21/10/2016

Visiting Blenheim Palace, England


I am always so excited when I have a chance to visit new places. I am like a child in a candy shop! I am actively looking for new opportunities to learn more, not only about exotic cultures but also what my country has to offer. We are the best ambassadors that can spread the word too!  

During summer I had a chance to explore a little bit more of the English countryside. One of the places I knew I had to visit was where Sir Winston Churchill was born, situated in Woodstock, Oxfordshire, Blenheim Palace. I must admit I am slowly falling in love with Oxfordshire. I can easily imagine myself going there more often. Any bloggers from Oxfordshire? Please share your favourite places to visit! 
Blenheim Palace welcomes everyone with impressive architecture and size. As a visitor I could enter a few rooms such as the great hall, green drawing room, red dining room, green writing room, saloon, second state room, third state room and the long library. Knowing that I am a bookworm guess which one was my favourite to look around? 

Tickets cost £24.90 per adult, which for me meant that visiting Blenheim Palace is a one time only event. However, if you are not interested in the Palace visiting just the park costs £14. Please remember that these are the prices from summer 2016, if you are reading it later they could have changed. Quick look at their website at the end of this post should help. 
I decided to take part in a guided tour. Thankfully it was already included in the ticket price. It was a very good decision as there are not many boards around with additional informations. Exhibitions are also, at least in my opinion, not very interactive nor child friendly. Your grandma might find it interesting it but not necessary a 5 year old nephew. Our guide was very knowledgable but there were times that I felt appreciating particular pieces could be used in a different way, which I will talk about in a second.   

The most impressive for me was the set up in the saloon. I can imagine a very formal dining experience. I was told by a lovely gentleman that I was sat on the same chair as Alec Baldwin while he was filming Mission: Impossible - Rouge Nation. I am not sure about that, but Alec if you are reading this and ever wondered if the chair is still comfortable I can confirm that it is. It is extremely comfy. Since I knew that Alec sat there I decided to enjoy the moment a bit longer than I possibly should. I am not even joking or am I? 
I am still wondering how often they do the clean there as I could not see any dust on the tables, or any of the plates. The palace appeared to be in immaculate condition. It must have take hours and hours. Could overuse of cleaning products be an explanation for the ticket price?
Time to time our guide would point out paintings and tell us a little bit more about it. Blenheim Palace has very impressive painting collection so it would be impossible to talk about every single one of them in a reasonable time. Unless of course they are trying to beat some sort of world record. Let me know if you know about any marathons of talking about art.    
I have a feeling that there is many more interesting rooms closed off from the public. I am extremely interested for example how and where the servants lived, how did the kitchen look, and if there are any secret passages. 

Guide focuses only on the story of the privileged people who lived there. Not once where servants and staff mentioned. It is a shame because we can all read about the well known facts whereas the history should not be only about the wealth. 
From most of the rooms there is a view on one of the parks belonging to the property. Over all there is over 2,000 acres to explore. I must admit that Blenheim Palace took me around 1,5 h whereas the next 6 hours I spend outdoors.
The long library was definitely my favourite room of them all. There is also a beautiful statue of Queen Anne. It shows her as a tall, majestic woman I promise I tried my best to take a photo but there was always someone around


I am not sure how truthful the story is but apparently this statue is a huge misinterpretation of how actually the Queen looked like, fun fact: she was pregnant 17 times. It was commissioned by the Queen's friend Sarah. Unfortunately they had a conflict about something. As a way to get back at the Queen even after her death Sarah commissioned the most beautiful, as well as the most unrealistic version of how the Queen looked so at least once she could be beautiful. Morale of this story is: do not annoy your friends especially when they have money to pay for a statue.  

If you visit Blenheim Palace have a look behind the statue. There are doors that I have no idea where they lead to, but I would love to know! 
It was a very interesting visit but I am still slightly unsure about the cost. Call me a dreamer but I would love to live in a world that going to a historic sight is not a luxury, and is available for kids from underprivileged areas and homes too. 
What else should I explore in England?

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11 comments

  1. I went to Blenheim this summer and was really underwhelmed. I thought the cost was ridiculously high and even though you can turn it into an annual pass for free that's not helpful if you don't live anywhere near Oxford. We also stupidly went into the Untold Story exhibition thing (thinking we were going to see more state rooms) and ended up stuck in there for 45 minutes, it was dreadful. The gardens were nice though.

    Lisa ~ Not Quite Enough

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    1. I am so sorry you had this experience! I agree that despite the fact you can turn ticket into an annual pass, realistically who is going to visit more than once a year if they do not live in the area. Iga x

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  2. I think the ticket price is pretty steep but as you said, it's probably Summer price when most prices are jacked up. That said, it does sounds like a good tour because the guide is very knowledgeable, without a guide you probably wouldn't have enjoyed it much.

    Reflection of Sanity | b·liv Skincare Set Giveaway

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    1. It was very informative I have to agree. It is always so good to learn more about places you visiting. It gives a great foundation for further research if something is particularly interesting. Iga x

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  3. I love the idea of hidden doors and passages. The history nerd in me is loving this post hehe x

    www.wildfirecharm.com

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    1. Me too! I would love to explore a castle or building where you can go everywhere.

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  4. I'm from Oxfordshire and spent years of my childhood sneaking into Blenheim's gardens through a secret back gate (shhhh) It holds so many lovey memories for me, and even though I do think the price for the house and tour is a bit steep, the gardens are totally worth it for a festive chilly walk in winter, or a lovely summer picnic!
    I would recommend Waterperry Gardens for a visit, and also the small town of Dorchester - it has a gorgeous Abbey, and some lovely country walks and pubs ;) xxx

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  5. I'm from Oxfordshire, and I spent so much of my childhood exploring the gardens of Blenheim, sneaking in through a secret back gate (shhhh...) so it holds so many lovely memories for me. I do agree the pricing for the house and tour is a little steep, but the gardens are totally worth it, for a chilly, festive walk in winter or a lovely summer picnic.
    I would also recommend Waterperry Gardens - they have a lovely tearoom/cafe, garden centre and gardens to stroll round. I also love the little town of Dorchester - it has a beautiful Abbey, lovely walks with breathtaking views of the surrounding countryside and some fab pubs ;)
    Lovely post as always xxx

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    1. I have to text you next time I am going to be in the area and ask for more suggestions and recommendations! Thank you so much! Now I am so in a mood to visit the gardens in winter.

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  6. I live literally 10 minutes from Blenheim and still love it everytime I go! The whole place is just magical! The grounds are beautiful and the palace itself is just phenomenal, I'll never get bored of it. Great post and great photos lovely! x

    Em // emilyybecca.wordpress.com

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    1. Thank you so much! Next time I am in Oxfordshire I will let you know! It is a gorgeous place indeed just a tad too pricey. Iga x

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