The tranquil Cotswolds market town just 15 miles from bustling city

Witney Buttercross
-Credit: (Image: (Image: Getty))


Considered a hidden gem among travellers, Witney, located on the edge of the picturesque Cotswolds in Oxfordshire, is a charming market town enriched with history. Despite being only 15 miles away from Oxford and 30 miles from Cheltenham, this restful spot sees much less footfall.

Boasting diverse architecture owing to its notable history within the wool trade, Witney showcases landmarks including the 17th-century Buttercross and the St Mary the Virgin church, surrounded by an impressive, tree-lined green. The "charming" locale offers a unique blend of antique shops and cosy cafes, alongside a bi-weekly market and annual festivals.

Its position amongst rolling verdant landscapes provides ample opportunities for outdoor enjoyment, with Leys park and Cogges farmstead being key attractions. Despite being tucked away from popular tourist trails, it sits in proximity to the renowned university city of Oxford, a short 15-mile ride away, reports the Express.

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Accommodation options in Witney are aplenty. Tourists rate The Bird In Hand Inn, nestled in a Grade II listed building, top on booking.com for its homely feel Another noteworthy stay is The Fleece, a Georgian building overlooking Witney's Church Green which also offers delightful dining options.

Witney Town Green
Witney Town Green -Credit:(Image: Getty)

For those seeking a touch of luxury, the Old Swan is nestled within 60 acres of woodland, boasting a croquet lawn and five-star rated rooms. When it comes to dining and drinking, The Three Horseshoes stands out as one of the top-rated pubs in the area. It offers home-cooked food within a contemporary interior, all housed within a traditional Cotswold stone cottage.

The Coffeesmith has earned its reputation as a "hidden gem" among tourists, serving fresh coffee and an array of baked goods. Visitors are particularly fond of their traditional Victoria sponge, with some declaring it the "best" they've ever tasted.

If you're in search of a restaurant, San Marzano Witney comes highly recommended. Described as a "portal to a little Italian getaway", it's praised for its affordable prices and "incredible food". Shopping enthusiasts will find plenty to explore in Witney, from markets to traditional high streets. The Woolgate Centre houses a variety of shops, including Waterstones, Next and Waitrose.

Holloways Almhouses at St Mary's Church, Witney, Oxfordshire
Holloways Almhouses at St Mary's Church, Witney, Oxfordshire -Credit:(Image: Getty)

However, if you prefer independent stores, take a stroll along Marriotts Walk and Waterloo Walk where you'll discover antique stores and family-run businesses. A weekly market also operates in the town, with traders selling handmade items and local produce.

In terms of public transport, Witney enjoys excellent links due to its close proximity to Oxford, including several bus services.

For those looking to explore the stunning Blenheim Palace, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill, Stagecoach bus 233 offers a convenient route from Witney to Woodstock.

Additionally, Stagecoach operates the S1 and S2 bus lines, providing easy access from Oxford City Centre (George St, stop A3) to Witney.