As winter draws in the grounds remain a great place for family-friendly walks- with tea rooms, warm and clean facilities and the quaint Woodstock just outside the walls.
The season lends itself to great photos of beautiful winter sunsets over Blenheim Palace and the surrounding Parkland.
If get your walk in before lunch, you’ll often enjoy the mist rising off the lakes and the sun desperately trying to peer through on frosty mornings.
Our most favourite, mud-free walk is the grand circuit around the lake. With a very good tarmac path it’s great for pushchairs or little ones confident on scooters or running bikes. (Just make sure that you are always near by and don’t let the little daredevils go too crazy, because there are some awesome downhill parts where they can really gain speed and might even head all the way down into the lake… I speak from experience.)
Another highly recommended walk is the Lake and Cascade walk, perfect for wildlife spotting and frost tipped trees. From the Water Terraces, follow the signs for the Rose Garden, the Cascade and the Pump House. Follow the slope above the Cascade and continue along the edge of the lake to the Boathouse, then up the slope to the bottom of the Water Terraces.
Visitors can enjoy spotting flocks of winter birds including Snipe, Smew, majestic white ducks with incredible plumage and distinct black masks, and siskins, who bring a beautiful rich yellow colour to the landscape. Blenheim Palace Parkland is also home to many small members of the finch family, including the gregarious orange breasted Brambling, the noisy autumnal coloured Crossbill and the Redpoll.
This walk takes in some difficult terrain, so walking shoes are recommended. The Dam and Cascade has a walkway and viewing area.
The Column of Victory stands in the midst of the fabulous landscaping. The Column of Victory was erected between 1727 – 1730 and serves as a 134 ft monument, visible from miles around, reflecting the military prowess of the 1st Duke of Marlborough, which earned him Blenheim Palace. An easy walk from the car parks, over the bridge and to the column; On chilly mornings watch the sun rise over the Palace from this superb vantage point. When it’s time to head back, the kids playing tag in the wide open space, we usually hit the tea room for hot chocolates and coffee.
We’ve taken many family and friends to Blenheim Palace. The State Room Tours are particularly welcome on wet, dull days. The guides regale stories of the past in the opulent rooms of the palace, letting you discover over 300 years of Marlborough family history in paintings, tapestries and incredible furniture. This time of year, with that added festive touch, it is even more beautiful inside.
I’ve left the best to last- this month the palace is going a whole lot more magical: they have put out lanterns and torches, fairy lights and optic fibres, created light shows with fountains dancing to Christmas music. Blenheim Palace have even persuaded Santa to make this his Oxfordshire home. It is truly special!
If you pop over to the new Inspireroo magazine and subscribe you could be in with a chance of winning family tickets to the Blenheim Christmas Trail: CLICK HERE