Blenheim Palace is just above Oxford and claims to be: Britain’s Greatest Palace. I don’t know whether there’s an award that goes along with such a thing, but so says the pamphlet.
I bought the ticket without access to the palace itself, because photography is not allowed inside and I don’t want to support that kind of restriction. I accidentally went past the main parking area and ended up just outside the pleasure gardens. There wasn’t much going on there, it’s mostly an area to entertain the kids. There was a butterfly garden, which I went into but didn’t really like. I only saw one butterfly and as is the way with climates that support such winged creatures, it was much too humid to take the camera out.
The other thing of interest was the Bygones Exhibition, which was lots and lots of Ye Olde Gardening Equipment, displayed on the wall and in rooms made up to look like they were in the old days.
I walked across the grass to the actual palace, crossing a mini rail track as I went. Then the palace loomed large, and I could see why it was purported to be the greatest.
Imagine having this glorious lake in your back garden?
I very much wanted to whisk myself into a Jane Austen adventure or suchlike, so I could live in the palace and walk amongst the grounds as and when I pleased. Unfortunately, I haven’t invented a time machine yet, so I settled for walking the grounds with the rest of the public.
There are three walks you can do, and I only did one. I thought about the other two, but one was less palace like and more lawn like, and going through the trees seemed to encourage a lot of bugs. I loved the walk I did choose, though, tall trees, beautiful lake, boat house, even another little waterfall.
I wonder if there will be a waterfall at every place I visit on this alphabet tour?
On the way back, I realised what the mini rail I had seen was for. It was one of those small trains to take people from the main palace to the pleasure gardens. Back and forth it went all day. Silly me walking straight past the station at the other end when I first arrived – I could have saved my legs a bit!
Now, as it turns out, I went to the palace on the same day as the Girl Guides were celebrating some kind of centenary event, so I got caught up in some major traffic on the way out. However, it could have been a lot worse if I’d left it any later, so I was grateful I’d only chosen to do one walk.
Blenheim Palace was really grand, the walks were beautiful, and it was a glorious day. If I’d gone inside, it would have probably made the visit last an entire day but as I did not, it was simply a good few hours in the countryside.