I’ve been in the UK for the last couple of weeks visiting family and saying goodbye to my father who passed away.

Whilst there I visited a few places one of which is Blenheim Palace  which is a large country house situated in Woodstock, Oxfordshire and  is the principal residence of the Dukes of Marlborough.  

I have to admit that years of being dragged around these types of places as a child have tarnished my expectation of such places but now with an American as my company (who is very interested in English royalty and history) I am open to re-experiencing these.  I have been here before but then only explored some of the grounds which are extensive; this time we focussed more on the house and gardens.

The East Courtyard

You pay on entry as you drive into the carpark; the car park is effectively grassy fields around the main entrance dotted with ancient oak trees.

In the house itself there are a couple of routes you can follow; one is a semi-guided tour of the history of the house with automated presentations; we started with the automated tour which includes simple animatronics and videos that actually were fairly well done.

Scene from the history tour where a lady is caught in a compromising position.

After this we looked around some of the gardens.  We found navigation a little awkward which may have been down to some construction going on for a special event but meant we had to walk back on ourselves somewhat.  Otherwise the gardens are well kept and typical of these types of houses/periods.

At this point I should perhaps apologise that my photos are not clear descriptive shots of the buildings and gardens and more small features that interested me (I try not to take pictures of things a million other people may have taken) hopefully you’ll get enough hints at what there is to see.
Also I notice that I seem to have been focussing on statues and skies

The house has a number of restaurants; we ate in the orangery which was the more upscale option and priced accordingly but we felt we deserved it.  It was very nice.

The other tour route is un-guided so it’s more the traditional walk around the rooms.  Winston Churchill is closely related to the Marlborough’s and spent much his childhood here.  Hence there is a special section dedicated to him.

Bust of Sir Winston Churchill
Another Bust of Sir Winston Churchill

Here are some pictures from the rest of the interior

Statue in Hall
Hall ceiling
The Long Library
The Long Library organ was built in 1891 by the famous London firm of Henry Willis & Sons at a cost of £3,669

There are some good walks about the grounds which allow you to explore the impressive landscaping done by Capability Brown.  We didn’t have time this trip

Extensive artificial lake created by Capability Brown; looking towards the Grand Cascade
View of the Column of Victory in the Palace grounds taken from the house

Some more exterior shots around the palace itself

I realize this is not much of a guide but I hope you get something from this brief visit.