A travel firm has revealed why it brought coachloads of Chinese tourists to a completely unremarkable English village.

Residents in Kidlington, Oxfordshire were mystified this summer when the holidaymakers were seen nosing around their streets and posing for selfies next to their front doors.

Reports at the time suggested a tour guide may have wrongly told the groups that the village featured in the Harry Potter movie as the setting for the Dursleys' house.

But the Chinese firm behind the visits has now revealed they brought the tourists to Kidlington because they were "looking for the true sense of this country"

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One resident posted pictures of the tourists in her front garden on Facebook. Photo / Janis Harwood, Facebook
One resident posted pictures of the tourists in her front garden on Facebook. Photo / Janis Harwood, Facebook

A guide has told the BBC that the groups liked the houses and gardens, adding: "We don't have [these] in China."

They, rather cryptically, said: "The environment makes you feel you are closer to the simplicity of your original self."

Locals in the village, which is situated three miles to the north of Oxford, told of their puzzled joy in August when the tourists began arriving in their streets.

One joked: "Don't knock it, I've been selling them cream teas at £8 a go."

Tony Bennell said: "They do get very excited about it and really enjoy taking pictures in front of the gardens and flowers.

"I have no personal grievance but for example there are gardens where people have benches out and the tourists will just wander in and pose for selfies on them."

Another villager, Simon Jones, 34, added: "There are quaint chocolate-box thatched houses in the village and an ancient church, but the tourists are taking selfies in front of bog standard modern homes.

"It's really weird and nobody has a clue why Kidlington, and Benmead Road in particular, has suddenly become world-famous."

The tourists braved the rain and carried umbrellas. Photo / Janis Harwood, Facebook
The tourists braved the rain and carried umbrellas. Photo / Janis Harwood, Facebook

Joel Ryan said on Facebook: "I reckon that some tour guide has...told the tourists that the street is famous for being in the Harry Potter films (at the Dursleys) and they've only gone and bought it hook line and...sinker."

The cryptic responses of the Chinese tour firm

Question posed by the BBC: 'Why have you come?'

Translation of reply: 'Because we don't have [these] in China. Here, we are looking for the true sense of this country.'

Question: 'Do you like it?'

Translation of reply: '[Yes.] Because the environment makes you feel you are closer to the simplicity of your original self.'

Question: 'What do you like here?

Translation of reply: 'The environment makes you feel you are closer to the simplicity of your original self.'