This month sees the start of a new Midsomer Tour package, starting with a guided walking tour of Thame and followed by a steam trip on the Chinnor & Princes Risborough Railway (C&PRR). The rail journey includes cream tea in the afternoon tea car. The new combined Midsomer tour starts on Sunday 17th September, with further tours on Sunday 7th and Sunday 14th October.
Thame is one of the most frequently used filming locations in the popular ITV series Midsomer Murders, featuring either as Causton or as one of the fictional villages in Midsomer County. The Midsomer guided walking tours of Thame have grown in popularity, following their highly successful début last year. For the new Sunday afternoon tour, you will be led by trained tour guides round many of the 20-plus filming locations in Thame town centre, including the Town Hall, Thame Museum, the Swan and Spread Eagle Hotels.
After the walking tour, your murderous adventure continues when you arrive at Chinnor Railway Station. The station became Holm Lane Junction in the Death in a Chocolate Box episode, when the station signs were changed, buffers were installed, and the station platform and train were drenched, to create the Midsomer illusion.
Taking your reserved seat in the afternoon tea car, you will pass over the level crossing at Wainhill, featured in The Made to Measure Murders. During the journey you will be served cream tea with locally baked scones, cream, butter and jam. The round trip lasts about 55 minutes.
Ray Gomm, special events manager at C&PRR, said
‘We are absolutely delighted to be joining forces with Thame Midsomer Tours to provide a new Midsomer adventure, enhancing the experience that people have when they visit Midsomer County and highlighting C&PRR as a unique Midsomer filming location’.
Tony Long, coordinator for Thame Midsomer Tours said,
‘Just like C&PRR, the Midsomer Tours are conducted by volunteers. The more people coming on these new tours, the more funds can be generated, both to help maintain the railway and help Midsomer Tours donate to charitable causes locally. Last year we donated over £700 to the Mayor’s Charities and Thame Museum. The guides themselves don’t take any income from the tours’.
Becky Reid, market town coordinator at Thame Town Council, commented,
‘6.5 million people watch Midsomer Murders in the UK and millions more worldwide. It’s one of the UK’s biggest TV exports, and when people see it on TV, they want to come and visit the beautiful towns and villages of Midsomer. While here, they spend money in our restaurants, pubs, hotels, shops – and now railways! – which is good for our local economy’.
‘In Thame, it has also inspired specially created Midsomer products such as the popular Barnaby Buns, and newly launched Midsomer chocolate lollipops, both available from Rumsey’s Chocolaterie in Thame, a Midsomer filming location’.
The new combined Thame / Chinnor Midsomer tours start on Sunday 17th September and repeat on Sunday 7th October and Sunday 14th The Thame tour starts at 2pm, starting from Thame Museum (79 High Street, Thame, OX9 3AE), one of the filming locations. After a tour of about 1.5 hours, make your way by car or alternative transport to Chinnor Station, Station Road, Chinnor OX39 4BZ. Be there to join the 4.30pm departure from Chinnor and enjoy a cream tea while on board. The Midsomer adventure ends at approximately 5.30pm.
There is a special joint ticket price of £25 per adult, which includes the walking tour, cream tea and table reservation, and the steam train trip. Places can be booked in advance at https://www.chinnorrailway.co.uk/product.php/204/midsomer-adventure-cream-teas. Thame (OX9 3AE) is 5 miles from Chinnor station (OX39 4BZ) and approximately 12 minutes by car – there is no public transport available on Sundays between the two locations. Car parking is free, both in Thame town centre and at Chinnor railway station.