Downton tours kick off thanks to council deal

Witney Gazette: West Oxfordshire District Council tourism development officer Chris Jackson outside St Mary’s Church, Bampton, one of the locations for Downton Abbey West Oxfordshire District Council tourism development officer Chris Jackson outside St Mary’s Church, Bampton, one of the locations for Downton Abbey

A NEW tour of Downton Abbey locations has been set up between a district council and a tour operator.

West Oxfordshire District Council has teamed up with International Friends to introduce tours about the hit TV show and its links to the region.

The small tours will take visitors to Bampton, the scene of Downton village, as well as other parts of West Oxfordshire which have been used for filming including Cogges in Witney, The Swan Inn at Swinbrook and The Old Forge, at Shilton, as well as local landmarks such as Blenheim Palace.

A leaflet which details film locations and information about the area has been made as part of the project and a designated Downton Abbey page launched on the tourism website Oxfordshire Cotswolds.

Richard Langridge, the council's cabinet member with responsibility for tourism and local economy, said: “We are proud to not only support our tourism industry, but also work actively to encourage its growth and ensure West Oxfordshire is a must-see destination for people from across the world.

“By working with an experienced tour operator, we are tapping into a growing demand from overseas visitors and this is good news for the district.”

Pauline Smith, of Bampton Parish Council, said: “We love having the Downton cast here and welcome this initiative by West Oxfordshire. It will enable us to share our lovely village.

“Although we no longer have the 13 pubs there were when Downton is set, we hope these tours will enable us to offer a traditional Cotswold hospitality.”

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