Midsomer country may look like quintessential middle England but just like in the show, there’s a lot more to it. It’s not all country fetes and rolling green hills (although there is plenty of that around too), especially as we head into autumn. It’s also a hot bed of art and culture, with a naughty hidden side too.

Joyce Grove in Nettlebed

Joyce Grove, Nettlebed

To prove this is so, examine the following evidence (you can pretend that you’re Barnaby if that helps). This last week at the Lemongrove Gallery in Henley, there was an exhibition of artwork based on Joyce Grove, the Sue Ryder Hospice in Nettlebed. Considering the building’s illustrious history – family home of James Bond creator Ian Fleming, location for many Hollywood movies and recently seen as Bletchley Park in The Imitation Game starring Benedict Cumberbatch – there is much to create artitstic inspiration.

In cultural circles, Henley’s Kenton Theatre is a very popular ticket, with shows ranging from comedy to series drama taking place throughout the season. We’ve detailed what’s coming up in previous posts. The same goes for the Cornerstone Arts centre in Didcot, and Dorchester Abbey which both have impressive programmes for the winter months.

You can also catch classical violinist Tamsin Little, one of the country’s leading musicians playing and holding workshops for young violinists from across Southern Oxfordshire. It’s a really exciting opportunity for all involved.

And in slightly more risqué news, the producers of the UK’s biggest touring burlesque production, An Evening of Burlesque, presented the world premiere of their stage show at the Hexagon in Reading. It promises to take the art from of burlesque to the ‘next spine-tingling level’.

So, as you can see, there’s a lot going on in terms of arts and cultural activities across Southern Oxfordshire and the wider area. It’s a region with many hidden depths, so why not come and explore them?