The British love affair with an intriguing murder mystery is well documented. Fans of the long-running ‘Midsomer Murders’ are treated to weekly whodunits, all set in the finest British countryside. From country pubs to village greens, and from churchyards to country houses, Mark Pawlak reveals his Top 10 Midsomer Murders locations.
Perhaps the most recognisable Midsomer location, Wallingford is ‘Causton’ in the series. This market town fringes the banks of the Thames and the show’s lead character, DCI Barnaby, is often seen wandering here. Keen eyes will identify the Corn Exchange and maybe even some of the show’s extras, taken sometimes from the town.
A good murder needs a country house. South Oxfordshire has plenty for the directors to cast, and Mapledurham is a fine example. Mentioned in the Domesday Book and still a family residence to this day, it’s appeared in different guises – most recently as a health spa. Interestingly, a couple of its previous owners also met murderous ends…
Famed for its Royal regatta, Henley-on-Thames needs little effort to make it off the casting couch and onto our screens. As British as cream teas and boaters, it’s a much-loved tourist destination. DCI Barnaby was seen taking an interest in the rowing here in ‘Dead in the Water’ and he’s sure to return.
Served by one of Britain’s heritage steam railways, Chinnor Station is known as Holm Lane Junction. The tailors, branded as ‘Woodly & Woodly’ in ‘The Made to Measure Murders’, is just a regular village shop in a village known for its churches and inspiring views to the Chilterns.
Dorchester the village; not Dorchester the town. An often-tapped resource for Midsomer Murders, and it’s easy to see why. Keen eyes will spot the village’s medieval abbey church – which recently hosted the English Music Festival -as well as a number of its hotels and pubs, favoured by the cast and crew.
Warborough is a village with a dark secret: it’s home to seven locations that appear in the series. Villages in South Oxfordshire often have a village green; next time look a little more closely at the opening credits as there’s an outside chance you’ll spot Warborough’s houses, green or ‘Six Bells’ country pub.
Also masquerading as ‘Causton’ – Causton town hall is really Thame town hall – its weekly and monthly markets are popular with tourists after local produce. DCI Barnaby is also no stranger to its streets; portrayed as the classic British super sleuth, he’s often seen wandering its shops and streets piecing together evidence.
As most of the filming locations are in South Oxfordshire, Barnaby is forever wandering the foothills of the Chilterns. This Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty is just a short trip from London and is prime rambling country. Routes here not only link Midsomer Murders locations, but also lead to village pubs and national cycle ways.
Kings and Queens of England once feasted on venison raised at Stonor, and red fallow deer still roam here. This impressive country house has drawn the Midsomer Murders producers, as well as those responsible for another British hero, James Bond. A family house 5 miles north of Henley, it’s open only on Sundays and bank Holidays.
Ewelme is the only Midsomer Murders location with its own nature reserve! Widely used in ‘Beyond the Grave’, the view from Rabbits Hill is of a tranquil English parish. There’s the 15th century church and the oldest primary school in the land, set in the classic beauty of the South Oxfordshire countryside.
If you’re a fan of the show and want to keep updated on events in the real ‘Midsomer’, there’s a new website and blog dedicated to Midsomer Murders.