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TOURIST TIP: The Downton Abbey tour

Posted by Emma Righton on Friday 4 March

The award-winning ITV drama series may have finished but that doesn’t mean you still can’t imagine you are one of the characters.

And what better way to do that then to take a trip to Bampton (where the fictional Yorkshire country estate of Downton Abbey was set) and surrounding villages.

Here’s our hit list of top filming locations to visit to get your Downton fix:

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BAMPTON
Something look familiar? This picturesque village on the outskirts of Oxford is supposed to be somewhere based between Ripon and Thirsk in Yorkshire.

Die-hard fans will recognise St Mary’s Church, renamed as St Michael and All Angels in the show, as one of the key locations for many big scenes.

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Churchgate House, the old Bampton rectory, was used for the outside shots of character Isobel Crawley’s house.

The Old Grammar School building, which is now home to Bampton Community Archive, was repurposed as ‘Downton Hospital’. Check out the Archive for a range of Downton memorabilia including cards, mugs, pictures and a town map.

Church View was home to two fictional pubs in the drama series – the Grantham Arms and the Dog & Duck.
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SWINBROOK
This village just two miles east of Burford was home to some controversial scenes in Downton, including the Swann Inn, an old Cotswold pub where Lady Sybil and Branson stayed while they planned their elopement in series 2.

COGGES
This heritage site in Witney, West Oxfordshire, has a 13th century manor house and traditional farm buildings which were transformed into Downton’s Yew Tree Farm for scenes in series 4 and 5. Cogges Farm has captured the prestigious event with a collection of photos taking during filming as well as other memorabilia.

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SHILTON
Just two miles south of Burford, this pretty village has a ford across the brook that runs through it.

The Old Forge, set beside Shill brook, was transformed into the Red Lion pub, where Mr Bates went to work after he left Downton Abbey in series 2. Across the brook is a pretty 18th century hump-back bridge which also featured in the show.

This blog post has been created and condensed from an original article featured on Oxfordshire Cotswolds.

 

 

TOURIST TIP: Take a mini TV and literary tour of Oxford

Posted by Emma Righton on Friday 4 March
Oxford has always been a hugely popular destination and with so many famous people, Prime Ministers and literary icons linked to the city it’s no wonder 7 million tourists visit a year.
Here’s our pick of the best places to visit for TV and literary fans:
Harry Potter lovers can start by visiting the 16th century Christ Church Cathedral and the college’s Great Hall, in St Aldate’s, both of which were used as the backdrop for several scenes in the popular films series.
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The Eagle and Child pub in St Giles Street, central Oxford, is where the renowned Inklings writers group met in late 1933, usually on Mondays or Tuesday lunchtimes in the back of the pub known as the Rabbit Room.
Made up of Lord of the Rings writer J.R.R. Tolkien, Alice in Wonderland author C.S. Lewis, Charles Williams and Hugo Dyson, the creative group enjoyed lively discussions over a pint or two for many years.
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More recently Inspector Morse writer Colin Dexter has been known to enjoy a real ale in the pub and the Morse spin-off Lewis has filmed an episode there.
Fans of the hit Oxford detective show Morse won’t want to miss a stop in some of the grumpy policeman’s other haunts, including the White Horse in Broad Street, The King’s Arms in Holywell Street and The Bear in Alfred Street – one of the oldest drinking holes in the city dating back to 1242.
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Wallingford, just 13 miles outside the city, is a historic market town worth a visit to wander around the Midsomer Murders backdrop.
And just down the road is Cholsey, where the most famous detective ever, Agatha Christie, lived and wrote many of her iconic novels.
Further north in the Cotswold village of Bampton, which served as the fictional village of Downton for huge hit show Downton Abbey. For a detailed hit list of where to visit to see all your favourite Downton locations see my next blog!
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And James Bond star Daniel Craig spent time in Oxford making 2004 film adaption of Oxford writer Ian McEwan’s Enduring Love.
Critically acclaimed author Philip Pullman still lives in Summertown, Oxford, where he wrote his best-selling Dark Materials trilogy.

Are you sitting on a goldmine?

Posted by Emma Righton on Wednesday 24 February

It was reported this week that the number of £1 million properties in Oxfordshire is predicted to TRIPLE by 2030.

But the trouble is, the knock-on effect is that it will price more young buyers out of the market – a topic my blog readers will know I’m passionate about.

The Santander report revealed there were about 4,000 million-pound properties in 2010 in the county, more than 8,000 last year and predicted more than 25,000 by 2030.

With first-time buyers finding it harder than ever to get on the property ladder, I would like to see the Government really take on the housing crisis this year – with realistic and achievable solutions that will help turn Generation Rent into Generation Buy.

 

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