Visiting Blenheim Palace: Everything You Need To Know

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 rooms of extravagant opulence, one-of-a-kind furnishings, exhibitions of historic artefacts and picturesque walks in the Formal and Walled Gardens.

A Must-See Piece Of British History Just 1 Hour (40 miles) Drive From The Royal Oak

Either before or after your day out at Blenheim Palace, pay a visit to The Royal Oak in Cheltenham and see what delicious seasonal menus we have available. Behind the bar, there will be plenty of award-winning Butcombe beer, alongside our extensive range of cocktails and wines.


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.

With 187 rooms, is one of the largest houses in England. It boasts over 300 years of history and is arguably most well-known as the birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill.

Find out more about the history of Blenheim Palace

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 opulent carpets and rugs, gilded furniture, magnificent paintings and rare artefacts. At every turn, something palatial will reveal itself.

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.

Upstairs Tour

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.

Downstairs Tour

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. As you wander through, you will hear about the gossip and perks of the job from the staff’s point of view.

Formal Gardens

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 be immersed in the wonderful Water Terraces, the Duke’s Private Italian Garden, the serene Secret Garden, the magnificent Memorial Garden of Sir Winston Churchill 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 (and the adults will, too!)

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 Royal Oak From Blenheim Palace

Located just outside Cheltenham in the village of Prestbury, The Royal Oak is a historic 16th-century pub, full of traditional Cotswold charm and original features, and the closest pub to Cheltenham Racecourse.

To reach The Royal Oak from Blenheim Palace, you must head south-east on Oxford Rd (A44) towards Cadogan Park and take the 3rd exit at the roundabout onto Bladon Road. After 1.5 miles, turn left onto Lower Road and continue for approximately 3 miles.

At Eynsham Roundabout, take the 3rd exit onto A40. After 7 miles, you will reach the next roundabout where you must take the 1st exit and stay on A40. At Asthall Barrow Roundabout, take the 1st exit and stay on A40, continue for approximately 2.5 miles, then take the 3rd exit at Burford Roundabout and stay on A40.

Continue for approximately 20 miles before making a slight right onto Greenway Lane, before turning left onto Harp Hill. At the roundabout, take the 2nd exit onto Priors Road (B4075) and then turn right onto Prestbury Road (B4632). At the next roundabout, take the 1st exit onto Tatchley Lane (B4075) and then turn right onto The Burgage, where you will find The Royal Oak on your left.