The exceptional Blenheim Palace

The exceptional Blenheim Palace

2 minutes to read

Among many beautiful "countryhouses" in the UK, one of my favorites is the Blenheim Palace in Woodstock, Oxfordshire. Not only is the palace a marvelous site for a relaxing day trip from Oxford, but it also has a historical significance. On November 30th in 1874, Sir Winston Churchill was born at this very place and later spent much of his childhood there. It is not a surprise that the Blenheim Palace became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987.

Picture credits to © Tran Dan Vy
Picture credits to © Tran Dan Vy

Here is a short introduction to the Blenheim Palace:

With its 2,000 acres, 187 rooms, and Masterpiece Theatre lifestyle, Blenheim Palace eclipses even the British monarchy’s homes in the eyes of many. And for the three centuries since Queen Anne bestowed the land on the first Duke of Marlborough, his heirs have battled to keep it going. - quote by James Reginato from the article "Magnificent Obsession: Blenheim Palace" on vanityfair.com. 

In celebration of the victory over the French in the War of the Spanish Succession (1701 - 1714), the Blenheim Palace was built as a gift to John Churchill, the first Duke of Marlborough. John Churchill was the commander in the battle of Blenheim in 1704. and that is why the palace was named Blenheim. Despite its title as a palace, the Blenheim Palace is a non-royal country house. The Baroque architecture of the place emphasizes its extravagance, as well as its palace status. Today, the palace still belongs to the Duke and Duchess of Marlborough.

Picture credits to © Tran Dan Vy
Picture credits to © Tran Dan Vy

What makes the Blenheim Palace an interesting destination are the various art and culture events organized frequently on site. For instance, restoration and conservation tours, live concerts, and art exhibitions, such as "The Young Turner: Ambitions in Architecture and the Art of Perspective" (16th February – 22nd April 2019). You can also join free guided tours, led by volunteers, who will tell you "untold stories and secrets" of the palace. Visiting the palace is an entertaining as much as a learning experience, so it is ideal for people from different age groups.

Picture credits to © Tran Dan Vy
Picture credits to © Tran Dan Vy

The garden of the Blenheim Palace is also a great delight that should not be missed. The typical English landscape surrounding the palace reminded me of the setting for a Jane Austen's novel.  The most impressive part outdoor, is definitely the Marlborough Maze, representing the history of the palace, while the maze is the second largest symbolic maze in the world. Plus, the Blenheim Palace has been the filming location of many famous films including "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix" (2007), "The Young Victoria" (2008), and "SPECTRE (007)" (2015). The most recent blockbuster that was filmed here was "Transformers: The Last Knight" (2017).   

The center of the Marlborough Maze | Picture credits to © Tran Dan Vy
The center of the Marlborough Maze | Picture credits to © Tran Dan Vy

Other fantastic day trips from Oxford include Bibury, the most beautiful village in England and the Waddesdon Manor, originally the country house of Baron Ferdinand de Rothschild (1839–1898).

Blenheim Palace, UK
Blenheim Palace, UK
Blenheim Palace, Woodstock OX20 1PP, UK

Cover picture: The lake at the Blenheim Palace | Picture credits to © iStock/yanjf

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The author

Vy Tran

Vy Tran

Vy grew up in Hanoi but defines herself as a global citizen. She loves Dutch Golden Age paintings, dining at Michelin restaurants, watching warm sunsets and Italy, where she would be willing to spend her life.

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