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Visiting Blenheim Palace a UNESCO World Heritage Site

Visiting Blenheim Palace a UNESCO World Heritage Site

Are you thinking about visiting Blenheim Palace – UNESCO World Heritage Site and birth place of Winston Churchill?

We have visited Blenheim twice – once in October and again in July 2017. We visited twice because to put it mildly its expensive to visit and the saving grace is that the entry fee allows unlimited visits for 12 months. So we were determined to get our money’s worth.

In October we visited mainly the house (it wasn’t a bad autumn day but nevertheless not a day to enjoy the gardens) but on our recent trip we spent the day exploring the grounds. And that made the hefty entrance fee worth it. More about costs later in the post.

There are lots of events at Blenheim Palace throughout the year and I would love to experience Christmas at Blenheim Palace too as they have lots of great happenings during the festive season.

BLENHEIM PALACE

WHERE IS BLENHEIM PALACE?

Blenheim Palace is the residence of the Duke of Marlborough and is situated in Woodstock in Oxfordshire, England. So yes the 12th Duke and Duchess of Marlborough (never met them) call this little pile home! The palace was built in 1704 by Queen Anne as a gift to the 1st Duke.

It is probably known primarily as the birthplace of Winston Churchill and when I have mentioned we visited the palace that is generally the first thing people say…..and that they visited a long time ago!

VISIT BLENHEIM PALACE

VISITING THE HOUSE

  • Tours of the house

We didn’t join one of the free tours which were included in the price of admission and regret it. I think we would have got far more out of our visit if we had. Instead we explored the State Rooms ourselves. At the time there was an art exhibition on and it did distract from the beautiful rooms in my opinion – juxtaposition of modern art with the stunning portraits, furniture and tapestries wasn’t our favourite experience.

There are additional tours available for a small fee – (For example  the  ‘Upstairs’ Tour, ‘Downstairs’ Tour, Duke’s Floor Tour and Buggy Tours).

  • The Churchill Exhibition

We took a stroll through the exhibition which celebrates the life of Churchill and I would recommend it. You even see the room where he was born! There is also a memorial garden to see once you are in the park – and the place where he proposed to his wife Clementine.

VISITING THE PALACE PARK AND GARDENS

While truthfully we weren’t overwhelmed by the house (should have taken those tours!) we absolutely loved the park and gardens! We visited in a perfectly beautiful English summer’s day and it was fantastic. The gardens are beautiful and there was so much to see and do!

  • The Pleasure Gardens

TIP – Take the train! Have coins on you to pay!

For 50p each (single journey) you can take the train from the entrance to the family-friendly Pleasure Gardens which is just what we did! There is loads to do at the Pleasure Gardens and is a must to visit – if you have children definitely head there.

blenheim train

  • The Butterfly House

We loved the butterfly house so much that we visited twice! I love butterfly houses – what is not to love! It was hot in there and was great for giving us a little taste of the climate we are about to move to in Tropical Northern Queensland!

  • Marlborough Maze

I am going to admit it but this was the first maze I had ever been in!! Really! It was good – we got lost a few times but eventually found our way into the middle! The lookouts help though once back on the ground it was easy to get lost again!! Great fun and highly recommend you go and get lost!

maze at blenheim palace

  • The formal gardens/park

When visiting Blenheim Palace in summer a walk through the gardens is a must! To get to them walk through the entrance and the courtyard to get to the more formal gardens at the back of the house. They are beautiful! And created by the famous Capability Brown too!

formal gardens at Blenheim Palace

What you need to know if you are planning a visit

  • Cost – if you are planning to visit the house, park and gardens if you choose to donate the cost of your entry to the Blenheim Palace Heritage Foundation Charity you benefit from a free annual pass which in my view is worth it and you are helping preserve the house and grounds for future generations. If you choose not to visit the house but purely the park and gardens the entry fee is cheaper but can’t be converted into an annual pass.
  • Check out the official website (one of the best I have seen) which gives you all the information you will need when planning a visit – blenheimpalace.com 
  • Train – take change for the train (we were scrabbling around for change) which costs 50p for adults one way.
  • Food and drink there are lots of places to buy food/drink etc but it is quite pricy. I recommend taking drinks and a picnic!
  • Events at Blenheim Palace there are loads of things on at Blenheim throughout the year so well worth checking what is of interest and planning another visit (especially for us annual pass holders!!)

EVENTS AT BLENHEIM PALACE INCLUDE cricket in the summer

Have you visited Blenheim (recently!!) – what did you enjoy the most? If not is it somewhere you would like to visit?


You may be interested to read more about UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the UK and Europe

READ MORE
15 amazing UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Europe to visit

READ MORE
15 UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the UK to visit

READ MORE
4 UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Northern England to visit

A UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITE

Blenheim Palace is a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1987  to read its listing click here!


PIN – VISITING BLENHEIM PALACE – A UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITE


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VISITING BLENHEIM PALACE

Author: Tracy

Tracy is your expert expat!

She has lived and worked in 7 countries on 4 continents and travelled to over 50 more. A qualified school teacher with an interest in history, reading, photography, nature and wildlife she is always planning her next trip (preferably by train)

Through down-to-earth stories, tips and advice (based on her own extensive knowledge and experience of life as an expat) she aims to support new and prospective expats to survive and thrive in Australia.

With a lifetime of travel experience, and a network of friends all over the world, she is also able to share genuine insider guides, recommended best book lists and train journey inspiration to help you travel authentically to some of the most beautiful places on earth.

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41 Comments

  1. July 10, 2017 / 6:42 am

    What a beautiful place, Tracy! I love the look of those gardens, but the castle itself looks amazing too. Can you imagine calling a place like this a home?!
    PS I can’t believe you found a train even here 🙂
    Jurga recently posted…12 Great Reasons to Visit Trübsee in SummerMy Profile

  2. July 14, 2017 / 8:06 am

    I haven’t visited Blenheim Palace as, although I have heard of it, I didn’t know much about it. I think I would really enjoy here, especially with the Winston Churchill theme, but what a shame you didn’t take the tour (thanks for the tip that it’s include so people don’t miss out). I would love the butterfly garden, I adore photographing them and the gardens look fabulous. Thanks for showing me how wonderful this Palace is! #feetdotravel

  3. July 15, 2017 / 3:34 pm

    How the other half live, eh! What a beautiful palace – and I was unaware that Winston Churchill was born here. Fantastic pics. Well done.

  4. July 16, 2017 / 11:43 am

    I could have really done with reading this post on Friday because I would be able to answer a quiz question on Winston Churchill’s birthplace if I had! Great post and another example of a fantastic day out in the UK – such a beautiful building and grounds and looks like you guys had a perfect weather for it too! Thanks for sharing!
    Travel Lexx recently posted…15 Reasons You Should Visit South KoreaMy Profile

  5. July 16, 2017 / 4:39 pm

    Looks like a beautiful palace, steeped in history. The annual pass seems like a real win as those gardens look like they’re worth returning for. Of course no surprise that it’s a UNESCO site knowing your track record 😉

  6. July 19, 2017 / 7:24 pm

    Great place to visit the Blenheim Palace and it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. How great your ticket is good for one year. The grounds look amazing shown by your fantastic photos! You always find the best places to visit in England. I pinned this for later for when I return to England. #feetdotravel
    Stephanie (1AdventureTraveler) recently posted…10 California Beaches for Unsurpassed Fun!My Profile

  7. July 19, 2017 / 7:59 pm

    I’m a sucker for butterfly gardens, and the formal gardens looked stunning as well. We would love to check this out one day, thank you for sharing your beautiful photos 🙂

  8. July 21, 2017 / 6:35 am

    I’d never heard of Blehheim Palace but the fact that it’s the birthplace of Winston Churchill and a UNESCO site makes it a must see. I’m sure I’ve seen the Palace Park and Gardens used for the Antiques Roadshow? I’d love to visit the Butterfly Park to photograph the butterflies, your macros are wonderful!

    • August 2, 2017 / 1:42 pm

      Thanks James – and taken with my trusty iphone! My husband bought me a digital slr for my birthday but i still prefer my camera phone!!

  9. July 22, 2017 / 7:42 am

    How fabulous you got a nice sunny day to explore the gardens! Doesn’t happen too often in England. I bet you are glad you will be living in the tropics soon! I never knew Winston Churchill was some sort of a royalty. The bed does look familiar though from the Netflix series about the Queen. I always tend to regret not taking the free tours too haha! I guess there is a lesson here. Great write up!

    • August 2, 2017 / 1:41 pm

      He is related to the royal family. He was from a well to do wealthy family. You know the British – your standing in the class system dictated your role in life. The house and grounds are lovely though!

  10. August 11, 2017 / 3:12 pm

    Can’t believe we had never heard of the Blenheim Palace. The gardens especially are stunning! Such a lovely place for the summer. We love butterflies!

    • September 26, 2017 / 9:45 pm

      Definitely visit Alex it isn’t too far away from Nottingham – we enjoyed a summer visit as you can sit in the gardens etc.

  11. February 27, 2018 / 7:16 am

    We’re going to visit next month when we’re in England visiting family! I can’t wait to see it but am also not happy about the prices! Will have to get the annual pass by donating bc I think we will be back later in the year perhaps! #CityTripping
    California Globetrotter recently posted…The Budget-Friendly Guide to GhentMy Profile

  12. February 27, 2018 / 7:33 am

    I haven’t visited the house and gardens for years, you have inspired me to check it out as we are not too far away for a day trip. In recent times we have been to the equestrian 3 day event, which gives you an opportunity to tramp around the grounds. In the rain in our case, so definitely take a rugged buggy if travelling with a little one! #citytripping

    • TracyJane
      Author
      February 27, 2018 / 8:24 am

      We really enjoyed it in the summer – had one of those glorious sunny days and just sitting watching the cricket was so relaxing! Lots to do with kids too!

  13. Katy
    February 27, 2018 / 9:28 am

    We loved the gardens and the little train too Tracy. It was a lovely summers day when we visited and there was a cricket match happening on the green. People sat on the lawn sipping Pimms. Perfectly English! #citytripping

    • TracyJane
      Author
      February 27, 2018 / 11:29 am

      It is lovely on a day like that – we had a great time too!

  14. February 27, 2018 / 10:18 am

    What a beautiful place! I’ve heard of Blenheim Palace but I’ve never been there. That has to change.
    #citytripping

    • TracyJane
      Author
      February 27, 2018 / 11:29 am

      Yes go and visit if you can it is lovely especially in summer.

  15. February 27, 2018 / 4:09 pm

    I’ve never been to Blenheim Palace so great to read your post. I didn’t realise there was so much more to do there in addition to looking at the palace – butterflies, a maze and trains – makes it a far more interesting family visit.Thanks for linking #citytripping

    • TracyJane
      Author
      February 28, 2018 / 9:21 am

      Yes hope you get the chance to visit Elizabeth – well worth the trip from London 🙂

  16. February 27, 2018 / 5:22 pm

    It’s been so long since I went to an English stately home, I’d love to visit Blenheim. My brother did a triathlon there years ago I seem to remember. I’d prefer to watch cricket with a Pimms like Katy did. #citytripping
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    • TracyJane
      Author
      February 28, 2018 / 9:20 am

      me too!! It is a great way to spend a summers day!

  17. February 27, 2018 / 8:12 pm

    I live in Oxfordshire so have visited several times but mostly when special events are on so that you get your moneys-worth! My daughter also stayed in the grounds last year for a Scout weekend so I got to see an area slightly off the tourist trail. I’m with you on the house – I much prefer the maze and butterflies to the insides! #citytripping

    • TracyJane
      Author
      February 28, 2018 / 9:19 am

      I think I would go quite a lot if I had lived closer at the time – the gardens are just so lovely aren’t they?

    • TracyJane
      Author
      March 5, 2018 / 8:44 pm

      I agree otherwise it is very expensive – we loved visiting especially in summer but I think around Christmas would be great too!