Built in the early 18th century, this stately home is one of Britain’s grandest historical estates. It was gifted by Queen Anne to the Duke of Marlborough, General John Churchill, for his role in defeating the French at the 1704 Battle of Blenheim, and Britain’s beloved wartime leader Sir Winston Churchill was born here in 1874.
Visitors can choose between two tickets: One provides access to the park and gardens only, while the other grants access to the park, gardens, and palace. The latter includes guided tours of the Palace State Rooms and access to the Untold Story interactive exhibit, which traces the palace’s long history. The Churchill Exhibition explores the life story of the former English prime minister through photographs, letters, and artifacts and is also included with palace admission.
Audio guides are available for a small extra fee, as are special seasonal tours. Visitors can explore the palace independently or go as part of day tours from London, Oxford, or Bournemouth. Day tours typically combine a visit to Blenheim Palace with trips to nearby Cotswolds villages, such as Bampton, Bibury, and Bourton-on-the-Water.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Blenheim Palace is a must for British history buffs, outdoor lovers, and architecture enthusiasts.
- Four cafés and restaurants can be found on the estate.
- Free Wi-Fi is available at the palace.
- The state rooms are accessible to wheelchair users via a staff-operated elevator, though the Untold Story exhibition, as well as some of the special tours, are not.
How to Get There
Blenheim Palace is situated in Woodstock, Oxfordshire, about a 20-minute drive from Oxford city. To get here, ride the S3 bus from Oxford, or the Oxford Bus Company’s 500 service from Oxford Parkway.
When to Get There
Blenheim Palace is open all year, and tours take place every day except Sunday, when visitors can explore independently and guides are stationed in most rooms to answer questions. Summer weekends are busiest, so come midweek or outside of peak summer season (June, July, and August) to avoid the crowds.
Exploring the Gardens and Grounds
While the palace itself is the main attraction, there is just as much to see in the surrounding gardens and park, portions of which were designed by the famous landscaper Lancelot “Capability” Brown. Ride a minitrain to the Pleasure Gardens, where you’ll find a butterfly house, an adventure playground, and the Marlborough Maze, comprised of thousands of yew hedges. Walking trails around the park lead to other sights, such as the Temple of Diana, where Winston Churchill proposed to his wife, and the Grand Cascade waterfall.