There are many things that the UK is good at, pomp and ceremony certainly spring to mind, however something which we Brits are especially proud of are the historic and beautiful stately homes and gardens that are scattered across the roaming hills of the English countryside.
Not too long ago we made a day trip to the incredible Chatsworth House in Derbyshire. Seeing how these families used to live in these large houses with their vast quantities of land and money was fascinating. Inspired by the English Heritage site we decided to continue our journey around these historic English houses (that should really be mansions!) by visiting Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire, the birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill.
Where is Blenheim Palace?
Blenheim Palace is located in Woodstock, Oxfordshire, which is around 10 miles north west of Oxford in the south of England. It is easily accessible by road on the A44 from Oxford.
Parking at Blenheim Palace
On arrival at Blenheim Palace you will be guided by numerous stewards who will direct you where to park. With so many visitors there is no large outdoor car park and so the parking in on the grass verges to the side of the Palace.
There is no charge for parking at Blenheim Palace.
About Blenheim Palace
Blenheim Palace is home to the Dukes of Marlborough and is the only non-royal house in the UK to hold the title of palace. It compromises of a staggering 187 rooms and sits within 2,000 acres of land.
It was designed in the 17th century by Sir John Vanbrugh and was built from 1705 to 1722 to be the grandest house in the land – it certainly earned its title with its beautifully imposing stature and large landscaped gardens designed by Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown . It was named after the battle of Blenheim in 1704.
Blenheim Palace has family roots that tie it to both the Spencer and Churchill families with the latter being its most famous residents. British wartime hero, Sir Winston Churchill was born at Blenheim Palace and lived in the house for many years.
Blenheim Palace was in 1987 designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Exploring the Palace
Blenheim Palace offers many areas for visitors to explore. Be sure to plan your visit in advance however to allow yourself enough time to see all of the house and gardens – it is a very large site and as we discovered it takes a few hours to get around it all!
During your visit you can explore some of the beautiful courtyards that exist between the buildings including the space facing onto Blenheim Palace offering a fantastic panoramic view of the building.
You can also wander around the palace and see the state rooms, dining room, library and even an organ and chapel!
There is also an interactive tour that guides you through the history of the house using animatronics and holograms. This takes around 40 minutes and guides you through a series of rooms.
One of the highlights of your visit will however be to see the room where Sir Winston Churchill was born.
Afternoon tea in The Orangery
Whilst at Blenheim Palace we stopped in at The Orangery for afternoon tea – how very British!
The afternoon tea was excellent and having it served in the beautiful Orangery was perfect.
The food tasted great, the service was excellent and our table with views out to the gardens made it really special. We highly recommend it!
Blenheim Palace Gardens
Outside of the palace there are several walks to take around the grounds which allows you the opportunity to explore the flower gardens or explore some of the lakes and views back to the palace.
The Queen Pool walk
With it being 30 degrees during our visit we decided to avoid some of the long walks and opted for a gentle stroll around the Queen Pool. This took us over the bridge between the 2 lakes and down towards the Column of Victory.
From the bridge you get some fantastic views back to Blenheim Palace in addition to views across the 2 lakes.
The Queen Pool walk takes around 40 minutes and walks past lots of sheep, geese and swans!
Blenheim Palace review
Blenheim Palace is a real gem within the UK that is worth making a trip to. Set in beautiful Oxfordshire you can easily visit this historic city and take a day trip out to Blenheim. The house presents itself well, is well maintained and allows you many options during your visit whether it’s to simply turn up for a picnic in the grounds or explore the palace itself.
Don’t miss out on a visit to this historic building, you won’t be disappointed!
Have you visited Blenheim Palace or are you planning to take a trip this year? We’d love to hear your plans, let us know in the comments!