The houses and shops of the town centre are built of Cotswold stone, with slate roofs from the nearby village of Stonesfield - but with an endearingly unplanned appearance, each house varying in age, height and frontage.
Look out for the 16th century Talbot and Armada Cottage at the end of Thames Street. The grandest houses are Lee Place, residence of the Duchess of Marlborough, and Cornbury Park just outside the town. But Charlbury has new architecture, too, such as the striking new houses on Bayliss Yard. Use our town map to find your way around or download the Town Trail leaflet.
Few towns Charlbury's size can boast four good pubs. Charlbury has the Rose & Crown, a haven for lovers of real ale and cider, and in the Good Beer Guide for over 20 years; the Bull, with a rapidly growing reputation for its excellent food; the friendly Three Horseshoes, with good beer and a dedicated clientele; and the Bell, mixing pub and restaurant. And with regular trains, you don't need to worry about drink-driving.
Hidden to the side of the town centre Corner House, the museum is a lovingly curated collection of artefacts from Charlbury's past, including the glove-making industry which once defined the town. Open at weekends from April to the end of September: Saturdays 10am-12pm, Sundays and Bank Holiday Mondays 2.30pm-4.30pm.
Charlbury's Street Fair, in mid-September, is far from your usual village fete. Church Street is closed for the day to be lined with stalls and entertainments, all raising money for the Corner House and Memorial Hall - so Charlbury's community buildings are truly community-funded.
The one-day Charlbury Beer Festival, in mid-July, is the finest rural beer festival for miles around, regularly attracting pilgrims by train to sample a bewildering array of beers, ciders and wine. Held on the cricket pitch, it was founded to raise money for the primary school but now distributes its largesse to several charities. It's now been joined by a Winter Beer Festival in the Rose & Crown in February.
The Riverside Festival, said to be southern England's largest free music festival, attracts thousands to a diverse bill of upcoming and local acts, staged on the idyllic water meadows between town and station. It takes place in July every year.
Wilderness is a new festival at Cornbury Park for music, food, theatre, literary debate and outdoor pursuits, taking place in August.
The new Charlbury Festival is a week-long celebration of the arts, and Charlbury is also a major centre for Oxfordshire Artweeks.