A SLEEPY market town where murder is rife will become the latest tourist attraction in Oxfordshire with the launch of Midsomer Walking Tours.

Thame has been a long-running backdrop for the detective series, with hotspots including Thame Town Hall as the fictional Causton Town Hall or the Spread Eagle Hotel seen as The Morecroft Hotel.

These locations will be among many familiar sights for tourists and TV fans to explore on weekly tours which, it is hoped, will bring Midsomer fans flocking.

Tony Long, coordinator for the new tour guides, who are all volunteers, said: "The tours have been in development for several months, and follow on from the original tour which was created by David Dodds of Thame Museum.

"The tours are being held under the auspices of 21st Century Thame, an organisation that brings together local businesses, community groups and councils to help keep Thame vibrant and viable as a market town."

The tours were launched this week and will be held weekly, alternating between Saturdays and Wednesdays.

Other locations made famous by the show include the Market House, Rumsey’s Chocolaterie, and the historic Swan and Black Horse.

Thame’s cricket ground and Prebendal House will also be included as locations film crews have recently visited and will feature in future episodes.

Mr Long added: "We hope these tours will add a new facet to tourism in the town, attracting more visitors from the UK and overseas to the historic town of Thame."

Tours will be an hour long and will be led by specially trained Midsomer guides and all start from Thame Museum in High Street.

Tours will run alternatively on Saturdays tours will run from 2.30pm and Wednesdays from 11am, and continue until October.

Sarah Osborne of Tourism Angles, specialists in Midsomer tourism, said: "Up to 6.5 million people watch Midsomer Murders in the UK and millions more in over 100 countries worldwide.

"The series is one of the UK’s biggest TV exports, rating in Denmark’s top three and Australia’s top 20. People see it on TV and want to come and visit the beautiful towns and villages of Midsomer."

Tour tickets cost £7.50 and part of the proceeds will be put towards supporting the Thame Museum and other charities.

Tickets can be purchased on the day or online at ticketsource.co.uk/thamemidsomer

For more information see thametowncouncil.gov.uk or visitmidsomer.com