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Oxford, The City of Dreaming Spires, is famous the world over for its University and place in history. For over 800 years, it has been a home to royalty and scholars, and since the 9th century an established town, although people are known to have lived in the area for thousands of years.
Woodstock, eight miles north west of Oxford is often visited for two reasons: Blenheim Palace, birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill, and his grave in nearby Bladon. However, Woodstock has much more to offer. It is a fine Georgian town with a distinct royal heritage containing many attractive period buildings. It is renowned for its antique shops but also has an interesting selection of other shops and galleries, as well as some excellent pubs and restaurants.
With its medieval bridge, old stone houses and attractive Tudor and Georgian frontages, Burford is justifiably one of the most picturesque towns in England. Often referred to as the ‘Gateway to the Cotswolds’, the town was originally a fortified Anglo-Saxon ford which later grew to be an important regional crossroads and wealthy wool town.
Perched on the highest point in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds, Chipping Norton was once a centre for the Cotswold wool trade and was given a Royal charter by King John in 1205. The medieval Guildhall and St Mary's Church reflect the prosperity brought by the wool trade. Later, sheep farming was largely replaced by arable, but agriculture remained important in this part of the Oxfordshire Cotswolds. Many of the original houses around the market place were rebuilt in the 18th century with fashionable Georgian frontages.
Known across the world for blanket making, especially in North America where the Witney Point Blanket was traded in exchange for furs, the town owes its prosperity to the wool trade. Witney is the largest of the market towns in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds and much of the architecture reflects the past prosperity of the woollen trade.
Founded in the 12th century, and best known for the annual Royal Regatta, Henley attracts some of the world´s finest rowers. Statues of those great Olympians Sir Steve Redgrave and Sir Matthew Pinsent greet visitors to the town´s award winning River and Rowing Muse