The Market Town of Witney

Oxford City & Oxfordshire | Magazine 

The Market Town of Witney

Witney, located in West Oxfordshire, is a charming town with plenty of attractions for visitors. From a historic farm to a lively arts venue and great places to eat there is something for everyone to enjoy.

The Corn Exchange

The Corn Exchange Witney is a public hall located in the heart of the town. This arts venue offers a wide range of events including comedy, music, open mic nights, indoor markets, lectures, conferences, and weddings. The venue is a beautiful 19th-century building with modern facilities, including a wonderful in-house café and bar 1863, which supports local and sustainable businesses.

Cogges Farm

Cogges Farm is a historic farm in the heart of Witney, Oxfordshire, with a unique blend of activities and features to explore. With a beautiful Manor House, walled kitchen garden, orchard, adventure play area, and 17 acres of open space, there’s something for everyone. Children will love the adventure play fort, zip wire, and trail around the old moat, while furry friends such as pigs, goats, sheep, ducks, and chickens will provide them with hours of fun. The manor house lawn is also the perfect spot to play croquet.

Cogges Kitchen is the farm’s beautifully rustic café located in the old milking parlour. Visitors can enjoy a variety of dishes, including vegan and gluten-free options, in a warm and inviting atmosphere. The café is perfect for a relaxing break during a busy day of exploring the farm’s offerings.

For those looking for a new experience in the new year, Cogges Farm offers an amazing variety of arts and crafts, seasonal food, nature and gardening, adventure and discovery, health and wellbeing workshops throughout the year. With so much to see and do, Cogges Farm is an ideal destination for visitors of all ages.

The Leys Recreation Ground in Witney

The Coffee Shed, located on The Leys Recreation Ground, is a local café with a big focus on community, sport, and family time. It is the perfect place to relax after your daily walk, jog, or game of tennis. The Leys Recreation Ground also boasts a fantastic adventure playground, skate park, and seasonal splash park for kids of all ages to enjoy.

For those looking for a bit of friendly competition, Adventure Golf is the place to be. This 9-hole course is perfect for a family day out or a fun-filled date. No need to book in advance – putters and balls are available from the golf hut or The Coffee Shed.

Finally, for tennis enthusiasts, there are seven full-sized courts and four mini tennis courts waiting for you at The Leys Recreation Ground.

Eating out in Witney

Witney has a variety of dining options for locals and visitors alike. Whether you’re in the mood for Indian cuisine, locally sourced food or American-style comfort food, Witney has got you covered. Here a just a few:

One of the most popular restaurants in the town is Shaan Restaurant, which is located in Corn Street. Here, diners can enjoy a range of delicious Bangladeshi and Indian dishes, including chef specials and a Sunday banquet menu.

The Fleece is a great option. Overlooking the beautiful Church Green, The Fleece offers a menu that changes with the seasons, using only the best ingredients from local farms and producers. The restaurant has a strong focus on sustainability and quality, making it a top choice for those who value ethically sourced food.

If you’re in the mood for something a little more casual, Part and Parcel is a great choice. Located in the Old Post Office building on Witney high street, the restaurant offers a selection of burgers, pizzas, wings and other classic American-style dishes. They also have a range of delicious cocktails and drinks on offer, making it the perfect spot for a relaxed lunch or night out with friends and family.

Witney History – Witney Blankets

Witney has long been known for its association with blankets. The town’s thriving blanket and glove-making industry dates back to at least the 13th century, when a cloth or fulling mill was established in the area. By the end of the Middle Ages, Witney had become a bustling market town with a growing reputation for producing high-quality blankets.

Despite the closure of the last blanket mill in 2002, the town’s rich heritage lives on. Witney Blankets remain a popular souvenir for visitors, and locals still take pride in the town’s history as a hub of textile production. Early’s was one of the most well-known blanket makers in the area, operating for over 300 years and supplying blankets to the Royal Family.

The Early family business was established in 1669, and by 1861, Charles Early had opened a railway line connecting Yarnton to Witney, which eventually became part of the Great Western Railway. Although the railway line ceased operation for passengers in 1962 and for freight in 1970, it played an important role in the growth and success of the blanket-making industry in Witney. Today, visitors can explore the town’s history and heritage through the Witney Blanket Trail, which highlights some of the most significant sites and stories associated with this iconic industry.

Shopping in Witney

The town boasts a fantastic high street and two other shopping areas, the Woolgate Shopping Centre and Marriotts Walk, both of which are home to a great selection of shops ranging from major chain stores to independent retailers.

Woolgate Shopping Centre is situated in the heart of Witney and offers free parking in its large car park. The centre is home to an array of popular stores, including Next, GAME, WH Smith, Superdrug, EE, and Waitrose. Additionally, shoppers can explore local businesses such as Bakers Butchers, Truck Witney Music Store and Lily’s Attic, which add to the town’s unique charm. And for those in need of a caffeine boost, Costa Coffee and Starbucks are conveniently located within the Woolgate Centre.

Just a few minutes’ walk from the town’s main high street, is Marriotts Walk shopping area and parking in the multi-storey car park is free. At Marriots Walk you will find fashion brands such as Fat Face, Marks & Spencer, Phase Eight, Hobbs and New Look. Visitors can also catch a movie at the Cineworld cinema, grab a bite to eat at Cafe Rouge, or enjoy a cup of coffee and a pastry at Cafe Nero.

For a more unique shopping experience, ‘The Shop Witney’ is an independent store that offers a platform for small businesses to showcase their products in ‘pop up’ spaces. From traditional to quirky, this store is worth a visit. Campden Wine bar, and Alfonsos Gelateria ice cream are also on hand to provide shoppers with a place to relax and recharge.

With free parking available in both shopping centres, getting to the shops in Witney couldn’t be easier.

From exploring the town’s rich history and culture to indulging in local cuisine and shopping, there’s something for everyone in Witney

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