Friday, 10 August 2012

Visit to Blenheim Palace

Now where was I? Ah yes, I had been to the Bus Museum at Long Hanborough, then I walked to the village of Bladon. There is a family plot at St Martins Church where Sir Winston Churchill is buried. He was Britains Prime Minister during most of World War 11, and died in 1965. I don't remember much about the occasion as I wasn't into politics when I was sixteen years old.

My next stop, Blenheim Palace. To buy a ticket for the palace, parks and gardens is £20, for a pensioner it is £15.50. If you only want to see the parks and gardens the ticket price is £11.50, or £8.50 pensioner price. You can't buy a ticket just to go in the palace. If you live near enough to Blenheim and want to visit several times, they have a good deal on which converts a £20 day ticket into an annual pass. I probably wont be visiting again in the next twelve months, so I decided not to buy a ticket.

Someone commented on a previous post that you can get into the park through a back gate, because there is a public footpath running through it, and no one can stop you from entering. I read about this in a guide book, and followed the advice given. In Bladon almost opposite the church is a pub called The White Horse. There is a lane up the side of it which takes you to an open gate. There are big notices on the iron gate which say no access to Blenheim Palace, they look quite threatening, almost saying you would be trespassing if you entered. I ignored them and carried on. Once inside it wasn't obvious where the public right of way went, so I headed towards the River Glyme which went into the lake.

A bit further along is the Dam and the Cascade Pumphouse.

There is a path up to the top of the waterfall.

After much walking around the grounds I came to the palace. I was able to walk around the gardens, with no checks for tickets.

This room was free to enter. It was a room on it's own with no rooms off it.

This is the Great Court and the main entrance to the house.

The notice at the entrance.

I wandered around the outside of the building and found a door with a No Entry sign on it, there seemed to be a lot of people milling around so I stuck my head through the door and inside was the library, it's a a very long room. I casually strolled inside mingling with the crowds, and wondered if I had found a way to get in for free, ha ha. As I worked my way along looking at the exhibits, and stopping to take a few photo's, it seemd I might have got away with it. There was an attendant sitting on a chair halfway along the room, she wasn't taking much notice and looked half asleep, so I carried on.

I got to the other end and took a photo, a chappie who had just finished speaking to a group spotted me and said, 'no more photo's please'. I apologised and put my camera away, and carried on walking towards the next room. Bugger, he noticed that I was going against the flow, I didn't realise it was a one way system. He said I should walk back towards the exit door and come back in through the entrance. I tried to tell him I wanted to go back and see something I had missed as I came through, but he wasn't having any of it. I was rumbled and had to admit defeat. It was only then that I went to the front entrance and saw the notice about no photographs.

I think it's a bit mean to have to pay all that money and not be able to take photographs. By rights they should have a ticket for the house only, because there is nothing to stop anyone walking across the public right of way footpaths, and then on to the gardens. I took these three pics in the long library, before I was rumbled.

Once outside I carried on walking around. This is the Grand Bridge.

View from the other side of  Queens Pool.

This is the Column of Victory.

The Italian Gardens. There was no access to these gardens, not sure why.

The Water Terraces.

There's no doubt about it, it is a beautiful stately home. If I lived nearer to it I would buy a ticket and visit often. Toodle pip


  1. Not a bad day out really without a ticket. A person after my own heart.

  2. Hello Ilona, this has been a lovely tour for me, thank you. I am new to your blog and came over from Don't Unplug Your Hub. I have had a fun visit and will enjoy coming back.

  3. Ha, I cannot believe you sneaked in for free, robbing them...good going, thumbs up. It did seem accidental.

    No pictures in museums is for a serious purpose. In order to preserve the collections, lighting of a specific kind and intensity is used. Otherwise, collections cannot be kept in top condition. Plus, there are security systems that are messed up with flashes. And, other patrons cannot enjoy the collections when flashes go off. Color perception is changed. Plus, sometimes your eyes have to readjust. Next time, try the museum setting on your camera. The lens stays open longer and there is no flash. And, go with the flow as you

    And, go with the flow when you are breaking

    I understand that large bags can damage things, cause congestion, and contribute to thievery, but I always wonder what you are supposed to do with your large bags. There is never a "bag check" where I have been.

    The Olympics is on tv and majestic lawns, gardens, and buildings are being shown...just like you take!

  4. Wow, you English certainly know how to knock up a flash abode! Blimey, Ilona I admire your gumption, sneaking around the way you do for free.

  5. I've always wanted to see Blenheim, so I'm a little jealous.

    The room you couldn't identify is the mausoleum where the first Churchills are buried, John and Sarah.

    Leslie from New Orleans

  6. You certainly are an encouragement for all of us that are living on a pension. I love that you are always on the go and living an adventure everyday. That Italian garden looked like something out of Alice in Wonderland. I just want to send you a huge blog hug. I appreciate all the lovely photos of your beautiful country side. Thanks so very much for sharing this with us, Connie :)

  7. You are brave to sneak in there for free! I`m just surprised nobody cottened on. Anyone with ill intentions could also sneak through the back entrance and cause untold damage.
    Shame there wasn`t a back entrance to Arundle castle, we could have sneaked into.

  8. Its good to break the rules sometimes. What's anyone going to do by way of punishment? Nothing at all.

  9. Don't we have some wonderful things to see in our country. I haven't really appreciated it until the kids came along. We stopped going abroad and started exploring our own backyard. Most of us are not far from something beautiful. Shame some of our stately homes are so expensive (though I guess they are expensive things to maintain). Family tickets are usually out of our league, but I had a giggle at you sneaking in free - you only live once. Though I would be such a nervous wreck, I would have been too busy looking over my shoulder to enjoy it.

  10. Wonderful pics . Chuckled at your covert style of tourism. A joy to see the photos.Glad you took some lovely weather for your trip.

  11. What a courageous soul you are Ilona....lovely tour photos...thanks for taking us on your covert mission....thoroughly enjoyed it.

  12. Ha ha Ilona, I'm such a coward I just wish I was as brave:) I would love to visit one day but I know I would have to buy a ticket... Fantastic photos as normal.

  13. You were on an undercover mission for blogland. Mission accomplished.
    Jane x

  14. I'd got mission impossible tune running through my head when I read your posting.I admire your cheek. Beautiful place, especially love the Italian Garden.
    I remember the day Winston Churchill died, my 12th birthday.

  15. Haha, I love how you managed to wangle your way in for free. I've added this place to my list, it does look impressive.

  16. Know your rights5 January 2014 at 14:44

    There are many public footpaths running through Blenheim Palace grounds and you don't have to pay to walk on those footpaths. I have noted over the years of working from Woodstock that many of the public footpath signs mysteriously disappear and the public rights of way are less obvious as time passes. Perish the thought that this would be anything to do with the management of Blenheim Palace in whose interest it is to get as many paying people in through the gates as possible.
    None of the locals pay to get in to the grounds as they know where the public footpaths are situated so Blenheim Palace management issues locals with a free pass which enables entry without paying. Locals would not pay anyway but such an action at least means that it helps keep locals on side rather than totally alienating them.
    Blenheim Palace and grounds are well worth visiting as is the historic town of Woodstock with many good pubs - hotels - restaurants and the best antique shop specializing in early oak furniture that I have encountered.
    Just don't get caught out paying for something that can be obtained for free - that's my tip and totally concur with the writer of this article.


Comments are welcome from anyone with a Google account. I have had to change the settings due to the amount of troll comments coming through. My apologies to genuine readers who have been with me for a long time.