The day after the wedding in London, the bride arranged a coach for family and friends to get out of the city and check out Blenheim Palace [www.blenheimpalace.com]. The Palace is located near Oxford, a couple of hours out of town by car or three hours if there just happens to be a 10k run through London on the day that you plan to travel.
The palace itself is huge and was built for the first Duke of Marlborough for his military victory in the Battle of Blenheim. The palace is also the birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill [www.blenheimpalace.com], Britain’s Prime Ministry during the second world war. Entering into the main area of the palace, there are large gravel fields with stone walkways. Darker patches of gravel were marked out of bounds, but we could not figure out why.
The paid areas of the palace are protected by primitive security features including a moat, gates, and ancient forms of barbed wire.
The palace grounds are beautifully sculptured and the palace itself sits in a vast formal English garden. The grounds are massive and there are different defined hikes that can take from 45 to 90 minutes to explore.
Inside the palace is an interactive walking tour called The Untold Story’ 300 years of enticing tales [www.blenheimpalace.com]. Through video screens and animatronics, the story of how the palace came to be is told as you move from room to room in small groups. The technology seems out of place in the palace, but I have to admit that I learned a lot more than I would have if I were just reading informational posters.
There is also a mini train that takes you to another part of the grounds known as the Pleasure Gardens. Unfortunately we didn’t have time to explore there. Instead we decided to spend some time the surrounding town of Woodstock, which is the subject of a future post.
Blenheim Palace and the nearby town of Woodstock are well worth a day trip if only to get out of London and into some fresh air for a day. In addition to history lesson, it’s a great place to enjoy an English garden. If it’s nice out be sure to pack a picnic lunch to enjoy in the shade of a tree, or just buy an ice cream from one of the stands inside the palace.
This post was submitted to Travel Photo Thursday, a weekly collection of travel photos organized by Budget Traveler’s Sandbox.