27th April, 2020

Our thoughts are with everyone affected in different ways by the current sad and surreal situation in which we find ourselves, and our gratitude to the health professionals and other key workers who are keeping our society functioning is immeasurable.

For many people isolated at home this may be a worrying time, but also a chance to step temporarily off the treadmill; to reconnect with simpler pleasures; clear some clutter; watch TV without feeling too guilty and make plans for the future.

A little escapism may also be in order so we thought we would share some of our favourite TV series and films. As well as being an entertaining and educational way to pass a few hours, we think they really embody the beauty of Britain. We remain positive that things will improve and that a holiday in the glorious British countryside will be just what the Doctor ordered once this is over.

In the meantime we wish you and your loved ones a safe passage and happy viewing!

SOME OF OUR FAVOURITE SERIES...

MIDSOMER MURDERS - DI BARNABY - THE CHILTERNS

For 23 years, Midsomer Murders or Barnaby as it is known around the world, has portrayed a fictionally darker side of the beautiful Chilterns Hills where the detective series is set. This is our own backyard and we recognise many of the features in our own local Flower Show or Cricket Club – although without the body count! Have a look at Chilterns Chalk and Cheese or for the diehard fans ask us for our Meandering Through Midsomer version!

DOC MARTIN - CORNWALL

Martin Ellingham is a Doctor with a fear of blood and a challenging bedside manner, who sets up a general practice in the fictional Cornish village of Portwenn. With a supporting cast of quirky characters Doc Martin saves lives while murdering social skills against a back drop of the real Port Isaac in north Cornwall, which you can visit on our Captivating Cornwall Cycling Tour.

MORSE AND LEWIS - OXFORD

Set amongst the dreaming spires of Oxford, the irascible but brilliant Inspector Morse, with his love of beer and opera, embodies cultured Britishness. Together with his partner DS Lewis, (who got promoted to a series of his own), Morse has been solving clever crimes amongst the intellectuals of this most famous university city since 1987. What better way to explore their haunts in Oxford and the Cotswolds than by bike.

DOWNTON ABBEY

We were all enthralled by the lives of Lord Grantham and his family in the early 1900s despite some of the storylines! Was it the glorious setting of Highclere Castle and the National Trust village of Lacock? the elegant costumes? the whole British class system and parallel stories of ‘upstairs’ and ‘downstairs’ ? or Maggie Smith’s wonderful sarcasm!

...AND FILMS

HARRY POTTER

What better excuse than lockdown for a Harry Potter marathon! All 8 films with so many iconic moments from the flight of the Ford Anglia over Glenfinnan; stunning views of Glencoe; Hogwarts Dining Hall at Christchurch Oxford and many more culminating in the Warner Bros Studio Tour. Take a look at Highlands and Hebrides, or let us design the perfect touring itinerary for you.

FAR FROM THE MADDING CROWD

An apt title for 2020! - this 2015 film adaptation of Thomas Hardy's wonderful novel, tells the story of Bathsheba Everdene's struggles in Victorian England to run her farm and choose between 3 very different suitors. Take a peek at the film trailer then plan your own escape from the crowds with a cycling trip in Dorset and the New Forest.

MISS POTTER

Renee Zellweger plays the part of Beatrix Potter as her childhood stories and paintings are brought to life and become some of the best loved stories of all time, and allow her to indulge her love of the Lake District; buy Hill Top Farm and save some of its treasures for us today. See the film trailer then plan a walk in her footsteps on our Quintessential Lake District holiday.

SUNSHINE ON LEITH

This feelgood film will make you laugh and cry as two young soldiers return from Afghanistan to pick up the threads of life and love in Edinburgh. Weaving the songs of The Proclaimers throughout, it ends with a raucous finale near the castle. Even if you don't watch the film, listen to the music and you will want to add an extra day to our Lochs and Glens to Edinburgh cycle tour!

All of these great series and films are currently available on Amazon Prime so get a cup of tea and a biscuit and transport yourself to another place and time...