Saturday, 16 December 2017

Take the Hambleden Valley trail of terror if you dare!

THERE is murder afoot in our local villages

THERE is murder afoot in our local villages.

Rich in English olde worlde properties, some of which are for sale (see page XXVII and property front page), many of these villages have been used as locations for filming the much-loved TV series Midsomer Murders and now fans can follow a trail around them, in partnership with South Oxfordshire District Council (SODC).

A spokesman for SODC said: “A Henley town trail has been available for just over a year now, but we’ve been offering self-drive trails for the area for a while now.”

You can download a free self-drive map at www.visitmidsomer.com/ explore-midsomer

There are two trails to choose from. The Southern Trail covers Henley, Nettlebed, Wallingford, Moulsford, Goring and Rotherfield Peppard and Greys. The Northern Trail takes in areas further afield but also includes Wallingford, Ewelme and Watlington.



If you want someone else to take charge, many tour operators offer location tours, and Henley Business School (also a filmed location) even offers Midsomer Murders-themed weekend breaks.

Also getting in on the Midsomer act, Henley Sales and Charter has a hire boat named Midsomer Maiden, while Hobbs of Henley is soon to launch a new luxury self-drive boat called Midsomer.

Chris Behan, author of Exploring Midsomer, explained that the show’s popularity means Henley is now a holiday destination for fans.

He said: “Henley is a beautiful old town and can make some serious claims to being Causton — the county town of the fictional Midsomer. Local institutions like The Argyll, Gabriel Machin and Tudor House Antiques  are amongst the many locations in Henley that have featured on the show.”

Henley councillor Stefan Gawrysiak added: “We’re proud of the role Henley plays in Midsomer Murders. I am pleased we don’t have anything like their crime rate though!”

Vanessa Townsend, manager of Country and Riverside at Davis Tate in Bell Street — and more importantly a Midsomer Murders fan — said: “It’s great to discover the location of some of the lovely houses they film in; they are often so hidden away and, sadly, rarely come on to the market.

“I shall definitely be having a drive round and will keep an eye out for Sykes, the dog!”



Midsomer Murders comes with three bedrooms, two bathrooms, two reception rooms, a kitchen and (essential in a town centre) parking for two cars.

James Kilkenny of Ballards said: “Midsomer Murders is now sold to more than 200 countries worldwide — a similar level of exposure your property will benefit from when selling through Ballards!”

For sale with Ballards at £670,000. Call (01491) 411055 for information.



Sonning Common

Midsomer Murders or The Vicar of Dibley? Take your pick with this attractive Victorian house of character on one of the oldest roads in the village, only a short walk to the nearby shops, schools and amenities.

The house comes with a spacious kitchen/breakfast room, dining room, a sitting room with open fire, living room with vaulted ceiling, a cloakroom and utility room. And then there’s the master bedroom with ensuite bathroom, plus three more bedrooms and a family bathroom.

Need more? How about a separate barn — which the owners use as a games room rather than somewhere to hide their secrets — as well as a sunny back garden and rear gravel drive with parking for two cars.

For sale with Beville at £715,000. Call 0118 924 2526 for information.



Pishill

We think Barnaby’s wife Joyce would love this picturesque farmhouse.

Straight out of Middle England, this characterful home, in a wooded valley near Stonor, has been carefully modernised so it has bi-fold doors and under-floor heating alongside its limestone floor and inglenook fireplace.

It also comes with four bedrooms, two bathrooms, two reception rooms, a kitchen/dining room and a study, as well as a handy detached garage/barn/ workshop. As you’d imagine, there is also a lovely garden, and we haven’t even started on the views.

All that sleuthing making you feel hungry? Pop down the road to well-known eateries The Quince Tree or The Crown, then work it all off with a brisk stroll over the Chiltern Hills.

Katie Baldwin, sales negotiator at Savills, said: “Less than half a mile from The Crown public house which was featured in Electric Vendetta, this charming family house is situated in a beautiful hamlet surrounded by stunning countryside.

“Furthermore, with the latest research from Savills indicating that village property now represents comparatively better value than its town counterpart, this presents a really good opportunity for a purchaser.”

For sale with Savills at a guide price of £875,000. Call (01491) 843 001 for more information.



Northend

No Midsomer village is complete without a local pub, and this stunning house, in the pretty hamlet of Northend, used to be one.

The current owners bought it from local brewery Brakspears and refurbished it superbly, while keeping its quirks intact, such as the priest’s hole which gives access from bedroom three to two, and the cellar games room which still has the original beer barrel delivery chute.

Like its neighbours, White Hart faces the village green which, of course, has been used to film many well-known TV shows, not just Midsomer Murders. The sitting room, with its amazing inglenook fireplace, has even played a role of its own in one Miss Marple production.

Vanessa Townsend, manager of Country and Riverside at Davis Tate, said: “White Hart is a such a lovely old house, so full of character.

“You can really imagine Inspector Barnaby having tea in the kitchen, overlooking the huge garden.”

For sale with Davis Tate for a guide price of £1,250,000. Call (01491) 313106 for information.



Watlington

This two-bed, one bath, one reception, Grade II listed 17th-century thatched cottage has surprisingly spacious and well-lit rooms along with its exposed timbers and inglenook fireplace.

A recent oak framed extension to the rear of the cottage contains a contemporary kitchen with part-glazed roof and wide glazed sections providing a view and access to the garden. It also has a large cottage garden and is close to the centre of Watlington, so it’s easy to scope out any potential suspects!

Nick Sherston, partner at Robinson Sherston, which has offices in Henley and Watlington, said: “As a quintessential English cottage with timber-framed interior, inglenook fireplace and thatched roof, One Tree Cottage would sit very comfortably in a Midsomer scene!”

For sale with Robinson Sherston at £375,000. Call (01491) 614000 for information.



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