Blenheim Palace Gardens

The Best £19 I’ve Spent All Year

Blenheim Palace is one of England’s finest stately homes.  It’s been selected as one of the 10 most magnificent in England, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and is one of the 1000 Places to See Before You Die.

And, despite what one would expect of its princely pedigree. it’s a cheap day out with kids.  Well, at least it is if you live close enough to take advantage of its annual pass offer.  We do.  My initial £19 investment in a ticket has paid dividends as we’ve now easily been a dozen times this year.  All now in my mind “free.”

I’d gone to Blenheim Palace a couple of times during the pre-toddler era.  But it wasn’t until I had the Little Monkey in tow that I really saw how great the place is.  The family focused Pleasure Gardens in particular have become our “go-to” day out during the summer months.  Now sadly fading away into winter…

First and foremost on our visits, we ride the train.  Sir Winston Churchill takes us on a winding ride across the grounds.

Sir Winston Churchill

And we LOVE the train.  Sometimes we just stay on the train and ride it back and forth a few times because it’s just that cool.

Blenheim Palace Train Love

We visit the Butterfly House, home to numerous species of tropical butterflies.  And while we sweat profusely during the visit to this tropical climate, we enjoy spotting the butterflies as they fly around in the open all around us.  Sometimes they narrowly miss our heads.

Blenheim Palace Butterfly House

We play chess.  Well, that is if either one of us knew how to play chess.  Mostly we just move the pieces around and disrupt the games of other people playing actual games of chess.

Blenheim Palace Chess Set

We try to solve the colorful mazes.  We ventured once into the Marlborough Maze, the second largest hedge maze in the world.  But, I’ve since decided that doing this with a toddler is maybe not the best course of action.  I mean, there are people out there trying to use advanced mathematics to solve this maze.  Seriously.  So we stick to the mazes that are out in the open.

Blenheim Palace Pleasure Gardens Maze

We climb on the Adventure Playground.  Full of ladders, slides, and bridges, it offers plenty of activities to help expend toddler energy.

Blenheim Palace Adventure Playground

And, finally, we slum around on the aristocracy’s front lawn playing silly games on the most perfect grass I’ve ever seen.

Blenheim Palace Perfect Grass

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  • Reply Jet Harrington October 21, 2011 at 12:04 am

    This is a lovely post, and your photos make me want to GO THERE. We did a similar thing here in Seattle when Kristina was young – we had annual memberships to Woodland Park Zoo and to Pacific Science Centre. We could stop in and stay as long as we were comfortable/happy, without feeling like we had to “get our money’s worth.” It was such a thrill to say YES when Kristina noticed we were in the neighbourhood and asked if we could visit the giraffes or visit the naked mole rats. Your little guy looks like he’s having a great time.

  • Reply Amanda October 21, 2011 at 10:29 am

    Envy. Never been. Note to self to work less and spend more time doing fun stuff. Axxx

  • Reply Learning About Animals at The Cotswold Wildlife Park April 5, 2012 at 12:32 am

    […] we can do once we’ve gotten through the painful process of getting dressed.  In addition to Blenheim Palace and the National Trust, I’ve also taken advantage of the annual pass at the Cotswold […]

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