Quaint villages and a dark history
You’ll find museums, not murders, in rural England, writes Mitchell Toy
AFTER watching too many episodes of Midsomer Murders, I wondered if a flak jacket and a lawyer would be wise accessories for a trip to rural England.
In the Cotswolds village of Bourtonon-the-Water, population 4000, I assumed at least 30 per cent of townsfolk would be old-school killers if Midsomer was anything to go by. That put the total number of people who might impale me with a farming tool or shoot me with an antique revolver at 1200.
But I figured the typical Midsomerstyle slaying usually involved gold card holders and arguments about marmalade, which put me at ease as a young Australian outsider staying in the western English nook for eight days.
Instead of a quaint and peaceful crime hub, I found a quaint and peaceful tourist hub, attracting octogenarians by the busload on weekends, keen to catch a snap of the town’s iconic footbridges over the River Windrush, which runs through the village centre. Ducks rally on the water under reddening autumn trees and the glut of old stone cottages would make anyone think hobbit might be on the menu at any of the plentiful local tea rooms.