Blenheim Palace is an Oxfordshire landmark, the huge country manor and it’s gardens were a controversial royal gift to John Churchill, the 1st Duke of Marlborough in the 1700s. After the Duke’s exile, it became the home of his family and is the birthplace and ancestral home of wartime British Prime Minister, and relative of John Churchill, Sir Winston Churchill.
With such an imposing house and grounds, it can be difficult to know where to start when exploring this magnificent example of the short-lived, English Baroque style of architecture. So let us help show you around and prepare you for a day out at Blenheim Palace. The palace itself is a bit of a combination of a building; as a stately home, a national monument and a mausoleum for the Churchill family – all of which are exquisitely designed and constructed.
The best way to experience the luxurious interior of Blenheim Palace is by taking one of the site’s many tours. These tours will give you the full experience of the staterooms; let you learn more about Sir Winston Churchill’s relationship with the palace and much more. You can also learn the secrets of Blenheim Palace by taking the self-guided “Blenheim Palace: The Untold Story” experience.
Before exploring the acres of lush grounds, why not take a moment to stop for a bite to eat. Near the house itself, there is The Orangery Restaurant that serves a full a la carte menu. For something quicker, why not try The Oxfordshire Pantry café in the East Courtyard Visitor Centre. If you’re not hungry now, however, there will be more opportunities for food in the grounds themselves at The Water Terrace Café or The Pleasure Gardens Pizza Café.
The park and grounds of Blenheim Palace can be viewed easily through one of the buggy tours – letting you see all of the sights of the palace grounds in once bite-sized experience. If you’d rather stretch your legs there are a huge number of self-guided tour paths to follow as well as free guided walking tours being run throughout the day.
Be sure to explore both the Formal and Pleasure Gardens of Blenheim Palace for the full garden experience. The Formal Gardens surround the Palace, and they include the majestic Water Terraces, the Duke’s Private Italian Garden, the Secret Garden with all of its hidden treasures, the new Churchill Memorial Garden and the beautifully delicate Rose Garden. The Pleasure Gardens conversely, stretch father afield and contain the palace’s hedge maze, miniature railway, butterfly house and a variety of other activities.
Points of interest within the grounds include The Column of Victory, topped by a statue of the first Duke of Marlborough and the Grand Cascade waterfall that was designed by the famous gardener ‘Capability’ Brown in the 1760s.
Also on site is the Marlborough Maze. This large hedge maze is made of over 3,000 yew trees and is the second largest symbolic maze in the world; being designed to reflect the history of Blenheim Palace itself. In 2016, the Telegraph put the Marlborough Maze at Blenheim Palace in its list of the top 10 most mind-boggling mazes in Britain – so give yourself plenty of time if you’re looking to tackle this one.
Blenheim Palace is one of the most awe-inspiring stately homes in Britain and we hope our little taster has you raring to visit this esteemed attraction yourself!
Just a stones throw away from Blenheim Palace can be found Hardwick Parks – a great place to stay while you explore the house and grounds!