Kidlington 'mystery tourists' baffle Oxfordshire village

Image source, Janis Harwood
Image caption,
Janis Harwood snapped pictures of the tourists from her window

Residents of a village have been baffled by the weekly appearance of "coach loads" of tourists in their road.

Groups of sightseers in Kidlington have been seen posing for photos in front gardens and against parked cars.

Locals have no idea why the quiet suburb, about five miles north of Oxford, has become a tourist magnet.

Inspector Morse, Love Island and Harry Potter are among the causes suggested for the tourists' interest.

The phenomenon was first identified in Benmead Road and the Moors on the Spotted: Kidlington Facebook page.

The tourists are a short walk from thatched cottages and an old church, but prefer taking photos of themselves outside modern houses.

"I do find it hilarious, but I am at a loss to understand it," one poster said. "Whose idea was it to turn Benmead Road into a tourist attraction?"

Residents say the groups have been appearing for the last three weeks.

"I have only seen them once. At midday on Saturday a busload of tourists disembarked with their selfie sticks, taking pictures of people's houses," said one.

"It is bizarre, these aren't even the oldest houses in the village."

Image source, Russell Griffin
Image caption,
One resident shot some footage of the tourists on their phone

Samantha Anderson said: "Saw them the other week, they were even in the gardens and at people's front doors."

On Facebook Susan Patton said the town had "probably featured in an old episode of Morse which has been rerun".

"Can't think of anyone famous down there?" Daniel Boon said.

People pointed out billionaire Sir Richard Branson and Emma-Jane Woodham from ITV's Love Island had connections to the Kidlington area.

Another wondered whether the groups were judging Kidlington in Bloom.

Emma Layden suggested: "Perhaps it's because Kidlington is claimed to be England's biggest village?"

Image source, Janis Harwood
Image caption,
Samantha Anderson said the sightseers were seen in people's front gardens