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The Goring Gap is the dramatic gorge where the mighty River Thames chiselled its way through the Chiltern Hills during the last ice age. Nearby are the picturesque villages and towns filmed as the fictional county of Midsomer. We visit Alfred the Great’s Wallingford and Dorchester - a head-turning village full of mediaeval, Tudor and Georgian buildings before rounding off our day out with a cruise through the Goring Gap. The day includes a one course lunch with coffee at a 15th century hotel, a donation for Dorchester Abbey, a 90-minute cruise and, of course, a top notch Blue Badge Tour Guide.

Meet the guide in Wallingford at 10.30am for time to buy morning refreshments before enjoying a little trail through this flat and compact market town that serves as Midsomer’s Causton. Fans of the TV series will recognise many locations including the Corn Exchange which is also where local resident Agatha Christie was president of the local amateur dramatic society.

A short drive takes us to Dorchester - a very small village with a very big Abbey. Founded by a Saxon Bishop this is one of the earliest Christian sites in England. There is a wonderful Tree of Jesse Window and rare and unusual action statue of a swaggering knight. Lunch is included at a 15th century coaching inn used in several episodes of Midsomer. Choose from fish pie or cottage pie served with seasonal vegetables or a vegetarian pasta dish served with garlic bread. A hot drink is also included leaving individuals to buy their own bar drinks and desserts as required.

At 3.00pm we board the boat at Benson Waterfront for the seven-mile swoop beneath the Chilterns through three locks to the Goring Gap.

The magnificent scenery in and around the Goring Gap is also the setting for such classic books as Wind in the Willows, Watership Down, Three Men in a Boat. You’ll see a whole variety of life and leisure on the river, from old-fashioned wooden skiffs, Edwardian style gentlemen’s launches to impressive modern motor cruisers. Look out too for the blue flash of kingfishers and above you the soaring red kites that are thriving in the Thames Chilterns.

We step ashore at Goring, which became a fashionable place to live in the late 1800s when residents included Oscar Wilde. It still attracts a star or two today. You’ll be back on the coach and heading home by 5.00pm.

Adults & Seniors: £37

Includes 1-course lunch with coffee.

Weekdays May, June & Sept

If you’d like to keep the cost down

we can include morning coffee in

Dorchester and have free time for

lunch in Wallingford.

This version of the day is £29pp

Prices valid 1st April 2018 to 31st March 2019

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