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Visiting Blenheim Palace

What to expect on a visit to Blenheim Palace

Blenheim Palace near Oxford
Blenheim Palace near Oxford

Just a few miles north of Oxford is Blenheim Palace, a world heritage site, home of the Duke of Marlborough and birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill.

The main attraction is the palace itself with guided tours as part of the entrance ticket. The grounds and gardens too are truly impressive and there is enough to do and see to keep you occupied for the best part of the day.

This page covers tour options from London to visit Blenheim Palace. Two combine with the popular and nearby Downton Abbey film locations, and the third spends more time in the scenic region of the Cotswolds, and includes a traditional British pub lunch.

Blenheim Palace history

Inside Blenheim Palace
Inside Blenheim Palace

The name Blenheim derives from a decisive battle that took place on the 13th August 1704 here. In reward for his services a grateful Queen Anne granted to Marlborough the Royal Manor of Woodstock and signified that she would build him, at her own expense, a house to be called Blenheim. In 1705 work started and as they say the rest is history.

Sir Winston Churchill was born in the Palace in 1874 and a permanent exhibition about him is located next to his birth room - both are included in the Palace tour. He is buried in a simple grave in the nearby church at Bladon.

A separate exhibition, 'Churchill's' Destiny - the story of two great war leaders', celebrates the achievements of Winston and his great hero and ancestor, John Churchill.

A State-of-the-art visitor experience is open in the heart of the Palace called 'Blenheim Palace: the Untold Story', 300 years of exciting tales at Blenheim Palace are brought to life through animatronic figures and innovative film and projection technology, seen through the eyes of the servants.

Surrounding the Palace are over 2,000 acres of beautiful 'Capability Brown' parkland, lakes, fountains and formal gardens. A miniature train connects the Palace to the Pleasure Gardens, where, amongst a range of fun activities for children, can be found the Marlborough Maze, the Butterfly House, the Lavender Garden and 'Blenheim Bygones' exhibition.

A very busy events programme is on offer throughout the year, including jousting tournaments, half-term costumed entertainment, evening concerts...

How to get to Blenheim Palace independently from Oxford

S3 Blenheim Bus Oxford bus station
S3 Blenheim Bus: Oxford bus station

There are frequent buses from Oxford to Woodstock, a picturesque village next door to Blenheim Palace. The main entrance is off the main road to the left as the bus approaches Woodstock. You cannot fail to miss Blenheim because of the size of the estate and the signage.

Stagecoach route S3 departs from Gloucester Green Bus Station in Oxford, (the same terminus as the London buses). Frequency is broadly every 30 minutes. Scheduled travel time is about 40 minutes.

Day tours to Blenheim Palace from London

Three tours visit Blenheim Palace as part of a day tour from London that also covers the Cotswolds of which Blenheim is on the fringe of. Ticket options vary with one offering Blenheim Palace as an extra entrance fee and another offering two tickets, one with and one without lunch.

There are more tours available in the summer months than in the winter months and the small group tour only runs once a week, while the other two run 3-5 days a week.


Tour 1 - Blenheim Palace, Downton Abbey Village & the Cotswolds

This tour covers the resplendent English county of Oxfordshire, an area renowned for its rolling green hills, spectacular stately homes and quintessentially English market towns.

Enjoy the quaint village of Bampton, made famous by the Downton Abbey series, stop at Bourton-on-the-Water ('Venice of the Cotswolds') and enjoy an afternoon tea in a riverside cafe' if you like.

Finally finish at the beautiful Blenheim Palace, where Sir Winston Churchill was born and raised. (Entrance included if paying the higher ticket price - shown below.) Peruse around the stunning State Rooms, brimming with priceless works of art and magnificent tapestries. Enjoy the magnificent gardens set in over 754 hectares of land, with an exquisite water garden.

  • Entrance to Blenheim Palace (with ticket including entrances, shown below)
  • Visit charming Cotswold village of Bourton-on-the-Water
  • Visit the village of Bampton; a film setting for the popular Downton Abbey TV series.
  • Luxury air conditioned purpose built touring bus
  • Professional, expert standard, friendly tour guide
blenheim palace

COTSWOLDS, BLENHEIM PALACE + DOWNTON ABBEY VILLAGE TOUR FROM LONDON

Blenheim Palace

Blenheim Palace, Cotswolds and Downton Abbey film locations guided day tour from London

• Adult from £87 • Child (3-16 years) from £78

• Entry to Blenheim Palace & Gardens • Scenic drive through the Cotswolds • Discover two traditional villages • See filming locations of 'Downton Abbey' • Professional guide • Luxury air-conditioned coach with free Wi-Fi

Tour 2 - Small group Downton Abbey filming locations and visit to Blenheim Palace tour highlights

This small group tour combines a visit to the magnificent and opulent Blenheim Palace, with a drive through the delightful Cotswolds to discover some of the filming locations from the popular TV series "Downton Abbey". 

At Blenheim Palace you can become acquainted with the upstairs and downstairs of class conscious life of the Downton Abbey era.

Discover how the aristocracy lived and see how servants interacted with their masters and employers learning of the strict social standards that needed to be maintained.

  • Visit to Downton filming locations: Cogges Manor Farm ('Yew Tree Farm') Shilton and Bampton
  • A visit to the village of Bladon to see the graves of Sir Winston and Lady Churchill
  • Entry and tour of Blenheim Palace, Park and Gardens and the Sir Winston Churchill exhibition
  • Travel by luxury air conditioned 16 seat purpose built touring bus
  • Professional, expert standard, friendly tour guide
  • Departures from London & Oxford
  • Guaranteed departures, no minimum numbers, maximum group size 16 people
Blenheim Palace on tour from London with Downton locations

DOWNTON ABBEY FILM LOCATIONS & BLENHEIM PALACE WITH COTSWOLDS

Blenheim Palace on tour from London with Downton Abbey film locations

Tour of Downton Abbey film locations, Cotswolds and Blenheim Palace - International Friends

Adult from £154pp

• Private visit to Yew Tree Farm • Entry to Bampton library • Entry & tour of Blenheim Palace • Churchill's grave at Bladon • Small group - max 16 people

Tour 3 - The Cotswolds and Blenheim Palace with Lunch in a Traditional British Pub

Experience the beautiful English countryside by driving through the picturesque Cotswolds and visit the stunning 300-year old Blenheim Palace. This trip includes a two-course lunch at a traditional British pub.

There are two options for this tour: you can choose to purchase with or without lunch.

  • Entry to magnificent Blenheim Palace
  • Drive through beautiful Cotswolds villages
  • Stop in Bourton-on-the-Water
  • Delicious two-course lunch in a traditional British pub
  • Luxury air conditioned vehicle
cotswolds

COTSWOLDS, BLENHEIM PALACE + LUNCH TOUR FROM LONDON

Cotswolds tour with Blenheim Palace and lunch from London

Cotswolds and lunch with Blenheim Palace, guided day tour from London

• Adult with lunch £115 • Child (3-16 years) £105

• Entry to Blenheim Palace & Gardens • Lunch with drink included - or cheaper option without lunch • Drive through Cotswolds villages including Burford & Bourton-on-the-Water • Professional guide • Luxury air-conditioned coach with free Wi-Fi


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