Blenheim Palace near Oxford was the home to the 12th Duke of Marlborough and his family. It was also the birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill. Blenheim Palace near Oxford is a UNESCO World Heritage Site boasting a long and diverse history. It was the centrepiece of the recent Oscar winning film ‘The Favourite’.
The fine edifice was built as a gift to John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough. It was from Queen Anne and a grateful nation in thanks for his victory at the Battle of Blenheim on 13th August 1704.
Today, the Palace is home to one of the most important and extensive collections in Europe, which includes portraits, furniture, sculpture and tapestries.
Located in the West Courtyard, ‘Churchills’ Destiny’ tells the story of our two great war leaders; Sir Winston Churchill and his ancestor John Churchill, the 1st Duke of Marlborough. Explore the parallels between them. This experience gives an overview of John Churchill’s tactics in battle and explains how the victories of the 1st Duke inspired Winston Churchill during his time as a political leader.
Discover the beauty of the Formal Gardens. Created over the centuries by esteemed garden designers such as Henry Wise and Achille Duchêne. The Formal Gardens reflect a journey through the styles of the ages. They surround the Palace, and include the majestic Water Terraces, the Duke’s Private Italian Garden, the tranquil Secret Garden with all of its hidden treasures, the new Churchill Memorial Garden and the beautifully delicate Rose Garden.
Look out for statues and art as you explore the Gardens. As well as temporary visiting pieces. Discover the permanent fixtures including ‘Untitled’ by German artist Georg Baselitz.
Suggested itineraries to explore Blenheim Palace:
- Up to 2 hours: Experience the State Rooms using the audio guide, tours last around 40 minutes, including the Churchill Exhibition. Grab something to eat at the Water Terrace Café before discovering the Water Terraces and walk around the Palace to see the Duke’s private Italian Garden.
- Up to 4 hours: The tour last around 40 minutes. Then explore the Formal Gardens. Spend time in the Secret Garden, the Churchill Memorial Garden and the magnificent Water Terraces before a walk down to ‘Capability’ Brown’s Grand Cascades. Head back to the Palace and enjoy a delicious seasonal meal in the stunning Orangery Restaurant, overlooking the Duke’s exquisite Italian Garden.
- Over 4 hours: For those with plenty of time to explore, are recommended to use the audio guide to explore the Palace State Rooms and then visit the Churchill Exhibition and the interactive ‘Untold Story’ experience. Once you have left the Palace, spend time exploring the Formal Gardens and ‘Capability’ Brown landscape.
Once you have explored the glorious Gardens, take a ride on the Miniature Train down to the Pleasure Gardens. Risk being lost but find your way through the giant Marlborough Hedge Maze. Having found your way out, visit the Butterfly House or have something to eat at the Pleasure Gardens Pizza Café. Or visit the stunning brasserie-style Orangery Restaurant, overlooking the Duke’s private Italian Garden. Select something from the range of delicious seasonal dishes or choice of Afternoon Teas available.
No visit to Blenheim Palace would be complete without a look around the East Courtyard Shop, where you will find a huge selection of quality gifts, local produce and its very own range.
Enhance your visit by booking onto one of the additional tours, such as Buggy Tours of the Lake, Walking Garden tours or the ‘Upstairs’ and ‘Downstairs’ Private Apartment Tours. These tours are seasonal and some may require an additional fee. Please visit their web pages for further information.
Despite being two to two and a half hours from Brighton, the journey is definitely worth it. The Holt’s coach is comfortable and a stop-off on route is no problem. An early start and finish is usually the best way to avoid getting caught in traffic. Then, one just hopes that the weather remains glorious too, so that the palace can be seen in all its glory.
To visit Blenheim Palace in Oxford by coach contact Holt Services