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Unveiling the Enigmatic Filming Locations of Inspector Morse in Oxford

In the quaint and historic city of Oxford, lies a tapestry of cobblestone streets, mediaeval spires, and academic elegance. Yet, beyond its picturesque façade, Oxford has also played a starring role in one of television’s most beloved detective series: Inspector Morse.

Inspector Morse is a quintessentially English detective, created by Colin Dexter. He’s a brilliant, yet enigmatic, character with a penchant for classical music, fine wine, and cryptic crossword puzzles. Morse is often seen solving complex murder cases with his loyal sidekick, Sergeant Lewis. Despite his gruff exterior, Morse possesses a deep sense of justice and a keen eye for detail, making him a formidable adversary for criminals and a beloved figure among fans of mystery fiction.

In both the television series and the books, the settings play a crucial role in establishing the atmosphere and ambiance of the stories, immersing audiences and readers alike in the rich tapestry of Oxford’s history and culture. Here are some of the top locations you can visit around Oxford:

The Randolph Hotel: Nestled in the heart of Oxford, The Randolph Hotel exudes old-world charm and luxury. In Inspector Morse, this historic hotel serves as the backdrop for many pivotal scenes, including Morse’s frequent rendezvous with his trusty sidekick, Sergeant Lewis. From the opulent lobby to the elegant Morse Bar, fans can step into the shoes of their favourite characters and imagine themselves unravelling mysteries over a glass of fine whiskey.

Bodleian Library: No visit to Oxford is complete without a stop at the iconic Bodleian Library, one of the oldest and most prestigious libraries in the world. Throughout Inspector Morse, the Bodleian Library features prominently, with its magnificent architecture providing a fitting backdrop for moments of intellectual intrigue and academic sleuthing. Visitors can explore the historic Divinity School, Duke Humfrey’s Library, and the Radcliffe Camera, all of which have graced the small screen in various episodes of the series.

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Christ Church College: As one of the largest and most renowned colleges at the University of Oxford, Christ Church College boasts a rich history and breathtaking architecture. It’s no wonder that this iconic institution served as a filming location for several Inspector Morse episodes, with its grand quadrangles and majestic Great Hall lending an air of grandeur to the series. Fans can wander the hallowed halls where Morse himself once roamed, imagining the echoes of his footsteps as he pursued the truth amidst the storied surroundings.

Oxford Canal: For a change of pace from the city centre, venture to the tranquil waters of the Oxford Canal, where Inspector Morse often found respite from the chaos of his investigations. Against the backdrop of narrowboats and lush greenery, viewers were treated to moments of introspection and contemplation as Morse pondered the complexities of the cases before him. Visitors can enjoy a leisurely stroll along the canal towpath, soaking in the serenity of this picturesque setting immortalised on screen.

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St. Barnabas Church: Tucked away in the Jericho neighbourhood of Oxford lies St. Barnabas Church, a hidden gem that played a recurring role in Inspector Morse. With its distinctive red brick façade and peaceful churchyard, St. Barnabas provided the perfect backdrop for moments of reflection and revelation throughout the series. Fans can pay homage to their favourite scenes by exploring the surrounding streets, which are steeped in history and charm.

Oxford Botanic Garden: Established in 1621, the Oxford Botanic Garden is the oldest botanic garden in the UK and a tranquil oasis in the heart of the city. Its lush greenery and vibrant floral displays have provided the perfect backdrop for many outdoor scenes in Inspector Morse. Visitors can wander through the garden’s themed borders, glasshouses, and arboretum, immersing themselves in the same natural beauty that captivated Morse during his rare moments of respite from detective work.

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From the bustling streets of the city centre to the tranquil waterways of the canal, Oxford offers a treasure trove of filming locations for Inspector Morse enthusiasts to explore. Whether you’re a dedicated fan of the series or simply eager to immerse yourself in the rich history and culture of this historic city, a journey through the iconic locations of Inspector Morse is sure to captivate and inspire. So grab your detective hat and prepare to uncover the secrets lurking beneath Oxford’s timeless façade.

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