CASTLES, Cathedrals, Abbeys and Stately Homes 


Blenheim Palace

North-west of Oxford on the A 44, Woodstock is a quintessentially English small town standing next to the parkland of Blenheim Palace, the magnificent baroque 18th C home of the Duke of Marlborough and also the birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill (born to an American mother, Carlotta)..

The name Blenheim derives from a decisive battle that took place on the 13th August 1704 on the north bank of the river Danube, near a small village called Blindheim or Blenheim, where the French leader, Marshall Tallard, had fixed his lines.

Here, John Churchill, the first Duke of Marlborough, won a great allied victory over the forces of Louis XIV, thus saving Europe from French domination.

The town of Woodstock, where Blenheim is located, is a lovely and interesting little village that is as picturesque and quaint as Blenheim is beautiful.  Only 3 significant shopping streets form a triangle in whose small area is contained many and varied shops, restaurants, and even a 17th c. hotel.  In fact, Woodstock is one of my very favorite places in all Britain.  Close to Oxford and Stratford-upon-Avon, small, quaint and beautiful, I would only expect to find something as special as Blenheim Palace there.

The interior of Blenheim is equally as elegant as the exterior.  Priceless works of art alone are worth the visit.  But wear comfortable shoes, for it covers a lot of ground.

Landscaped by "Capability Brown", Blenheim is one of the finest example of his work on landscapes that pull the eye along with its beauty into a distance of pleasing perspectives.  And this, from any vantage point.  Between the placement of lakes, bridges, trees and other shrubs and garden accessories, Brown has created one of the most beautiful surrounds for any palace, castle, or stately home in all of Britain.

Beware timing, though, for this outing could take all day, since there is so much to see!


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