Blenheim Palace In The Cotswolds: A Visitor’s Guide
Blenheim Palace is a must-see British attraction in the Cotswolds.
Situated on the edge of the Cotswolds in Oxfordshire, it is known as ‘Britain’s greatest palace’, complete with elaborately decorated rooms, exquisite furnishings, exhibitions of historic artefacts and spectacular walks in their Formal and Walled Gardens.
A Must-See Piece Of British History Just 25 Minutes (15 miles) Drive From The Beehive
The History Of Blenheim Palace
Blenheim Palace was named after the 1704 Battle Of Blenheim, and is the only non-royal country house in England to hold the title of palace.
Construction of the palace commenced in 1705 and was completed in 1722. It is one of Britain’s finest examples of Baroque architecture.
It boasts over 300 years of history and, with 187 rooms, is one of the largest houses in England. It is arguably most well-known as the birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill.
Blenheim Palace State Rooms
The State Rooms at Blenheim Palace are one of the most popular sights for visitors. If you were to imagine what the lavish rooms in a stately home might look like, then these are what would likely come to mind.
These rooms boast lavish carpets, gilded furniture, magnificent paintings and rare artefacts. Everywhere you look in these rooms reveals something of sheer opulence.
Guided tours are available to see the State Rooms on the ground floor and 2nd floor of the palace.
Sir Winston Churchill's Birth Room
On November 30th 1874, Lady Randolph Churchill gave birth to a son in a tiny bedroom at Blenheim Palace. He was named Winston.
Although there are conflicting versions of events, it is widely believed that Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill was only born at Blenheim Palace as he arrived 2 months prematurely. The intended place of his birth was supposedly a house on Charles Street in Mayfair that his father had rented for Winston’s birth.
Whatever the truth may be, there is no dispute that he was in fact born at Blenheim Palace. The room is open for visitors and a painting by Churchill called “The Atlas Mountains from Marrakech” is on display for all to see.
Blenheim Palace Tours
When visiting Blenheim Palace, you can embark on two different tours, each of which offers an insight into different life experiences at the palace.
The “Upstairs Tour” gives visitors the chance to see the main rooms used by the Marlborough family, from the 1st Duke to today. You will see the nursery where the young Lords and Ladies were cared for until as recently as the 1990s. You will also be exposed to some beautiful paintings by artists including Reynolds, Kneller, Sargent and Stubbs.
The “Downstairs Tour” offers a glimpse into the lives of Palace staff over the past 300 years.
You can walk through the various corridors, see the iconic bell system and take a look at some of the areas which are still in use by Palace staff to this day.
The Formal Gardens surround the Palace and reflect the ages in which they were brought to life by designers such as Henry Wise and Achille Duchêne. As you explore the surroundings, you will take in the majestic Water Terraces, the Duke’s Private Italian Garden, the tranquil Secret Garden, the Churchill Memorial Garden and the beautifully delicate Rose Garden.
The pathway that leads to the Formal Gardens from the West Courtyard enjoys breathtaking views across the gardens and the lake.
The Walled Garden
The Walled Garden is a family-friendly area of Blenheim Palace.
You can reach The Walled Garden from the palace by taking an exciting trip on the miniature railway that the little ones will love.
Once there, the kids can entertain themselves in the small play area while you enjoy a snack or a drink (or both) at the Pizza Cafe.
Blenheim Palace Walks
Although there are other walks that you can enjoy while at Blenheim Palace, these are arguably the most popular.
The Lake Walk
A lovely walk that is just under 1 mile in length. It is recommended that wheelchair and buggy/pram users return to the palace via the Rose Garden once they reach the cascade.
The Queen Pool Walk
This is a dog-friendly walk of approximately 2 miles. This is a circular walk and is suitable for wheelchair and buggy users.
The Park Perimeter
The longest walk at Blenheim Palace at close to 5 miles in length. Suitable for wheelchair and buggy users and also dog-friendly, it does include some steep slopes.
Directions To The Beehive From Blenheim Palace
The Beehive is a traditional pub in Carterton, serving delicious seasonal dishes and exciting takes on pub classics, as well as award-winning Butcombe craft beer and cask ale.
To reach The Beehive from Blenheim Palace, you must head south-east on Oxford Road towards Cadogan Park, then at Bladon Roundabout, take the 3rd exit onto Bladon Road. Turn left onto Lower Road, then take the 3rd exit at Eynsham Roundabout and continue for approximately 7 miles.
At the roundabout, take the 1st exit and stay on A40. After 1 mile, take the B4477 exit towards Carterton/Minster Lovell/Brize Norton. Turn left onto Brize Norton Road and you will then encounter 5 roundabouts in quick succession. Take Minster Road, Manor Road, Carterton Road and Norton Road, before turning left onto Black Bourton Road.
Continue through the final roundabout and The Beehive should be on your right.