English countryside villages
I have always had a week spot for English countryside villages. Not too long ago, I wrote about Lavenham: the crooked-cottages-filled gem in Suffolk. Last month even, Gabby and James from The Globe Wanderers contributed tremendously to my passion for countryside villages, by providing a local insight into their hometown Old Amersham. This week, I asked Gabby again for help, as I was looking for a new scenic village to explore. She provided me with the best recommendation one could give me.
Turville, a gem in the Chiltern Hills
Passing by small, scenic roads with hedges on both sides one minute, followed by beautiful backdrops the next, we quickly entered the town we were looking for. We were welcomed by a friendly-looking pub on our left (The Bull & Butcher), and decided to park the car there. Upon the hill on our right, a bright white windmill loomed up, gracing the green fields.
Turville is located in the Chiltern Hills, in Buckinghamshire, about 40min from Oxford and 75min from London. If the great outdoors is calling, this is your place to be.
The area is breathtaking, and the numerous hiking paths we encountered along the way were extremely tempting to try out. I can definitely see why people who want to escape the London crowds, choose Chiltern Hills as their green escape. A visit to one of the picturesque villages to have a beer at the local pub is something that would fit in perfectly with a day out in this beautiful area.
The Chiltern Hills is classified as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and is great for long hikes. The Chilterns Cycleway makes it possible for avid cyclers to explore the area by bike, passing charming villages, historic pubs, and lively market towns along the way. There are even dedicated social-distance friendly walks and rides, perfect for the times we are living in.
But back to the village of Turville, the village near Henley-on-Thames. Just like most countryside villages in England, Turville isn’t much more than one street and one side street. But the small, 16th-century brick cottages that line up the way are an absolute treat for the eye.
Filming location Turville
Worth to mention as well is the fact that the small town is a popular filming location, with Dawn French’s The Vicar of Dibley probably the best known. But also producers of Killing Eve, Midsomer Murders, Lewis, Marple and Jonathan Creek picked Turville as the setting for a few of their episodes. I’m sure that my English readers recognize the place, even if they haven’t been there themselves.
The sleeping girl of Turville & Lord Sainsbury
Turville may be small, but it has a rich history. When the eleven-year-old Ellen Sadler fell asleep for nine years in 1871, the town gained national fame. Nowadays, Turville is home to Lord Sainsbury: yes, the originator of the supermarket chains.
But who am I kidding? I didn’t come to Turville to see the house of Lord Sainsbury, or to see the set of the Vicar of Dibley for that matter (sorry, I’m Dutch, so not familiar with the popularity of the series 😉 ). I came to Turville to gape at the beauty, to take in that English countryside atmosphere, and to take photos. And I did all of that!