Each week, coachloads of visitors with cameras at the ready descend on the Oxfordshire village to take in its apparently fascinating detached houses and bungalows. Picture: Gillie Rhodes, flickr.com

London - It may be the mistaken belief it is the backdrop to Midsomer Murders or the occasional Inspector Morse episode.

Then again, perhaps it is its neat gardens and humdrum air of a typical English village dating back to the Domesday Book.

But, whatever the reason, it seems that Kidlington has become a must-see for Chinese and Japanese tourists.

Each week, coachloads of visitors with cameras at the ready descend on the Oxfordshire village to take in its apparently fascinating detached houses and bungalows.

Other theories for its recent popularity point to its location en route to the Bicester Village shopping park nine miles away, giving tour guides an opportunity to show their customers a taste of rural England.

Or perhaps Kidlington is hanging on to the coat-tails of more illustrious neighbours: the dreaming spires of Oxford, just five miles away, and the grandeur of Blenheim Palace at Woodstock.

Until the influx began last month, Kidlington was notable chiefly for claiming to be England’s biggest village with its population of 13 700 and being the HQ of Thames Valley Police.

Perhaps Richard Branson could have been a draw as a celebrity resident – but he moved in 2013. The sudden popularity of their home has left locals bemused. They have set up a Facebook group called Spotted: Kidlington featuring pictures of visitors enjoying a tour of the village.

Resident Tony Bennell said: “They do get very excited and really enjoy taking pictures in front of the gardens and flowers. There are gardens where people have benches out and the tourists will just wander in and pose for selfies on them.”

On Facebook, Samantha Anderson wrote: “They were even in gardens and at front doors!”

Putting forward another theory, Martin Tobutt posted a link to an episode of Inspector Morse on a Japanese website which translates as “daughter disappeared from Kidlington”.

Film website Location Oxfordshire lists an episode of Morse as being filmed just north in Thrupp. The Boat Inn there has also featured in several episodes.

Joel Ryan added 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 village is home to Japan Specialist Tours, where a spokesman commented: “Our best guess is they’re from a Chinese tour company who are taking them to a typical Oxfordshire village on the way to Bicester.”