Blenheim Palace is home to the 11th Duke and Duchess of Marlborough and the birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill. The palace is a unique example of English Baroque architecture. Inside, the scale of the Palace is beautifully balanced by the intricate detail and delicacy of the carvings, the hand painted ceilings and the amazing paintings displayed in each room.
You should allow approximately one hour for the Palace Tour and Churchill Exhibition, 40 minutes for ‘Blenheim Palace: The Untold Story’ , 40 minutes for the optional tour of the Private Apartments, one hour for lunch if required in the Water Terrace Café and anything from two to four hours to enjoy the extensive parkland, Formal Gardens and Pleasure Gardens.
On the first floor ‘Blenheim Palace: The Untold Story brings to life enticing tales from the last 300 years. Follow the virtual lady’s maid as she invites you to immerse yourself in the illustrious family history, seen through the eyes of the household staff. Meet some of the more colourful characters such as the wilful 1st Duchess of Marlborough and listen to tales of dramatic events that affected the lives of all who have lived here.
The experience lasts about 35 minutes and is included within the Palace, Park and Gardens ticket price. No separate ticket is required.
The Churchill Exhibition, set around the room where Winston Churchill was born. Moving through the beautiful state rooms, there are amazing collections of Sir Winston’s paintings, portraits, furniture and tapestries.
'Churchills' Destiny - the story of two great war leaders' exhibition is open in the stables highlighting the fascinating parallel lives of Sir Winston Churchill and his much admired ancestor the 1st Duke of Marlborough. Next door, the Indoor Cinema is showing films and documentaries filmed at Blenheim Palace.
A trip to Blenheim Palace would not be complete without visiting the award-winning Formal Gardens including the Water Terraces, Rose Garden, Arboretum, Cascades or the Secret Garden. There are there different types of walks available. A long walk which lasts between 60-90 minutes and takes you to the Cascades via the Lakeside, a more sedate walk directly to the Cascades or a tranquil walk through the Secret Garden all of which are magnificent and full of beauty.
The Pleasure Gardens kid’s favourite can be reached by the miniature train or on foot. It is the perfect place for families to while away an hour or two, watching exotic butterflies, muddling around the Marlborough Maze, the world's second largest symbolic hedge maze or letting off steam in the Adventure Playground.
Good to know:
Blenheim Palace in Oxford has been hosting functions for many years and our hospitality services extend from providing a unique wedding venue, meeting and conference facilities and team building events to elegant fine dining in the Palace and State Apartments.
The Orangery is an exclusive venue with its private terrace overlooking the beautiful Italian Garden of the Duke of Marlborough, where guests can enjoy a champagne reception with a difference. Designed by Sir John Vanbrugh, The Orangery is a beautifully elegant room with high ceilings and huge arched windows, a perfect room for up to 180 guests for dinner. The exclusivity is further enhanced by its private entrance and guests can enjoy exclusive use all day and evening up to midnight.
The Great Hall
The Great Hall and the Saloon work perfectly together to provide a spectacular dinner venue. Guests enter the Palace along the up-lit Colonnades into The Long Library and through the State Rooms into the Saloon for a Champagne reception. The Saloon is the State Dining Room and the Duke and his family still celebrate Christmas here every year. Louis Leguarre painted the murals and ceiling and the two fireplaces create a warm and intimate atmosphere. The Great Hall can accommodate 150 guests for dinner and 500 for a reception; and the Saloon 75 guests for dinner.
The Marlborough Room
Originally the Palace kitchen this room has a beautiful double vaulted ceiling rising to the full height of the Palace. With two stunning chandeliers and a huge fireplace, this room can accommodate 120 guests theatre style for a presentation or up to 60 guests for a lunch or dinner.
The Long Library
At 55 metres, The Long Library is one of the longest rooms in any British stately home and was designed by Vanbrugh as a picture gallery. The Willis Organ takes pride of place at the north end of the room surrounded by over 10,000 books. All the windows over look the water fountains and lake. The Long Library can accommodate up to 300 guests for dinner, with a Champagne reception in The Great Hall and Saloon. Guests can enjoy a State Room tour before dancing in The Great Hall. Your event can be made even more memorable with entertainment such as either a Military Tattoo in The Great Court or fireworks over the lake. In any event, an evening at Blenheim Palace will be unforgettable for both you and your guests.