Blenheim Palace in OxfordshireView map
A rare example of English Baroque architecture
t’s no wonder Winston Churchill went on to such great things – you should see his birthplace. Blenheim Palace in Woodstock (that’s the Oxfordshire stately home and not the hippy festival in case you were wondering) is way beyond your average family home.
Named a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1987, the Palace has everything you’d expect from a country home - hand-painted ceilings, tapestries and paintings in every room, and oodles of history. But Blenheim Palace is about more than that – it celebrates a strain of idiosyncratic Englishness that has a clear lineage from the 18th century to everyone’s favourite cigar-smoking PM.
The Palace itself is unique, existing as a rare example of English Baroque architecture and with 2100 acres of beautiful parkland landscaped by the excellently-named and highly-talented Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown. The sweeping lawns, water terraces, lake and award-winning gardens make for a picnic lovers paradise and the perfect place to take in all that splendour.
The kids will love getting lost in the maze and swinging around the adventure playground. And parents will find plenty of interest in the three hundred years of history, in particular the tales featured in ‘The Untold Story’ exhibit. And as the great man said, “The farther backward you can look, the farther forward you can see.”