29 January 2015

Blenheim Palace, Bladon churchyard, a near miss and Winston Churchill

I adore London with all of my heart, but sometime all it takes is a 4 word message from a good friend to make me yearn to leave it. "New car, road trip?" did the trick beautifully in September last year, and before we knew it Kelly's smurfmobile was packed full of gluten-free snacks, blasting Katy Perry and cruising down the twisting country lanes through Gloucestershire.

As two Kiwi princesses (for the weekend at least), we made it our epic quest to visit as many castles as it was humanly possible to fit into two days, and though to begin with one of the more infamous - Blenheim Palace. Imposing, ornate and fascinating we tagged onto one of the free tours to learn as much as we could soak in.




"Home to the 12th Duke and Duchess of Marlborough and birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill, Blenheim Palace is a true masterpiece of 18th Century Baroque architecture."



Each corner is another unveiling of a beautifuly ornate new wing. Gilding, luscious fabric, stately rooms (converted during the war into childrens schoolrooms and dormitories), cases of tin soldiers, breathtaking oil portraits, dizzyingly high ceilings, broad libraries, collections of stately robes, candid family photographs, Winston Churchill mementos and dragon insignias scattered through the public rooms make for fascinating wandering.


 
What would it be like to grow up with such ornate surroundings?

 
  
“We shape our buildings; thereafter they shape us...” Sir Winston Churchill

 

Once exiting the impressive edifice, we partially explored the 2,000 acres of Capability Brown designed parkland and gardens, before hoofing back to our valiant smurf mobile. 





Happening upon a google search, we followed Kelly's rather unreliable SatNav to the teeny village of Bladon (about 7.23 minutes drive) and paid our hushed respects to the gravestone of the greatest British war-time leaders.


It was all told a fascinating morning; not your average Saturday.

14 comments :

  1. I think I could have very happily grown up such a wonderful looking palace!

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  2. LOVE that pic of the door knob! (those are words I never thought I'd say)
    So perfectly captures the grandeur.

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  3. This is the one place that I've always wanted to go to in England! Maybe this year can be the year.

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  4. You've been reading my blog for far too long ;)

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  5. Oh yes, me too - beats draughty old villas any day!

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  6. Hahaha o yes or those silly one story track houses!

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  7. I've had Blenheim on my "to-visit" list for ages! x

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  8. What a fabulous day trip from London! I'd love to see Blenheim Palace - it looks truly spectacular! How special to see Churchill's grave too. xxx

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  9. Ah what a fab trip! I haven't been to Blenheim Palace yet, but we are going this year as Paul is doing a triathalon there - whilst I look at all the pretty buildings! x

    Jasmin Charlotte | UK Lifestyle Blog

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  10. I just read a blog post earlier that was talking about the War rooms of Churchill (A bit about Britain), and here you are where he is buried.
    That is an amazing Palace, absolutely stunning!

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  11. It is beautiful, magnificent & they do a nice table of baked goodies to nibble in the garden!

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  12. I loved the Palace - such an incredible building and magnificent grounds :)

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  13. A brilliant adventure and beautiful photos :)

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  14. Ah I really wanna visit Blenheim Palace! I've been to Chartwell a few times and it's beautiful, but never Blenheim. This summer I really want to spend some time visiting new places in the UK, I still haven't been to Bletchley Park!

    C x
    Lux Life

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