23 February 2019
Chinese tourists have been flocking to a quiet English village to get a "true sense" of the UK. Photo: Facebook/
Chinese tourists have been flocking to a quiet English village to get a "true sense" of the UK. Photo: Facebook/

Mystery solved: Chinese tourists drawn to quiet English houses

The mystery of why a small village in Oxfordshire in Britain has been drawing busloads of Chinese tourists has apparently been solved.

While people have been speculating about the reasons for Kidlington’s appeal — a popular theory was that the Chinese were mistakenly assuming that the village had a connection to Harry Potter movies — the actual reason may come as a surprise to many.

According to the BBC, which conducted a survey on the visitors, the Chinese are coming to the village due to the quiet houses and gardens.

What the tourists are looking for is a “true sense” of the UK, a guide was quoted as saying.  

The tour guide provided the following answers to a BBC question sheet:

Q: We are happy to have you here but why have you come?

A: Because we don’t have [these] in China. Here, we are looking for the true sense of this country.

Q: Do you like it?

A: [Yes]. Because the environment makes you feel you are closer to the simplicity of your original self.

Q: What do you like here?

A: The houses [and] gardens.

According to the BBC, the Chinese tourists seem to enjoy picturing the village’s modern homes rather than its historical buildings.

Kidlington locals began noticing in July crowds of tourists arriving by the busload, peering through windows, knocking on doors and taking selfies.

Residents were baffled with the sudden tourism boom as place has no obvious tourist attractions or particularly unique features. 

Baz Daniels, who has lived in Kidlington for more than 20 years, told the BBC that he had been in touch with a friend in China to try to get to the bottom of the tourist influx.

“Kidlington is apparently being marketed by Chinese tourist agencies as a beautiful English village on the way to Bicester Village shopping centre,” he said.

“Many of the visitors live in cities and love to see things like the hanging baskets and little flowers in people’s gardens.”

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