The sleepy town of Witney, 12 miles northwest of Oxford, firmly belongs to Oxford's commuter belt. Brave your way through the traffic and new housing developments to reach the middle, though, and you'll find a pretty village green flanked by attractive stone houses. At the south end stands a glorious 12th-century church with its 19th-century almshouses; at the north, there’s a 17th-century covered market.
Witney built its wealth through blanket production, which, incredibly, remained the main local trade from the Iron Age until 2002. Its mills, wealthy merchants' homes and blanket factories are still very much in evidence today.
Downton Abbey fans will recognise charming Bampton, 6 miles southwest: it starred as the fictional village of Downton.