Tackley and Heyford
Since Oxford is so strangled by traffic and efforts to drive to the station are likely to be stressful, Tackley and Heyford come into their own with their local trains. Steeple Aston, a grey stone-walled village above the Cherwell, is definitely worth looking at. It has a village shop and post office, a choral society, football club and the Steeple Aston Players, who put on productions of plays written by local people. Commuters generally try to join in. The area is seriously horsey. A three-bedroom period cottage can be bought for up to £400,000. Residents are concerned about plans to build 1,000 homes on the former American Air Force Base at Upper Heyford, the subject of an ongoing public enquiry. Hopcroft’s Holt nearby is where the French highwayman Claude Duval clattered about on his horse.
Then there are the Tews (Great, Little and Duns). Great Tew is particularly prized because it was a celebrated time-warp village (due to a neglectful previous owner it almost missed out on the 20th century). The combination of stone and thatch, post office and village stores, punctuated by greens and clumps of ornamental trees, has seduced location hunters for historical film dramas. Even the overhead cables have been buried to keep the time-forgot atmosphere. Residents are not antiques, however, and plenty of newcomers have arrived. A tiny two-bedroom cottage will cost £260,000.