The mystery of why Chinese tourists have been wandering the streets of Kidlington taking photos and admiring residents’ front gardens seems to have been solved.

For the past few months the visitors, armed with selfie sticks, have been flocking to the village, but nobody seemed to know why.

Now Chinese tour guide Sun Jianfeng, who works for Beijing Hua Yuan International Travel, may have provided the answer after he said they ended up there after being dumped by tour operators.

Mr Sun told The New York Times some Chinese did not want to pay an extra £53 to tour companies to visit Blenheim Palace and so had been left in Woodstock instead.

But some wily tourists had realised they could get into Sir Winston Churchill’s ancestral home themselves for just £20 if they walked the short distance from Woodstock, irking tourists who had paid their guides the higher price.

As a result, Mr Sun said, tour companies have started to leave those unwilling to pay the full price in Kidlington instead, not far from Blenheim by coach but too far to walk.

Mr Sun added that, as many people had suspected, Kidlington’s relatively close proximity to Bicester Village meant some Chinese shoppers were stopping en route.

He said many Chinese were enchanted by Kidlington’s tranquility compared to the anonymous tower blocks of big cities in their homeland.
Kidlington Parish Council chairman Maurice Billington said he was pleased

Chinese visitors were still coming to the village, regardless of the reasons why.

He said: “It seems very mean to me that they are being left here because it’s so far from Blenheim Palace.

“But of course they could go to worse places, Kidlington is a very nice place.

“I have heard they have been back for about three weeks now.

“Maybe they’ll come to see our Christmas trees and Christmas lights.

“From the tour operators’ point of view I can see why they leave them here.

“You cannot get a bus to Blenheim that easily, they would have to go back into Oxford and get a bus from there.”

Other suggestions for why so many Chinese tourists have been visiting Kidlington include that it has a ‘lucky street’ or that it was being advertised by tour companies as a typical English village.

They were first spotted at the beginning of summer when up to 40 at a time were posing in front gardens for photographs.

The have generally been welcomed warmly, although some residents complained to police about them coming into gardens.