AN ORDINARY English village is dealing with an extraordinary mystery.
Asian tourists are flocking to Kidlington, Oxfordshire, by the busload — and none of the locals can understand why.
It was about a month ago residents first noticed packed tour buses arriving in the village — which has a population of about 13,700 — and they’re continuing to arrive in droves.
The village doesn’t have a particularly unique history and it has no obvious attractions, locals say.
Still, packs of curious tourists pour out of the buses each week, peering through windows, knocking on doors and taking selfies.
Some have reportedly even asked locals if they could help with the gardening.
The tourists seem to be particularly interested in more modern homes lining two roads: Benmead Road and The Moors, the UK’s Telegraph reports.
Baffled locals have turned to the area’s Facebook page, Spotted: Kidlington, for answers.
“Who’s idea was it to turn Benmead road into a tourist attraction??” one confused resident wrote.
“Coachloads of Japanese tourists … seem to weekly be turning up in Benmead road and proceed to pose for photos in peoples front gardens and against peoples cars parked in their drives?????
“I must say I do find it hilarious but I am at a loss to understand it all.”
Michael Parsons, 77, who said he had lived on the street “forever”, said: “They always come on Thursdays because that’s when the bins go out. I have seen them taking photos of the dustbins.
“I have never seen tourists in the area before. They walk up and down the street but they don’t seem to be doing any harm.”
Resident Netta Robinson, 77, said: “The tour companies obviously drop them off at the bottom of the road.
“There is a coach there and they come wandering up, walking in all the gardens. Sometimes they go right up to people’s windows.
“The other day they were asking my neighbour who was mowing her lawn if they could have a go. She said no.”
Virgin boss Richard Branson used to own a $2.2 million home in Kidlington, which he reportedly sold to his children, but it is some distance from where the tourists are visiting.
Some residents have come up with some theories, which they shared on the Facebook page.
“Boring but sensible theory — The phenomenon is part of a combined tourism trip involving retail at Bicester (well known as a Chinese destination), the historic (nearby) University at Oxford (ditto) and you guys are a ‘folksy’ cultural stop on the A34 between the two,” Andrew Huddart wrote.