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Blenheim Palace – Britain’s greatest palace

We have found ourselves being in the position to brag about visiting Blenheim Palace, Britain’s greatest palace, and Chenonceau, probably one of France’s most beautiful chateaux, all in the space of about a month.

Blog article about Chenonceau here.

After being back in the UK for a few weeks, after our six weeks trip to France, it was time to make the most of the English summer and head off again for a mini motorhome adventure to Oxfordshire.

Where is Britain’s greatest palace you might ask? Well, according to the leaflet printed by Blenheim Palace, it’s not Buckingham Palace but Blenheim Palace near Oxford. I have never had the honour of being invited to Buckingham Palace but I have now seen inside Blenheim Palace and the palace in London must be amazing if it’s better than this one!

Blenheim Palace
Blenheim Palace

Where to stay with a motorhome

There was a Caravan and Motorhome Club site at Bladon Chains, which was only a few hundred metres from Blenheim Palace, but this has now closed.

The nearest campsites to Blenheim Palace are Greenhill Leisure Park, Cotswold Hills Country Park, The Pig Place on the banks of the Oxford canal and the Oxford Camping and Caravanning Club Site. All are within about 10 miles of Blenheim Palace.

The next morning we  parked in the vast car park at Blenheim Palace where there is plenty of space for motorhomes of any size.

Is Blenheim Britain’s greatest palace?

Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire
Stunning Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire.

When the English defeated the French at the Battle of Blenheim in 1704 Queen Anne gave the palace to the 1st Duke of Marlborough. It is now home to the 12th Duke of Marlborough and his family, although he only lives in an apartment within the palace. The palace was built in 2,000 acres of stunning parkland and there is no doubt the house itself is an amazing example of Baroque architecture, but for me the fascination was the fact that Sir Winston Churchill was born here.

Sir Winston Churchill & Blenheim Palace

Winston Churchill's grave
The grave of Sir Winson Churchill is at St Martins Church, Bladon.

Despite what some people may think about Winston Churchill there is no question that through his leadership he prevented a Nazi Germany invasion and is arguably Britain’s greatest prime minister. Blenheim Palace is the family home of the Spencer-Churchill’s and it was whilst his mother was visiting the palace for the day on a hunting trip that she went into labour 2 months early and Winston Churchill was born in one of the downstairs rooms. I found it fascinating to see the bedroom where Churchill was born and we later visited the nearby St Martin’s Church in Bladon where Sir Winston Churchill was buried in the family plot.

I was overcharged and had to complain

Blenheim Palace has a couple of very nice looking cafes. Having ordered 3 coffee’s I was charged £8.55, but I soon realised that I should have been charged £7.20! For a Yorkshireman like me that’s a big deal! I politely pointed this out to the young man on the till and he called over his supervisor to rectify his mistake. The supervisor reluctantly handed over 45 pence. The ex teacher in me said “what’s £8.55 minus £7.20?” After a few seconds of waiting and a gormless look on the face of the supervisor I had to give him the answer. Without an apology he had given me the correct difference. I hate poor customer service.

Despite poor service in the cafe, I would recommend a visit to Blenheim Palace for its sheer beauty as a building and the extensive gardens. It’s also great for children as it has an adventure playground, a maze, a butterfly house and a narrow gauge railway.

Top tip when visiting Blenheim Palace

Convert your ticket into an annual pass. It’s free. Just go to the kiosk and they will give you a credit card sized annual pass. There is so much to see and do at Blenheim Palace that we will definitely be going back.

All I need now is an invitation to Buckingham Palace so that I can say which really is Britain’s greatest palace.

The bedroom of Winston Churchill
The bedroom where Winston Churchill was born.
Winston Churchill memorial plaque
Winston Churchill memorial plaque.
St Martin's church
St Martin’s Church, Bladon where you can see the grave of Sir Winston Churchill.
Blenheim Palace
Blenheim Palace near Oxford.





2 responses to “Blenheim Palace – Britain’s greatest palace”

  1. Simon Kinsey avatar
    Simon Kinsey

    Hi David and Anne

    Are you still living in your motorhome? I am curious to know how it’s going and if you’re in the UK at the moment.

    I’m on a narrowboat in Cambridgeshire and doing some research for a book about people who live alternative lifestyles. Living on wheels looks interesting, but not without considerable challenges.


    1. davidbrice avatar

      Hi Simon. Yes, we are still living on a motorhome. It’s been over 2 years now, although we are in the process of buying an apartment. We have decided that due to family commitments we should have bricks and mortar again, but somewhere we can lock up and leave whilst we have 6-8 week trips instead of being “full time” motorhomers. We love the freedom of motorhome life, although it is better in Europe than it is in the UK due to better facilities for motorhomes and better weather. We know of many people who have lived in their motorhomes for several years but in my view there also has to be a plan B and eventually it makes sense to have a foot on the housing ladder whilst still having the benefit of the freedom to roam beautiful places. Hope you are enjoying your narrow boat life.

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