Today we visited the beautiful Blenheim Palace in West Oxfordshire. I’ve visited before; if you read my post about the Luna Cinema experience at Blenheim you’ll know, but it’s been a little while since I actually toured the palace. I now only live ten minutes away so yesterday we upgraded to an annual pass. You can do this by asking to donate your entry ticket to the Blenheim Palace Heritage Foundation Charity, which is excellent. I have a feeling Blenheim is going to become my second home now!
Blenheim Palace is situated in the outskirts of the historical market town of Woodstock, where there are many places to stay and a wonderful and vast choice of pubs, resturants and cafes to eat and drink in. Blenheim Palace is really easy to get to: it’s just off the A44 and has copious amounts of parking, with overflow parking available in adjacent fields during major events such as Countryfile Live.
I would throughly recommend starting with the palace tour. You will need to keep the receipt of your entry ticket, or your print-out if you booked tickets online, and show this to the lovely people working on the audio guide stall which is in the colonnade just outside the front steps. The audio guides are brilliant: they are really easy to operate, extremely informative and simple to carry. You learn so much about the family line of the Dukedom of Marlborough, the reason why Blenheim was built, who the land came from, why the palace was decorated in such a way and what each room was used for. I won’t tell you any of the details and information, because as exciting as it is, it’s much better to learn it all yourself when you visit!
After the palace tour, the best thing is to have lunch in the Water Terrace cafe, which has a great selection of food and drink. Once you’re full, why not walk it off with a leisurely stroll around the gorgeous landscaped grounds. The courtyards are beautiful, the Great Lake is breathtaking and the rose garden is lovely!
his isn’t all. You can ride the train from the outside of the palace grounds down to the pleasure gardens, which encompasses an exciting maze and a butterfly house, as well as a toy shop, childrens adventure playground and more places to eat and drink. If you do not wish to take the train, you can drive down to the pleasure gardens as there is parking available. There really is so much to do, and it is great fun for all the family.
A member of our party was in a wheelchair, and we found that the vast majority of Blenheim is wheelchair accessible which is great; we also had my one month old niece with us and her stroller!
Blenheim Palace is of course the birthplace of one of the most infamous Briton’s of all time – Sir Winston Churchill. You can learn all about his life in the Chuchill exhibition inside the palace, and the nearby village of Bladon is where he was laid to rest along with his family at St Martin’s Church.
Overall, I would throughly recommend visiting Blenheim Palace! It’s a must do, especially if you live in or around Oxfordshire! I have a history degree from Oxford Brookes University, and I remember in my first year one of my history professors, Professor Dillinger, comically bellowing “if you haven’t been to Blenheim Palace, what are you doing? Get on the bloody bus and go!” in a lecture. That certainly woke everyone up just after 9am on a rainy morning! So really, take my Professor’s advise, and go!
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