It was just last Friday, 26th November. We had planned this trip in every detail and, though we had been warned  it would not be easy to reach the place, we definitely wanted to go. Against all odds, against the awful omen of the weather forecast: snow announced all over the country. But could we miss the chance to be in England, in London, not very far from the longed for destination and renounce before even trying? Our faith was rewarded: when we woke up on Friday the sun was shining high. It was the sign, we had to go.Where?  

To Turville aka Dibley!

You know how much I love Richard as Harry (if you don't, just read my post Richard & Harry) so you can easily imagine how excited I was.
From our hotel to Marylebone railway station, easy.  From there to High Wycombe by train , not difficult at all and neither very expensive! For the rest of the journey, we had been suggested to take a taxi at High Wycombe and that is what we did. 
"Where do you want to go"? -  the strange Indian driver asked.  
Glom! He didn't know where or what it was. Never heard.  
"Why do you want to go to Turville"?
"What?Mind you own business!" we all thought while searching for a proper answer, " Ehm ... Because we like it!"
He started talking on the phone to get help and directions from his agency and we started praying we don't get lost in the countryside,  in Buckinghamshire, that is right in the middle of nowhere. But we were lucky and the funny kind  guy speaking a funny Indian English succeded in taking us there, where we wanted to be. At Dibley!
We were more and more excited. Everything was exactly as we expected. Or better as cute as but much smaller than I expected. Even the colours we had seen in the very familiar scenes were exactly the same! What a lovely, quiet, enchanting little village! What can you do there apart from dreaming of meeting a handsome stranger who'll sweep you off your feet?

And here we are at the vicarage. The door. That door. The small white one which made our gorgeous giant, I mean Richard Armitage as Harry Jasper Kennedy, bend and bow more than once. SIGH! The door of  Harry's saying  " I was just after some clarification RE dates and kissing..." or Geraldine " I really am the luckiest woman in the world ... mainly because I have you and with you I'm gonna be happy forever.." ,  then of the first little kiss we see between Harry and Geraldine after their "third date".  I've seen those scenes so many times and, of course, I was there staring and hoping... but no trace. No handsome stranger around.

Soon after we entered the church. How small it was and so less luminous (?) than I imagined. But again, we were so excited to be there! To be honest I started laughing because more than the romantic aspect of the wedding,  I was figuring other scenes shot inside that place in my mind: "It should have been me!" , the hilarious dance Geraldine and his male villagers perform, Rosie the bride lying on the floor after being punched , the reahearsal of the ceremony, Geraldine entering in her gaudy flowery pyjamas  on her wedding day. LOL! Here is silly me (below, on the right) laughing there just where Geraldine and Harry got eventually married.

After leaving the church we walked up and down the only street in Turville looking for the exact locations of Harry and Geraldine's encounters. Then we went up the alley of the Sleepy Cottage and... here's the red door! The Sleepy Cottage is actually the name of the first little house in that alley but we immedialtely recognized our "Sleepy Cottage", the one inhabited by the handsome stranger.

We went up the hill following a muddy path in a small grove and here we are in the open space of the beautiful hilly landscape all around the village. Silence, cows and horses, the blue sky and the green grass.  There was even the hole in the mud where Geraldine jumped into! Where was Harry, then?

Some photos of the odd wooden bench we had immediately recognized on our arrival, then to the pub!  

What about a bite of supper? Well, we had lunch. But it was exactly there, where Harry and Geraldine had  supper on their first date. "You're looking lovely ... I reckon you're a teacher ... "  We were so close to the square hole in the wall in front of which the little table for two had been put! The pub has been refurbished and the counter /bar has been moved but it was IT! It was THE PUB!
We had delicious fish and chips and a lager. Finally, at 2 p.m. it was time to go. Our taxi driver was back to fetch us.

Good-bye, Turville. Good-bye, Dibley. We really hope they will take the wrapped scenery  (they didn't burn on Richard's suggestion)  out for other special episodes on the Vicar and her husband's married life.
As for us, we  are back home and go on dreaming  of winning the lottery to be able to  buy a cottage in Turville as well as a flat in London. Who knows? To dream costs nothing.

A very good weekend to you all!


Unknown said...

Lovely post, MG!
Thank you for reminding me of that wonderful day we spent together in Dibley... I mean, Turville :)
Pity any TDH Accountant didn't show up, but nevertheless, we had fun! :D
While strolling by, we've noticed that one of the cottages is available for rent.... uhmmmm, what about spending a week in the countryside instead of London, next time? I only need to learn how to drive left-hand :-(

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing your experience with us Maria!! I'm so excited and I'm just here in front of my laptop watching at your pics, how awesome must have been to be really there, in the same place that the handsome stranger has been as well. *sigh*

That taxi driver must be 'new', I expected people to have this -super nice- women popping up sometime or other wanting to visit 'Dibley' :D.

OML :)

JaneGS said...

Total fantasy...what a trip...thanks for sharing :)))

Maria Grazia said...

Sigh! It was such a lovely day, wasn't it? But an entire week in Turville ... without Harry ... what can one do there? Read, read, read and watch DVDs and TV... hoping he'll appear somewhere somehow! :-)
I don't think many people know where Turville is, actually. It's not a place full of touristsbut a very quiet place where you can have a very relaxing walk in the countryside or go horse-riding. Very romantic if you are in the right company. The taxi-driver new? Maybe.
But very kind, anyway.
I'll wait to read your travelogue in spring then. Are you going too?

Mystica said...

I love watching this programme here in Melbourne but have not come to the wedding part yet!!! I love this post because I did not know anything of Turville at all. Thanks.

Maria Grazia said...

I hope you get to see the last two episodes of the Vicar of Dibley. They are so entertaining, hilarious and you can't miss sweet Harry! The loveliest accountant ever!

Jenny Allworthy said...

The hole in the mud where Geraldine jumped into is still there???!!! Hopefully it's not as deep as it was back then, or we could have lost you in it!
Thanks for taking us to Dibley/Turville. What a fun trip you had.

Anonymous said...

I heart this post, especially the pictures. Turville looks just as charming as it does on the show.

squid said...

I too have been to Turley, I was taken there this summer and did the things you did, what a thrill. Did you notice the church guestbook? At least one person had signed it and said "It should have been ME". I said the same thing, standing there!! I had my pic taken on "the bench". Turley is the picture perfect English village, to this American anyway. Thank you for bringing back my happy memories!


Faye said...

It was such a delight to see our favorite leading man do romantic comedy--and so well. And, on behalf of all the RA fans on the U.S. side of the pond, thanks for the tour of "Dibley." I just watched the last episode of Spooks 7 tonight. A long wait for an RA fix over here.

Phylly3 said...

**Sigh!** Oh Maria Grazia! What a fantastic time you and your friend had! I am in awe. Those pictures are so wonderful. And its funny because you picked the same stills of the VOD that I have been staring at daily (as I am working on a couple of fanvids). I am so happy that everything still looks the same. THAT BENCH! The PUDDLE?! That is amazing!
Oh, and Squid -- I saw your pictures too on C19 and your story was fabulous as well! If I remember right, didn't you get to meet him on the set? Or was that another story?
I did want to make that visit when I was over in England last summer but there just wasn't time. I would have to go sans husband next time.
I want to go back to England! Waaaaah!! :{

Maria Grazia said...

Actually there was a hole in the mud, I've even got pictures of it, I even got my boots filthy and bedraggled in my quest for it but ... I didn't risk disappearing into it; maybe after a strict diet... it wasn't big enough!
It does, indeed. It's just an enchanting place!
I've read of your adventures in Turville, Squid!
We also signed the guestbook in the church (but didn't add any quotation from VoD), we wanted to apply for the position of bellringer since there was an ad looking for it! And we actually took photos of us on the bench (it was covered with ice, not a pleasant sensation indeed but we were brave!) only my friends don't want to be shown on Fly High and ... I can't risk my lif...ehm losing such precious ties! On the bench I was Rosie, S. was Richard and V. was Geraldine behind us. Unfortunately you can just imagine it. It's a funny one.
You can go next time you are in England but, as you said, with friends and no husbands! They ususally have no patience for our artistic picturesque or environmental trip suggestions (LOL). It's such a cute village and we were so lucky to have that wonderful sunshine! Have you seen my pictures? Incredible!

Maria Grazia said...

Do you mean you haven't seen Spooks 8 and 9 yet? Lucky you! You have plenty of emotions ahead. Thanks for commenting.

rashid1891 said...

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Deborah Carr (Debs) said...

I want to go there too! What a brilliant trip you had and thanks so much for telling us all about it and for your photos.

When the first (or maybe the second) episode was to go out on Christmas Day a couple of year ago, I'd had 17 people for lunch and had managed to just get them to leave in time for 9pm so that I could watch RA in peace. The theme tune came on and then there was a massive island-wide power cut. I can't tell you (well I'm sure you'll know) how beside myself I was to be missing the episode.

Thankfully the cinema kindly managed to get hold of this and put both episodes on, so I was lucky enough to finally watch it on a massive screen at the cinema. A bit of a wait, but well worth it.

Judy said...

I left a comment earlier but it seems to have disappeared, saying how exciting it is that you went to Dibley, and that it sounds as if you had a lovely time.:)

Maria Grazia said...

Harry on a huge screen. WOW! You were lucky!
I'm sorry your first comment went lost, Judy. Yes, we had a great time at Turville. It was something we had wanted and planned for so long that once we were there we were so happy!

Traxy said...

Ohhh so THAT'S why you went to Turville! I was wondering what the attraction was - aside from being a quaint little English village. Now it makes perfect sense. ;)

Sounds like you had a fantastic time - thank you for sharing it with the rest of us! :)

lunarossa said...

What a fantastic post, MG! I re-watched the two episodes last week exactly when I knew you were going there. So I can remember the location very well and your pictures are stunning! Glad you had a great time. Pity you cannot show us the photo you took of the bench. It must be fun! Great you didn't get stuck with the bad weather. It's really bad at the moment. Ciao. A.

tyme_4_t said...

MG - what a wonderful post! And what fun it sounds like being in "Dibley"! That will be on my list of places to see if/when I ever get to the UK!

@Phylly...pick me up in Halifax if you are flying back to England ;)

Marg said...

Oh my goodness! I would so love to visit Turville! I might need to rewatch these episodes on the weekend now!

Unknown said...

I started watching the Vicar of Dibley on PBS in the late 1990s and eventually finished the series years later on Netflix. I loved it and I loved your pictures of the real places. What a great trip!

Jenny Allworthy said...

Hi Maria Grazia! I had to come back to this post as I will be in England this summer and will be staying in Henley-on-Thames, 8 miles from Turville. I didn't plan it for Vicar proximity but just lucked out! I can't wait to do the Vicar tour of Turville including the pub and the church. I'll let you know if the mud hole is still there! :)

Maria Grazia said...

I hope you'll like Turville as much as I did, Jenny! My friends and I were back there last summer, on our latest tour of England. We had lunch in that pub again, we visited the little church again but we didn't have enough time to go mud hole hunting. It was nice to be there a second time. Let us know what you think of it and if the mud hole is still there!