GUIDED walking tours of Midsomer Murders locations in Thame have restarted for the first time since last year.
Tour organiser Tony Long said: “We are delighted that the ever-popular Midsomer Tours can start again. We will be ensuring that the now smaller tour groups comply with social distancing guidelines.”
The move came after the tourism and hospitality industry was given the government green light to reopen this month.
The tour runs on Wednesdays until October 28 and has proved a big success since its launch in 2017.
Guides take small groups on an hour-long tour around Midsomer filming locations in the town used in episodes of the popular ITV series.
Thame is one of the most frequently used places for filming, appearing in more than a dozen episodes and with 22 locations in the town centre. Among landmarks featured are Thame Museum, Thame Town Hall, Market House, Rumsey’s Chocolaterie, the Spread Eagle and Swan Hotels, the Coffee House, and the Black Horse Pub & Brasserie.
Midsomer Murders is still going strong after more than 20 years. Mr Long said: “Over six million people watch Midsomer Murders in the UK and millions more worldwide. It’s one of our biggest TV exports, and when people see it on TV, they want to come and visit the beautiful towns and villages of Midsomer, such as Thame.
“When they are here, they spend money in our restaurants, pubs, hotels, and shops – which has got to be good for the town and its economy, especially following the lockdown.”
The series is based on the novels of Caroline Graham and the original pilot programme, The Killings at Badgers Drift, was aired in 1997. John Nettles played DCI Barnaby for the first 81 episodes, stepping down in 2011 at the end of series 13. Neil Dudgeon has played DCI Barnaby ever since.
The tour costs £7.50, with funds going to charities. Tour start at 11am on Wednesdays from outside Thame Museum (79 High Street, Thame, OX9 3AE), one of the filming locations but must be booked online at www.ticketsource.co.uk/thamemidsomer.
Fans of the detective series can pick up a free Midsomer Murders leaflet about the deadly town locations from the Town Hall Information Centre or Thame Museum (from September 1).