Trains to Banbury have called at the Oxfordshire market town since 1850; although the current station layout dates to remodelling and refurbishment that took place in the 1950s. The station is to the east of the town centre, a five-minute walk away across the River Cherwell and the Oxford Canal. The town centre is dominated by the Castle Quay shopping centre, but there are plenty of more-traditional buildings along the Market Place and High Street.
Banbury High Street was once part of Banbury Lane, one of two ancient roads that crossed in the town and along which the trade in salt and wool provided the basis for the development of the town in medieval times. Also in the town centre is Ye Olde Reindeer Inn, the oldest pub in Banbury, and where Oliver Cromwell reputedly planned the Battle of Edge Hill in a back room, which is still available for plotting over a pint to this day.