Blenheim Palace is a stunning country residence located just outside central Oxford. It is the present residence of the Dukes of Marlborough, but the public are welcome to visit upon payment of an entrance fee. The fee is more than worth it for a look into this historical building and the opportunity to explore its beautiful grounds. The palace is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and dates back to the early 18th century when it was gifted to the first Duke of Marlborough as a token of gratitude for his participation in the Battle of Blenheim in 1704.
That first Duke of Marlborough was called John Churchill, and amongst his descendants is one of the United Kingdom’s most famous prime ministers, Winston Churchill. Blenheim Palace was actually the place of birth of the wartime prime minister, and the palace today houses an exhibition on his life. This is a must-visit for lovers of history; it details Churchill’s life from a young aristocrat to colonial army officer, winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature and finally the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, a position he held twice.
Aside from the Churchill connection Blenheim Palace is a beautiful place to visit; its staterooms are gloriously decorated, with gold plated features and luxurious furniture. The house was built in the Baroque style and is impressive in stature from any one of many viewing points in the grounds. The grounds themselves are lusciously verdant and home to plenty of wildlife. It would take many visits to see everything there is to see in the palace, park and grounds. A short ride on a miniature train will take you to another part of the grounds where you can get lost in an impressive hedge maze and visit a butterfly house. For those interested in repeat visits, it is possible to convert a day pass into an annual pass at no extra charge.
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