Blenheim Palace

Blenheim Palace: Our most recommended tours and activities

From London: The Cotswolds, Blenheim Palace & Downtown Abbey

1. From London: The Cotswolds, Blenheim Palace & Downtown Abbey

Tick off some of southern England’s top attractions on a guided day trip by bus from London to Blenheim Palace and Cotswolds villages, including the Bampton filming location of the TV show Downtown Abbey. If you prefer exploring historic towns over attractions, enjoy the flexible tour option. Board your coach in London and head out of the city and towards your first stop at Blenheim Palace. Witness this masterpiece of English Baroque architecture which was also the birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill. Visit the stunning State Rooms, brimming with priceless works of art and magnificent tapestries (if option selected), and admire the 754-hectare gardens, including an exquisite water garden. Next, head into the charming Cotswolds region for a stop at the authentic village of Bourton-on-the-Water. Explore this picturesque location, complete with many attractive bridges crossing the gently-flowing river at its center. Complete your experience with a trip to Bampton; the film setting for many of the famous landmarks featured in the popular Downton Abbey TV series. See the buildings that played the part of the home of Isobel Crawley, the Downton Cottage Hospital, the church, and also the location for two fictional local pubs, The Grantham Arms and The Dog & Duck.

From Oxford: Cotswold Explorer Full-Day Tour

2. From Oxford: Cotswold Explorer Full-Day Tour

Start your unforgettable Cotswold journey by boarding the minibus in Oxford. Then, set off on a scenic drive to the charming village of Minster Lovell. Enjoy seeing the pretty thatched houses and exploring the ruined 15th century Hall. Continue the route through the idyllic villages of Asthall and Swinbrook to Burford, the 'Gateway to the Cotswolds'. Make a stop here to give you time to stroll around the sloping High Street and browse in the quirky shops and cafes. Next, travel further on your panoramic drive through the old quarrying villages of Taynton and the Barringtons towards Bourton-on-the-Water, the 'Venice of the Cotswolds'. Take a walk along the quaint River Windrush crossed with delightful stone bridges. From Bourton-on-the-Water, follow the route through some enchanting Cotswold villages to Broadway with its golden stone houses. Find a pub or cafe for lunch in this village which inspired artists and writers, such as Frank Millet, J M Barrie, and William Morris. After lunch, visit the beautiful market town of Chipping Campden, with its old market hall and wool church. Then, explore Stow-on-the-Wold, the highest town in the Cotswolds. Here you can browse among the narrow footpaths and the antique shops and art galleries. Finally, return to Oxford via the bustling market town of Chipping Norton with a final brief photo stop in Woodstock, the site of Blenheim Palace (the birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill).

From Oxford: Half-Day Cotswold Taster Tour

3. From Oxford: Half-Day Cotswold Taster Tour

Leave the medieval city of Oxford and head first to the pretty village of Minster Lovell. Walk through the village and see the pretty thatched cottages and River Windrush. Relax on a scenic drive that takes you through the idyllic hamlets of Asthall and Swinbrook to the old market town of Burford, the 'gateway to the Cotswolds'.  Enjoy time to browse in the sloping High Street of Burford, with its quirky shops and cafes. Continue through the old quarrying villages of Taynton and the Barringtons, where a panoramic drive takes you to Bourton-on-the-Water, often called the 'Venice of the Cotswolds'.  Wander along the banks of the quaint River Windrush with its old stone bridges or stop for a refreshment in one of the many cafes. Leaving Bourton-on-the-Water, you climb up to Stow Hill to Stow-on-the-Wold, the highest town in the Cotswolds and a market town since the 12th century. Stow is known for its many antique shops and art galleries, as well as many other shops and cafes.  Don't forget to visit St Edward's Church with its old door which inspired the writer Tolkien. On your way back to Oxford pass by the market town of Chipping Norton and Woodstock, the site of Blenheim Palace, the birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill. Stop for a brief photo stop of the palace before your return to Oxford.

From Oxford: Blenheim Palace Half-Day Guided Tour

4. From Oxford: Blenheim Palace Half-Day Guided Tour

Visit Blenheim Palace, the largest non-royal place in England, on a guided trip from Oxford with public transportation and entrance tickets included. Admire English Baroque architecture and delve into over 300 years of history in what has been a family home, mausoleum as well as a national monument. Start the tour from Oxford. Meet your guide and use public transportation to reach Woodstock, home to Blenheim Palace. Discover this World Heritage Site set within more than 2000 acres of parkland. Take a walk in the lush gardens, sprawling over more than 750 hectares, with an exquisite water garden along with formal gardens. Then, follow a tour of the grounds and learn about the aristocratic history of the Palace. Next, you can either enter the palace or head to the Churchill Destination Exhibit. Move onward from Blenheim Palace to Winston Churchill’s grave. With an introduction to the life of one of England’s most famous sons, a visit to his final resting place caps off a truly memorable trip.

From London: Blenheim Palace & the Cotswolds with Lunch

5. From London: Blenheim Palace & the Cotswolds with Lunch

Discover the captivating Cotswolds! Enjoy views of breathtaking countryside, sleepy villages, and bustling market towns on this panoramic tour of one of England’s most beautiful regions. Bask in the beauty of Blenheim Palace! Early arrival at the Palace ensures an almost private visit of this fairy-tale country mansion. See the sumptuous State Rooms with their priceless treasures, stroll through sweeping landscaped gardens designed by Capability Brown, and grab a photo opportunity at the shimmering lake. Known as the ‘Venice of the Cotswolds’, the picturesque village of Bourton–on–the–Water boasts of many traditional features of the Cotswolds. Take time to marvel at its elegant low bridges and stroll along the magnificent Main Street. Estimated arrival time back to London is around 6.30 pm.

From London: Downton Abbey & the Cotswolds Private Day Trip

6. From London: Downton Abbey & the Cotswolds Private Day Trip

Visit the village of Bampton; the film setting for many of the famous landmarks featured within the popular Downton Abbey TV series. See the buildings that played the part of the home of Isobel Crawley, the Downton Cottage Hospital. The local church is where Lady Mary marries both Matthew and Henry Talbot, and where Edith is both jilted at the altar and marries the man of her dreams – Bertie Pelham. The location of fictional local pub The Grantham Arms. Blenheim Palace Blenheim Palace is a masterpiece of English Baroque architecture and the birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill. The stunning State Rooms are brimming with priceless works of art and magnificent tapestries. The Palace is still inhabited today by the Duke of Marlborough. The Gardens are set in over 754 hectares of land with an exquisite water garden. The Cotswolds In the Cotswolds you'll visit one the areas most beautiful villages, Bourton-on-the-Water. This is a must-see village, referred to as the 'Venice of the Cotswolds' due to the number of attractive bridges that cross the gently-flowing river at its center.

Downton Abbey Film Locations & Blenheim Palace Day Tour

7. Downton Abbey Film Locations & Blenheim Palace Day Tour

Head away from London and to the rolling limestone hills of Oxfordshire to see key filming sites of the hit series Downton Abbey. The first stop on this full-day tour is Yew Tree Farm (Cogges). After a break for tea or coffee in the delightfully refurbished and rustic Cogges Café, you’ll enjoy a tour and learn about the relationship between the tenant farmers and landowners. Next you’ll take a short drive to Bampton, a picturesque Oxfordshire Cotswolds village. The village has been used extensively in Downton village filming. Bampton Library was the site of the Downton Cottage Hospital and doctors’ surgery. St. Mary’s Church became Downton Church and Churchgate House was used as the Crawley’s family home. Walk along the street that was the scene of shops, the post office, and the Grantham Arms. The stunning town of Burford, traditionally known as the Gateway to the Cotswolds, will be your destination for lunch. You’ll have a chance to see the famous Wool Church, built on the wealth of the wool trade, and have time to wander around this medieval market town. After lunch you’ll enjoy a drive through the Oxfordshire Cotswolds countryside, stopping en route at the Swan Inn in Swinbrook. The Swan Inn was the site of the elopement of Lady Sybil with Branson, the family’s chauffeur! On the approach to Blenheim Palace you’ll see the graves of Sir Winston and Lady Churchill in the village of Bladon. At Blenheim Palace your tour begins with an introduction to the upstairs and downstairs of a class-conscious life. Built in the early 18th century for the first Duke of Marlborough, John Churchill, this historic stately home was the birthplace of Winston Churchill in 1874. Discover how the aristocracy lived and how the state apartments increased in importance, as you move from room to room. After the tour of the house, there will be time for a walk through the landscaped gardens to see the Temple of Diana where Sir Winston Churchill proposed to Clementine Hozier in 1908.

From Oxford: Cotswolds and Shakespeare Full-Day Tour

8. From Oxford: Cotswolds and Shakespeare Full-Day Tour

See the natural beauty of the North Cotswolds and historic Stratford-upon-Avon on a full-day tour from Oxford. Make several stops in quaint Cotswolds villages and learn about the birthplace of Shakespeare. Head west from medieval Oxford and your first stop will be the old market town of Burford. Explore the ‘Gateway to the Cotswolds’ and stop for a refreshment. From there you’ll be taken on a scenic drive through some of the old quarrying villages of the Cotswolds until you arrive at Bourton-on-the-Water. Wander along the pretty riverside with its historic stone bridges and browse some of the country shops and cafes. Next, after crossing some rolling hills you’ll reach the charming old market town of Chipping Campden. Visit the old market hall and perhaps stop for lunch in a local pub or restaurant. Finally, follow a route that takes you past more breathtaking views until you reach Stratford-upon-Avon. Here you’ll receive a tour of Shakespeare’s hometown, where you’ll see picturesque timber-framed houses, the famous Shakespeare theaters, the River Avon, and Shakespeare’s birthplace.   After Stratford, head back to the Cotswolds via Shottery, where you’ll see the enchanting Anne Hathaway’s Cottage. Return to Oxford via the market town of Shipston, the idyllic village of Great Tew, and Blenheim Palace (birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill).

From London: Cotswolds, Country Pub Lunch, & Blenheim Palace

9. From London: Cotswolds, Country Pub Lunch, & Blenheim Palace

Drive through the narrow, winding lanes of the Windrush Valley to Minster Lovell, with its ribbon of thatched cottages lining the main street. Meander on through Asthall and Swinbrook. picture-perfect houses nestle either side of the River Windrush as the bus travels up the narrow lanes to Stow-on-the-Wold. Admire the town square and the views from the hilltop, before stopping for a delicious lunch at one of the regions finest pubs, a traditional pub in Burford. Continue to neighbouring Bibury, a village referred to by authors and poets alike as "the prettiest in England." Admire the clear, trout-filled stream and village green, before traveling up the single-track country lane, through Ablington. Travel a little further along this secluded valley before heading onward to Bourton-on-the-Water, otherwise known as 'The Venice of the Cotswolds' with its stream running through the center of the village, dotted with stone bridges.  The tour then continues after lunch down to Woodstock and the magnificent Blenheim Palace - the largest privately-owned house in the country and birthplace of none other than Winston Churchill. Dating back to 1704, beautiful landscaped grounds surround the Palace. Explore the opulent interior, see the room where Sir Winston Churchill was born and marvel at the great dining hall and library. A wonderful way to end the day before the leisurely drive back to London.

From Oxford: Blenheim Palace Guided Tour

10. From Oxford: Blenheim Palace Guided Tour

The creation of Blenheim Palace was no easy achievement - the main architect was even refused entry to see his completed work. However, it is open today for all to enjoy its sumptuous interior and its expansive gardens, lake house, and maze. The palace entry ticket with audio guide worth £32.50 per person is also included in your ticket price. These tours are only offered as private group tours max 2-4 persons.  Your guided tour, which will highlight the history of the palace and the Marlborough family, will take place while walking through the gardens and grounds plus part of the palace. Enjoy free time to further explore the palace exhibition spaces and garden. Visit other parts of the palace and gardens on your own or enjoy a meal at the palace gardens cafe or interior restaurant. Scheduled start times can be revised provided you make such a request known when you book.

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What people are saying about Blenheim Palace

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 392 reviews

It was a smooth, seamless tour. David and Richard were kind and excellent guide and driver. David was a wealth of information on history and expert on the Ins and outs of our tour. Richard was a safe and professional driver. One bit of advice, review your meeting point directions and get there early! Also know that rules regarding late arrivals and late arrival to meeting times on the bus between tour routes are strictly enforced as per travel company protocols. The guide and driver cannot veer from them!

David our tour was very knowledgeable and personable. He has some good fun facts throughout the trip. Romaine our bus driver was also excellent which his driving skills! I felt there was appropriate time at each destination however I personally would have liked a little more time at Bourton on the water. All in all, I highly recommend as was a good day.

It was amazing. The lady Crisi i think, was so polite and nice and she knows a lot about London. I would definitely recommended the trip to every one who goes to England. The driver was also amazing and the driving was very good.

The trip was excelente! One that I had liked the most so far. The places are beautiful and it never felt rushed. Would 100% recommend it. The guide and driver were super nice and friendly.

Excellent day out, Palace and Gardens are spectacular! Stayed in local village Woodstock for the night too a beautiful little place