At the heart of the Hambleden Valley, nestling in the heart of the Chilterns is Hambleden Village.
Many visitors use the village as the starting point for fabulous walks exploring the Valley. With its attractive brick and flint cottages, typical of the area, a medieval church and a thriving pub and shop, it’s the quintessential English village. The stunning church dates back to the 12th century and the 8 bells rang for the first time reportedly in 1415 at the time of the victory of Agincourt.
However, you may recognise it as one of the stars of TV productions such as Midsomer Murders, Inspector Morse and Lewis in which it has been the scene of some fairly gruesome murders. It’s hard to believe when you look around the village that anyone could conceive any vile acts in such beautiful surroundings, but it has become rather notorious.
Hambleden’s fame isn’t restricted to the small screen, it has starred in 101 Dalmatians, the recent remake of the Avengers and played host to Jonny Depp in the film, Sleepy Hollow.
Hambleden and one of its fellow Hambleden Valley villages, Turville, starred in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, and it’s well worth a visit to Turville to see the rather wonderful windmill. If you’re a fan of the Vicar of Dibley, you will certainly recognise the vicarage and village green of Turville.
A traditional pub is always a welcome find in the heart of an English village and the Stag and Huntsman in Hambleden not only serves excellent food and drink, but also offers very comfortable accommodation in the heart of the village. When you visit the windmill at Turville, the Bull and Butcher offers a warm welcome and a refreshing drink to follow your climb up the hill.
Many TV programmes and films have made the most of the beauty of the villages and towns in the Chilterns and the Cotswolds and in some cases, the locations have been as much a part of the plot as the lines delivered by the starring actors.
There aren’t many similarities between Harry Potter and Bridget Jones, but you will find many of the film locations for both film series in Oxford and the Cotswolds.
And it would be nice to think that as Agatha Christie lived in Oxfordshire for many years, she would be delighted that Miss Marple has spent so much time in the area solving many crimes under the noses of the local police.
Being the star on the large and small screen offers plenty of reason to visit the Chilterns and Cotswolds, but if you look around, the countryside itself offers the very best reason to come.