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Tue, May 28, 2024

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Unveiling Oxfordshire's Hidden Charms: Beyond the Silver Screen

Step into a realm where history, culture, and adventure intertwine. Oxfordshire, a county celebrated for its scenic beauty and cinematic allure, beckons with an array of enchanting experiences that extend far beyond the silver screen.

1. Cogges Manor Farm: Where Film Meets Farmyard

Nestled within the county's embrace, Cogges Manor Farm boasts not only a collection of rare-breed farm animals but also a piece of cinematic history. Explore this rustic haven and immerse yourself in the charm of traditional country skills such as hedge laying, corn-dolly making, weaving, and sheep shearing. It's a place where heritage comes to life, both on and off the screen.

2. Blenheim Palace: A Grand Stage for Events and Elegance

Blenheim Palace, a breathtaking masterpiece, serves as a backdrop for major events throughout the year. From the International Horse Trials in September, which draws over 60,000 visitors, to a myriad of cultural happenings, this palace isn't just a historic gem—it's a stage where elegance and excitement converge.

3. Embark on the Downton Abbey Trail

For fans of the iconic TV drama series, Downton Abbey, Oxfordshire offers a thrilling journey through some of its most famous filming locations. Start your adventure in the charming village of Bampton, which served as the fictional village of Downton. Explore buildings like the old rectory, Churchgate House, and the old Grammar School, all of which have their claim to fame.

4. Witney: Where Wool and Tradition Unite

Delve into Witney's rich history as a major center for the wool and textile trade in the 17th century. While the last mill closed its doors in 2002, the town's Blanket Hall building was lovingly restored and now showcases heritage goods. Don't forget to savor traditional homemade pasties, reminiscent of the town's wool trader past.

5. Nature's Playground: Crocodiles, Wildlife, and More

As you venture west, explore the fascinating Crocodiles of the World in Brize Norton, a place to learn about and even feed these ancient reptiles. Nearby, the Cotswold Wildlife Park awaits with 250 species of animals, offering a day of exploration, including a children's farmyard, mini-railway, and colorful gardens.

6. Tales of the Vale of White Horse

Discover the Vale of White Horse, a region named after the Uffington White Horse, a Bronze Age chalk figure etched into the mountainside. Hike the Ridgeway and White Horse Hill, unveiling historic sites like the neolithic barrow and tomb, Wayland's Smithy. Then, wander into Wantage, where charming pubs, tea shops, and the Vale and Downland Museum await.

In Oxfordshire, cinematic history, rural heritage, and natural beauty converge to offer a diverse tapestry of experiences. Step off the beaten path and into the heart of England's enchanting county, where each moment is a frame in a captivating story.

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