Charlbury: small charming market town
Charlbury, despite being off the beaten track, is an easy to reach down to earth Cotswold town. It nestles on the Oxfordshire edge of the Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, beyond the reach of busy main roads.
What To Do And See
The characteristic local stone and many old buildings lend Charlbury its charming Cotswolds flair. There are many shops and country inns, and a small museum by the market place illustrates the town's traditional crafts and industries.
Across the green, known as Playing Close, is an interesting, neo-Jacobean drinking fountain. Another point of interest is the centuries-old Parish church, which allows a glimpse of a long-forgotten past.
Also noteworthy is a 17th century country house in Cornbury Park, in part designed by the architect Hugh May.
Charlbury is know for its annual beer festival, which normally takes place in the second week of July, and the yearly music festival in Cornbury Park. Charlbury Railway Station was designed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel.
Charlbury looks across the Evenload valley to the Cornbury Park estate, almost surrounded by the great woodlands of Wychwood Forest.
The largely privately owned River Evenlode passes through many villages and towns in Oxfordshire, including Charlbury. It joins the Thames approximately 5 km (3 miles) north-west of Oxford.
Plenty of opportunity to walk is offered by the meandering Oxfordshire Way, several bridleways, and a pleasant circular walk passing through part of Cornbury Park and the villages of Finstock, Chilson and Shorthampton.
How to get there
From the M40 south: leave at junction 8, follow the A40 around the north of Oxford, then take the A44 (signposted Evesham, Stratford, Woodstock). After Woodstock, turn left on the B4437.
From the M40 north: leave at junction 15, follow the A429 south to Halford, then turn south on the A3400. Continue through Shipston and Long Compton; after it becomes the A44, turn right on the B4022 at Enstone.