Are you a fan of TV and the silver screen? Do you live in or near to Oxfordshire? Well, here’s some really great news for you to chew over. The beautiful county of Oxfordshire is a real hotspot in the world of films and entertainment, regularly cropping up in starring roles of Hollywood blockbusters and award winning detective shows.
Who hasn’t heard of Midsomer Murders? The popular detective show that has been pleasing fans over eighteen series is filmed in Oxfordshire. The fictional village of Causton where Midsomer Murders is set, is in reality an amalgam of several different Oxfordshire locations. All selected for their pretty, bucolic and traditional appearance, the programme has long been an unofficial marketing marvel for the county, pulling in visitors from home and abroad.
The eighteenth series features locations such as Benson and Wallingford showing their picturesque charms to the camera. This area has a wonderful pedigree in terms of crime fiction, as Wallingford was the home to Agatha Christie, no less…
Those who enjoy driving as well as exploring the locations of their favourite TV show, may find a self-conducted tour around the area a real thrill. A northern route starting at Dorchester and weaving its way through Wallingford, Ewelme, Watlington, Lewknor, Aston Rowant, Chinnor, Thame, The Miltons and The Haseleys and then back to Dorchester, takes in many scenes from the series.
It’s an area peppered with quaint villages with tea shops, cricket pavilions and cosy pubs with some lovely country cottages and ancient churches to enjoy as well. Knock back a small beer in the Six Bells On The Green pub in Warborough, a gorgeous thatched inn that fans of the TV series will recognise in an instant. If you fancy something more formal, sample truly special dining in the Thame area at Le Manoir aux Quat’saisons – a sublime restaurant and hotel in beautiful surroundings in the village of Great Milton. By car, the route described above takes around three and a half hours to complete – however, with countless stops to admire the views it could take much longer.
Alternatively, there is a more southerly motoring route that takes you from Henley upon Thames, driving through Nettlebed, Wallingford, Moulsford, Goring, Mapledurham, Rotherfield Peppard, Rotherfield Greys and returning to Henley again. On this trail you will discover churches and schools featured in the series at Rotherfield Peppard and in Wallingford (the template for Causton) you will be familiar with the market place and The Corn Exchange which both star regularly in Midsomer Murders. Who knows, you may even catch a glimpse of some of the actors from the detective stories as extras are often drawn from the local community. This driving tour will take approximately three hours to wind its way around the lanes and tree lined routes of Oxfordshire.
Both of these routes are a wonderful way of spending a day out in a stunning area right on your doorstep. Remember before you leave home to check over your car to make sure all is well. The twisty lanes and quiet backroads of rural Oxfordshire are not the best places to break down. Are your tyres up to snaking around the lanes? If they are looking a bit threadbare for mobile tyre fitting Oxfordshire is really well-served. Before you take off on your Midsomer odyssey, call upon the mobile tyre fitting Oxfordshire drivers rely on for quick, convenient service at home or work.
If the Midsomer Murders tours by car have whet your appetite for location spotting, why not step things up a gear and seek out some film settings? Major films shot partially in the Oxfordshire area recently include ‘Me Before You’, a love story with Wytham Abbey used as a backdrop. The other film starred Meryl Streep, Emily Blunt and James Corden and was called ‘Into The Woods’, a musical fantasy filmed on location in Hambleden.
If you want Hollywood glamour to rub off on you, take a drive over to the Didcot Railway Centre which is regularly used as a backdrop in Hollywood blockbusters. Recently it had a starring role in ‘The Danish Girl’ featuring academy award winner Eddie Redmayne. In addition ‘Partners in Crime’ and forthcoming Colin Firth and Jude Law vehicle ‘Genius’ made use of this unique, locomotive location.
So if you would like an interesting drive around the beautiful county of Oxfordshire, hunting down familiar places from the small and big screen, hopefully these insights will give you food for thought. Just hop in the car, fill the tank and start driving…