Blenheim Palace, Woodstock, Oxfordshire

Blenheim Palace

I could have sworn that I had blogged about our 2014 sojourn to Blenheim Palace but when I tried to link to the post recently I discovered that our photos had never even been put on Flickr, so here are some of them, as you can see it was a good day, unlike our visit this year. The architectural style is 18th century Baroque and the parkland was designed by Capability Brown.

Blenheim Palace ceiling

The ceilings are gorgeous, like very elaborately iced wedding cakes. Winston Churchill was born in the palace, although of course he didn’t inherit it, the title went to a cousin. He obviously loved the place though as he chose to be buried in the tiny churchyard at nearby Bladon.

Blenheim Battle tapestry

The tapestry above shows a scene from the Battle of Blenheim.
Blenheim Palace

Above is the view from the front windows, I do love fountains.

Blenheim Palace bridge

But I love this bridge and lake even more than the fountains, and the trees of course. Blenheim is privately owned, not National Trust and it’s expensive to get in, I think it costs £23 for each adult, but you can convert your ticket into an annual ticket, which is handy if you live nearby, not so handy for us driving from Scotland to visit though.

You can see more images of Blenheim Palace here.

You can read about the Battle of Blenheim here.

Blenheim Palace

Blenheim Palace

On our recent road trip to England we travelled as far down as Blenheim Palace which is in Oxfordshire, in fact I didn’t realise how close we were to London until I saw a huge monument which was acting as a mile marker, we were only 85 miles from London, if we hadn’t been booked in various hotels further north I would have suggested going on to London. Anyway, unfortunately the only day we could go to Blenheim again was a bit damp which was very annoying as we didn’t want to go around the palace again, it was the grounds we were interested in seeing. Below is a part of the Capability Brown designed landscape. I know that some people who are lucky enough to have stately homes see Capability Brown’s designs as being a bit of a curse because it means that they can’t change their own surroundings. I can understand that really.

Blenheim  island

We were keen to give the maze a go as we failed completely in the maze at Chatsworth, we couldn’t even get into it never mind out! Blenheim’s maze was much more enjoyable – up to a point, and that point for me was about 10 minutes, because after 11 minutes I just wanted out of there. Could we do it? could we whack!

Blenheim  maze

After going up the two viewing platforms – twice, we did eventually find our way out – phew. I can see why some people would begin to panic. From the viewing platform some desperate people were taking photos on their phones to aid their escape – that’s what I call cheating. Have you noticed in the photo above that the yew hedges have been trimmed so that they form the word Blenheim when seen from above – very smart.

Blenheim is expensive to get into but if you live fairly locally you can get an annual ticket for just £1 more which is a great deal I think as it’s a great day out especially for families. There’s a butterfly house and all sorts. I suspect that Jack’s favourite part was the wee train, in fact I’m pretty sure that that was why he wanted to go back there.

Blenheim  locomotive

This is NOT him driving it, but he probably wishes he was!

I was about to link to my previous post about our 2014 visit to Blenheim Palace, but I’ve just discovered that it doesn’t exist. I’ve got so behind with posts, but I’ll do it soon, you might find it interesting – you never know. Meanwhile you can read about it here.

Back Home

We went on another British road trip last week and I managed to be organised enough to schedule some posts to be published while I was away, just in case I didn’t have access to the internet. It turned out that I didn’t feel much like being online anyway, I was too tired as usual, what with running around during the day.

We visited mainly places which we hadn’t visited before. It’s sad but true that I enjoy visiting places in the UK which I’ve heard about, mainly on the TV or radio – often just on road traffic reports, and I wonder what they’re like if I’ve not visited them.

So now I can envisage Wigan, Haydock, Biddulph Gardens, Buxton, Alcester, Blenheim Palace (Woodstock and Bladon) Geddington, Market Harborough, Geoff Hamilton’s Garden at Barnsdale (Rutland), Uppingham, Oakham, Wetherby, Northallerton, Mount Grace Priory, Sedgefield, Washington Village, Morpeth, Rothbury, Cragside and Wooler. The only places we had visited before were Alcester, Blenheim/Woodstock, Morpeth, Cragside and Wooler.

This time we started off driving down south via Moffat in the Scottish Borders. The bookshop was open and I bought two books –
1. Murder Among Friends by Elizabeth Ferrars
2. Crazy Pavements by Beverley Nichols

It was a bookish beginning to our break, we were heading for Wigan, an unlikely place to visit but as I had just read George Orwell’s Road to Wigan Pier I was intrigued to find out what it was like now. It has a newish shopping mall but you can tell from the older buildings that Wigan was indeed down at heel in the 1930s. Unlike many places, mainly down south, there was virtually nothing in the way of art deco/1930s buildings. From which I assume that nobody was doing any building at that time, it was a very depressed area. It’s not exactly vibrant at the moment but it’s still an awful lot better than Kirkcaldy, my nearest large town, which seems to have yet another empty shop each time I visit it.

We stopped off at Buxton, mainly because it was a Georgian spa town and has associations with Jane Austen.

Sedgefield was chosen as an overnight visit mainly because it was Tony Blair’s constituency when he was an MP and I wanted to compare it with Kirkcaldy. In the end I didn’t even take any photos there as it was such a wee place with just a few shops, a village really. I feel quite unreasonably aggrieved with the inhabitants of Sedgefield for voting in Tony Blair as their MP and allowing Blair to set off on his egomaniacal merry power binge which has put us in the horrendous position we are in now.

Anyway, that’s what I’ve been up to over the last week or so and I plan to show you some photos of the various places which I hope you might be quite interested to see.

What did I buy when I was away? Not a lot really, apart from some more books, but that’s another blogpost.