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Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Blenheim Palace

Earlier this month we visited Blenheim Palace while holidaying in Cotswolds. The beautiful country house is a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site and is the residence of the current Duke of Marlborough. The palace is popular because it is the birthplace and ancestral home of Sir Winston Churchill. If you are a history buff and want to learn more about the background of Blenheim Palace, then this Wiki article is worth a read.

Whether you are visiting solo, as a couple or as a family, there is loads to do at Blenheim Palace. Set in over 2,000 acres of beautiful parkland, the estate is ideal for a day out. In addition to the Palace, you have the formal and pleasure gardens to explore plus a number of  cultural events are held throughout the year.

Blenheim Palace

The Palace


The Palace is a stunning building. It looks magnificent when viewed from a distance and is equally impressive inside. The staterooms are located along the southern façade of the palace while the eastern side houses the private residences of the current Duke and Duchess. Of the nine staterooms, my favourites were the Green Writing Room, the Red Drawing Room, the Green Drawing Room, the Grand Cabinet and the Library.

Palace State Room Tours are available at regular intervals throughout the day and are included in the entrance fee. There are some exclusive tours as well, like the Private Apartment Tours and 'Upstairs' Tour which have a fee and need to be booked at the Welcome Desk or the Palace front door.

Blenheim Palace
Blenheim Palace

Blenheim Palace

Blenheim Palace

Blenheim Palace

Blenheim Palace

Blenheim Palace

Blenheim Palace

Blenheim Palace

Formal Gardens


The gardens at Blenheim Palace are beautiful. Whether it is the Water Terraces, the Italian Garden or the Secret Garden, all of them are stunning spaces that add to the beauty of the place. The Rose Garden with symmetrical beds of roses is a delight of the senses. Also seen in the Formal Gardens was an interesting piece of contemporary sculpture called 'Untitled' which is a modern take on the neoclassical sculpture 'The Three Graces' by Antonio Canova.

Blenheim Palace






The gardens, the lake and the waterfall (Cascade) were designed by Capability Brown and are very picturesque. The lakeside walk to the Cascade is lovely. Just make sure you are wearing good walking boots or trainers as some parts of the lakeside path can become slippery when it rains.


Pleasure Gardens

The Pleasure Gardens include an adventure playground for children, a Lavender Garden, the Marlborough Hedge Maze and the Butterfly House. The maze was fun. It took us about 15 minutes to find our way out of the maze. We then headed to the Butterfly House to check out the exotic butterflies and were surprised to see a camera-friendly family of Zebra Finches. They seemed to enjoy being photographed!

While the Pleasure Gardens are just a 10 minute walk from the Palace, you can take the miniature train from the Palace to the Pleasure Gardens. The train runs every 30 minutes and has a fare of 50p for a one-way journey.




Blenheim Palace

Blenheim Palace

Blenheim Palace


Blenheim Palace

The Column of Victory


After spending more time in the Butterfly House than we had anticipated, we walked back to the Palace. From there we headed towards the Column of Victory, a 285 year old, 134 feet high column that was erected to commemorate the 1st Duke of Marlborough’s military triumphs against the French and Bavarians during the War of the Spanish Succession.

Blenheim Palace

Blenheim Palace

Blenheim Palace


Cafés and Restaurants


The Palace has a number of cafes and restaurants serving everything from brunch to lunch and even traditional Afternoon Tea. We enjoyed a quick bite at the Water Terrace Café. It was very busy on the day we visited (I guess it is almost always busy considering the number of visitors to the Palace) but we managed to find a seat and enjoyed our hot meal.

Tickets and Pricing


An adult ticket giving access to the Palace State Rooms, the Park and Gardens and the Churchill Exhibition costs £24.90. The good thing is that you can convert the day ticket to a free Annual Pass, giving you free access for a year. Well worth it especially if you live close by.

We spent around 6 hours during our visit and enjoyed every moment of it. We will definitely be returning to the Palace. I would recommend that you devote an entire day to Blenheim Palace. There is lots to see and there is no point in rushing it.

Here are the opening times for the various parts of the estate:
The Palace: 10.30 - 17.30
The Park: 09.00 - 18.00
The Formal Gardens: 10.00 - 17.30
The Pleasure Gardens: 10.30 - 17.30

If you are visiting Blenheim Palace by car, the post code for satellite navigation is OX20 1PP. Free visitor parking is available.

Blenheim Palace | Woodstock, Oxfordshire OX20 1PP
Telephone enquiries: 01993 810530

Blenheim Palace

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