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Hey y’all! It’s Friday and that means it’s time for another travel post! Today, I am sharing more about our most recent trip to the U.K. and Europe. If you missed out on the first few posts in this series, you can start from the beginning, with our first destination: London, England. If you are all caught up, then keep reading, to learn all about our day trip to Oxfordshire and Blenheim Palace.
Getting to Oxfordshire
We have family in Oxfordshire, so our route may be different than someone who is navigating on their own or taking a coach tour. Our day started, by taking the train from Marylebone to Bicester Village. That is the closest train stop to Justin’s aunt and uncle. They picked us up from Bicester and we drove the rest of the way to Woodstock, the town where Blenheim Palace is located.
If you are unfamiliar with the area and rather take a coach tour, there are many options that start out of London. The driving trip is a little less than two hours. The other option is navigating there, via public transportation. The great things about this is the discount you will receive on your ticket into the Palace. If you show your bus or train ticket, you will get 30% off admission. Check out the Good Journey site for a quick and easy explanation of how to get Blenheim Palace on your own.
Touring Blenheim Palace
When we first arrived, I was in awe of the massive size of Blenheim Palace and the grounds surrounding it. It was truly extravagant. We learned, from the tour, that it was built in the 18th century and was given to John Churchill, the 1st Duke of Marlborough. When we arrived, they were setting up for a big concert, that was going to be taking place, that weekend. It made me laugh a little, to wonder what John Churchill would think of his palace, being an event venue for rock concerts!
The architecture of the palace, is just what you would expect from that time period. Gorgeous stone carvings and large columns, surround the outside. The inside has been well-maintained, with the rooms still set up, as they were centuries ago. We did walk through the entire Palace (at least what is accessible to visitors) and learned a little about each room, the art, and the history. The audio tour is long, so we did skim over some.
Winston Churchill Exhibit at Blenheim Palace
I think I have mentioned before, that Justin enjoys learning about World War II history. His main reason for wanting to visit Blenheim Palace was the one and only, Winston Churchill. Walking through the Churchill Exhibition, we saw photographs and famous quotes covering the walls. We saw the room that Churchill was born in and we learned more about his wife and family.
We spent more time in the large Winston Churchill exhibit, than anywhere else. Even though Churchill never really lived at Blenheim Palace, it was his place of birth and it was also where he proposed to the love of his life, Clementine Spencer. I am not the history buff, that my husband is, but I still enjoyed learning more about the man, that played a large role in winning World War II.
The Gardens at Blenheim Palace
The landscaping is absolutely beautiful, throughout the Gardens, at Blenheim Palace. As we stepped outside, after finishing our audio tour, we were immediately struck by the view of the Italian Garden. The work that goes into maintaining the property, is evident. There are fountains, statues, and carefully trimmed hedges. We were lucky to be there on such a gorgeous day. It made the sight, even more beautiful to take in.
The property is so large, that we were unable to see it all, but I do wish we had gotten to see more of the Gardens. If we return to Blenheim Palace, in the future, I will definitely spend more time outside.
Winston Churchill’s Burial Site
After we finished up at Blenheim Palace, Justin’s Aunt and Uncle, drove us the short distance, to the St. Martin’s Church of Bladon. This is where Winston Churchill and his family are buried. Even though he could have been buried in a more prestigious site, such as Westminster Abbey, Churchill chose to have his final resting place, be with his family, in a humble churchyard, at Bladon. It was important to him to be close to the family home, at Blenheim.
We had such a good time visiting Blenheim and some of the surrounding area, in Oxfordshire. It was a bright and good weather day, especially for being outdoors. If you have any interest in beautiful gardens and architecture or you are a fan of Winston Churchill, then you definitely need to check out Blenheim Palace! It did not disappoint.
Let me know if you have been or are planning a trip.
Until next time!