We believe this part of the country is a lovely place to live. It is not isolated or overpopulated and there are excellent modern facilities. Historically, Witney has been associated with blankets and the River Windrush was partly responsible for the success of the woollen trade since the mid 17th century, due to the quality of the river water, or so the story goes. There are many fine old houses and cottages in the town, some with beautiful and very private gardens. The traditional building material was handsome local stone and many of the roofs are clad in heavy durable slate which perfectly compliments the soft colours of the stonework. The place-name Witney was first attested in the Saxon Charter of 969 as Wyttannige and it appears as Witenie in the Doomsday book of 1086. The name means Witta’s island.
Witney now has a population of about 25,000 and the town has a pleasant mixture of architectural style. New modern developments have sprung up on the periphery to provide housing for local families and those from further afield. In the 1980s the centre of the town was redeveloped to provide a sympathetic modern shopping area with generous free parking. Since then other traffic-free shopping areas have been created including Marriotts Walk being the most recent with many well known retail outlets, restaurants and a multi-screen cinema. The Oxfordshire countryside is on the very edge of the Cotswolds and is largely unspoilt. There are some delightful old stone villages and beautiful, open countryside with livestock and arable farmland. The area to the north of the town towards Charlbury and Chipping Norton is quite undulating whereas the area to the south heading towards Standlake and Kingston Bagpuize is much flatter due to the river valley.
Witney is about 14 miles from the centre of Oxford and the ring road provides links to the M40 London/Birmingham motorway and the M4 between London and Bristol. Oxford is on the mainline to London Paddington and fast trains take about an hour. Charlbury, 8 miles north of Witney has a service to Paddington and there is also a station halt at Long Hanborough. Alternatively, many London commuters choose to take the train from Didcot station which is about 22 miles south of Witney, where fast trains regularly take around 50 minutes.