Regular readers will know that several Southern Oxfordshire towns double up as Causton in Midsomer Murders. Wallingford, home of real life murder mystery queen Agatha Christie is one, but another is the beautiful and charming town of Thame.

As well as its TV credentials, Thame has been making a national splash in recent weeks with recogniton for its natural good looks and clever town planning.

Thame Food Festival

Thame food festival

First up, Thame was named as one of the Ten Greatest Places in England, chosen by judges of a competition organised by the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI). The competition highlights and celebrates inspiring places and the inportant role that town planners play in shaping the future of English communities.

Across the UK, 700 places were nominated before being whittled down to just ten, including Thame. The panel of judges, including an RTPI past president Professor Peter Fidler will be overseeing the public vote to crown the winner.

Professor Fidler said: ‘Good planning over a long period has protected and enhanced the character of this small market town and its High Street, and Thame now has the benefit of one of the first Neighbourhood Plans in the UK. It is an example of exemplary community support and careful, sensitive planning.’

Voting is open until the 20th November, and it’s easy to take part. Just head over to Twitter or Instagram and use #RTPIgreatplaces or go online to the RTPI site.

In addition, Thame has also been named as one of ten Risings Stars in the Great British High Street Competition. The UK-wide competition aimed to find the 21 most beautiful high streets in the country, with three finalists named in each category.

Thame just missed out on winning its category but the panel of judges were so impressed by how Thame had used social media to boost the appeal of, and to promote, its high street that they awarded the town a special prize.

To see this Oxfordshire market town for yourself,  visit Thame to stroll through one of the UK’s best high streets, as well as filming location for a number of Midsomer episodes such as Rumsey’s Choclatier, The Spreadeagle and the Town Hall, as highlighted in the walking trail of Thame locations.