I stand corrected now! I love how excited Tyler was at the trains and that you were told to sit down so he could run round the tree. Kids really do know that the best things in life aren’t the expensive days out!
    Thanks so much for linking up to #Whatevertheweather 🙂 x

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    • Banburgh – haha, at least you know now! That’s the only reason I’d heard of Banbury, that cross – it wasn’t even that amazing in real life! Still, you’re right, kids know the more interesting things – trees in this case! xx

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  6. Looks as though you had a great time. Glad you’ve mentioned the Banbury museum it’s not far from us and somewhere that’s definitely on our places to visit list now! Thanks so much for linking up to #toddlerapprovedtuesday this week x

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  7. Banbury looks lovely. I know what you mean about missing the pushchair! Evie will never go in hers anymore. You’ve got to keep your eyes on them all the time. Banbury museum looks like a great place to visit. Tyler is such a personality! He’s definitely independent isn’t he! 🙂 I’m glad you managed to catch up on your book, even if it was for 5 minutes. Those moments are so precious. Thank you so so much for linking this to #whatevertheweather x

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    • I coaxed him into the pushchair this week – I got to shop in peace – hurrah! Still it’s nice to let him run around, though I much prefer when there’s more than just me to keep an eye on him! xx

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