You see, for more than a decade, it’s been widely known as Dibley, home to rambunctious ‘babe with a Bible’ Rev Geraldine Granger (played by Dawn French) and her eccentric parishioners in the BBC comedy The Vicar Of Dibley.
Perhaps you know it as the Welsh village Llanddewi Brefi, in which Little Britain’s ‘homosexualist’ Daffyd Thomas is ‘the only gay’? Or how about as a crime scene in Midsomer Murders?

When it comes to fake ID, Turville is a master. And it’s easy to see why it’s such a favoured spot. Hidden in a winding maze of country lanes and overlooked by an old windmill (the residence of Caractacus Potts in Disney’s 1968 classic Chitty Chitty Bang Bang), it’s a quintessential ‘ye olde’ English village.

Cosy brick and flint cottages line its main (and only) street, as does a wee village green, a stone church and churchyard, a quaint half-timbered pub and … that’s it.

What Turville lacks in size, though, it makes up for in character – and the fun of tracing the steps of its fictional characters, particularly that of the good Vicar and co, Turville’s longest-staying residents. The show bid a final farewell to Turville in 2006, but as we explored the village, a strong sense of Dibley déjà vu made it hard to shake the expectation that Frank Pickle, Jim Trott or Tory councillor David Horton might emerge from one of the cottages or pass us by on the street. The excitable chatter of fellow Dibley sightseers, pointing out familiar sights at every turn, suggested the same.

You can stroll around the entire village in about 20 minutes, so you don’t have to look too hard to spot the main locations used in the show. The most prominent is the photogenic Church of St Mary The Virgin, which doubled (inside and out) as St Barnabus of Dibley. Dating back to the 10th century, the church, bang in the middle of town, featured most prominently in the unforgettable Teletubbies-themed wedding of Alice Tinkler and Hugo Horton.

Close by is Geraldine’s vicarage, sitting beside the main entrance to the church yard. It’s actually two small cottages, but the door of one was covered during filming to give the impression of a larger residence. In reality, the cottage may not house a man (or woman) of the cloth, but the owners must certainly be saints, given the number of people who pose outside their famous front door for a souvenir snapshot.

On the other side of the green, once memorably filled with perplexed bunny-costumed folk in the Easter special, is Turville’s popular local, The Bull & Butcher, which is perfect for a pint and a meal (look for the Chitty Chitty Bangers and Mash on the menu).

Boasting classic 16th-century English architecture, the pub has several screen credits itself. In fact, you’d better check its website ( before your visit just in case it’s closed for filming.

The week after our visit, the bar tender tells us, Burt Reynolds will be in town to shoot scenes in the bar for his latest film. Let’s hope it’s a nice, wholesome, family tale – or the vicar might need to have a word with him.

Get Set, Go


As well as being England’s smallest city, Wells’ latest claim to fame is its starring role as Sandford, the small-town beat of Simon Pegg’s Sgt Angel and Nick Frost’s PC Butterman in 2007 buddy cop comedy Hot Fuzz. Lying at the foot of the Mendip Hills, the town features extensively in the film, from the central Market Square, where much of the action is set, to the cops’ local (The Crown at Wells), St Vincent’s church (real name St Cuthbert’s), outside which a journalist meets a grisly end, and the supermarket owned by Timothy Dalton’s devious Simon Skinner (it’s the local Somerfield). You won’t see the city’s imposing Gothic Cathedral in the film, though – it was digitally removed to keep the small-town feel.

This 13th-century village, with its lime-washed, half-timbered and stone houses, wide main street and abbey cloisters, has stood in for everything from Jane Austen’s regency towns (Meryton in BBC1’s Pride And Prejudice and Highbury in ITV’s Emma) to the classrooms, corridors and grounds of Hogwarts. It’s recently added another Harry Potter credit to
the list, with cast and crew of the sixth instalment Harry Potter And The Half-Blood Prince descending on the village last October for more location shoots.


Often dubbed the ‘prettiest village in England’, Castle Combe, near Chippenham, boasts an impressive location history including Dr Doolittle (1967), TV series Agatha Christie’s Poirot and Robin Of Sherwood. Most recently it featured as
the sleepy village of Wall in the fantasy adventure Stardust, starring Robert De Niro, Michelle Pfeiffer and Claire Danes.

Step back to the 1960s in Goathland, near Whitby in the North York Moors National Park. Here you’ll find most locations of Aidensfield village, as seen in the long-running ITV drama Heartbeat. These include the Aidensfield Arms (The Goathland Hotel), the village hall, and the Aidensfield stores and post office (the store sign from the show stays up permanently). The train station might look familiar to Harry Potter fans as well – it’s starred as Hogsmeade, the last stop for the Hogwarts Express.

Fast Facts

Other films and TV shows Turville appears in:
» 101 Dalmatians (1996)
» Foyle’s War
» Goodnight, Mr Tom (1999)
» Went The Day Well? (1942)
» Father Came Too! (1963)
» Bride & Prejudice (2004)
» Inspector Morse