An Oxfordshire market town, where murder is rife, is the county’s latest tourist attraction, following the launch of ‘Midsomer Walking Tours’.
Thame has been a long-running backdrop for the detective series, with hotspots including the famous Spread Eagle Hotel which is seen as The Morecroft Hotel and the Town Hall which becomes the fictional Causton Town Hall.
These locations are now among many familiar sights for TV fans on weekly tours.
The tours are being held under the auspices of 21st Century Thame, an organisation that brings together local businesses, community groups and councils to help maintain it as a vibrant and viable as a market town.
The tours are now being staged weekly, alternating between Saturdays and Wednesdays.
Other locations made famous by the show include the Market House, Rumsey’s Chocolaterie, and the historic Swan and Black Horse.
Thame’s cricket ground and Prebendal House are also included as locations film crews have recently visited and will feature in future episodes.
Tours last one hour, staring at 2.3-pm from Thame Museum in the High Street, and are being led by specially trained Midsomer guides. They will be available until October, and cost £7.50 per person with part of the proceeds going towards Thame Museum and other charities.
Up to 6.5 million people watch Midsomer Murders in the UK and millions more in over 100 countries worldwide. The series is one of the UK’s biggest TV exports, rating in Denmark’s top three and Australia’s top 20.
Tickets can be purchased on the day or online at ticketsource.co.uk/thamemidsomer. For more information visit visitmidsomer.com
Accommodation for anyone coming from a distance is available at The Spread Eagle, which stands shoulder-to-shoulder alongside artisan butchers, bakers, delicatessens and teashops.
A high street landmark for more than 500 years it enjoys a fascinating history, not least for once being owned and operated by one best known hoteliers in British history – John Fothergill, whose opinions (and belief that the customer is not always right!) are contained in his book An Innkeeper’s Diary. Fothergill was at the helm at a time when the hotel became a magnet for a literary glitterati, including the likes of Shaw, Wells, Waugh, Chesterton and the Sitwells.
Still a historic warren of corridors and rooms – but with a 21st century styling, and a warm welcome from the current management and staff – it’s an ideal base for a lazy weekend break exploring the Oxfordshire countryside, it’s also well-placed for day trips to Oxford and Waddesdon Manor.
Garden rooms, courtyard rooms, and town rooms are topped-off nicely by The Hayloft Suite. There’s a big choice in terms of quality and design-style, and the room we stayed in – in the oldest part of the building – had been recently refurbished. Comfortable, and great value-for-money, it overlooks the high street and the second oldest inn in Britain.
Double rooms for two people sharing, B&B start from £135.
For more details, and special packages, visit http://www.spreadeaglethame.co.uk (Tel: 01844-213661).