BYHP Big Lunch Day

Well – the big day is here – we will blog about the #BYHPBigLunch afterwards but here are a few images to give you a feel for what awaits you at BYHP from 12 to 5 today !  

 If you are coming, please don’t forget to bring a dish of food to share, some non-alcoholic drink, a fold up chair or two, a homemade cake to enter into our BYHP Big Lunch Bake Off competition, a few pounds for raffle tickets as we have a mega list of prizes to be won – and your sunglasses !!  





Destination Banbury’s Old Town S1/E2 – Comic Connections

Part two of today’s mini-series of blogs is about another cool destination store in Banbury. 

Comic Connections is a little hidden away in Parsons Street in Banbury but they are really worth seeking out.

Importantly, they are there every week, selling something which people travel from miles around to buy.
We recently visited to take photos and to talk with Glyn the owner, who is a real aficionado and so passionate about his shop, his products and most importantly his customers – not to mention being a big supporter of Banbury.

In readiness for Comic Connections’ biggest and busiest day of the year, Free Comic Book Day, we have been to take some photos and to get a feel for this great retail experience; I am now desperately resisting my youthful pass time of getting back into reading 2000AD & Judge Dredd as nothing else will get done if I start again !! 

 But take a look around for yourselves with this virtual tour   

Then #VisitBanbury tomorrow to pick up your free comic books and look out on the Facebook page for a very special scavenger hunt being launched at 10am tomorrow morning.  

The Banbury Big Lunch blog part 1

Hopefully by now you would have understood that one of the core values of the Visit Banbury project is Community.

What you may not know is the Visit Banbury project is born out of an amazing initiative established by the guys at the Eden Project in Cornwall called the Big Lunch.


In 2009 the Eden Project released an idea across the UK, a very simple idea, to sit down with your neighbours for a few hours on one day of the year and to share lunch. And that was it. 

A very simple idea of how to get together and start to build a community, even without actively thinking that you are building a community.

Some of us, having seen an advert for the Big Lunch, decided that we would run around for the next six weeks and put together a street party in Queens Road, Banbury.

There were a few challenges at times but mainly everybody was really supportive and we got the road closed, insurance, entertainment, a bouncy castle, music, food, fun games and lots and lots of people altogether and we had a wonderful party despite the terrible British weather. 

In fact, the terrible British weather actually helped, because when it rained we all huddled under a gazebo,  we all put food on one single table and shared it amongst ourselves and we started to talk and we build friendships and those friendships have lasted nearly 7 years so far.

And that is kind of it, a very simple idea to get together and share food and conversation and laughter, with a few – or many – of your neighbours to build a network, a community, a resilient, supportive group of people, who are there for each other in the good times and the fun times but also in the difficult times. 

People often hark back to the good old days; well this is one example of how you can turn back the clock to re-establish a community amongst your closest of neighbours so that you don’t feel isolated, alone, afraid or bored!

Nowadays there is always something going on – a party, a book club, a sports event, a chat, a coffee and meetings about all sorts of things, including the next Big Lunch street party!!

This year, after attending the next phase called Big Lunch Extras at the Eden Project, we decided that it was time to encourage others around Banbury to hold their own Big Lunches.

So the Visit Banbury project have set up a Facebook group and we are actively supporting other people around Banbury in the organising and setting up of their own big lunch events.

This year, Queens Road is holding our sixth Big Lunch with the theme of “60s 70s flower power festival”. It will be a chance to dig out the  flowery shirts and bellbottom trousers; everything to do with festivals but also creativity with floral displays and decorations to brighten up the whole street.

As usual, there will be bring-and-share food and lots of it, fun for the kids with the bouncy castle, live music, face painting, competitions such as the best dressed front garden, our mega raffle and lots of fun, smiles and laughter. 

What could be better than a day when the street outside our front doors is cleared of cars, the road is empty and the kids can run up and down or cycle up and down in safety and the knowledge that they are part of a growing community.

For more about the Big Lunch in Queens Road see:

And lots of fab photos from previous years’ events:

The second part of this blog will focus on some of the other events being organised around Banbury – the main Big Lunch day around the UK is 6 weeks from today, so still plenty of time to organise your get together for that day or an alternative date later in the Summer.

Visit Banbury on Instagram

**Update – April 2016**

After a wonderful year of posting pictures every day Kate had to step down due to other commitments and so the feed has been languishing a little waiting for another kind person to take it on and happily we can announce that since yesterday new photos of Banbury will now be posted on a regular basis so keep an eye out!


As the Visit Banbury project gains momentum we are widening the social media focus to include other platforms rather than just being Twitter focused.

We know different audiences use different platforms and we can convey our messages about Banbury in different ways via these other social media tools.
Instagram is a case in point ….
Kate, one of our team members and a very keen amateur photographer who has a real eye for the unusual, quirky and intriguing photos, has taken on the Visit Banbury feed and is posting photos daily which reflect the diversity of architecture, heritage, culture, environment and community which exists within Banbury.
We also intend to use Instagram as a means of publishing output from some of the photographic-based project work Visit Banbury will do, whether tourism related or to bring together the huge number of photographers in Banbury who are keen to explore and rediscover their home town through their lenses.

See more:

Happy Valentine’s Day Banbury

A gift from Visit Banbury to show Banbury how much we love you !


Thanks to

The lovely music is
Not Walkin’ Away by Emily Hearn: