Visit Blenheim Palace

Blenheim Palace near Oxford is one of England’s World Heritage Sites. There’s also a story that says it’s where Hitler was planning to live if he won the war

Written by Michael Turtle

Michael Turtle is the founder of Time Travel Turtle. A journalist for more than 20 years, he's been travelling the world since 2011.

Michael Turtle is the founder of Time Travel Turtle and has been travelling full time for a decade.


There’s a certain playful vindictiveness to the plans Adolf Hitler once had for Blenheim Palace, the stately English mansion thirteen kilometres from Oxford.

As the story goes, the Führer intended to make the palace his official residence when he invaded and conquered Great Britain.

Visiting Blenheim Palace near Oxford, England

This was not just because he apparently wanted to turn Oxford into the capital, but for two more symbolic reasons.

Firstly, Blenheim Palace is named after a German city where the first owner won a decisive battle against the French and Bavarian forces, a victory so important that Queen Anne bestowed upon him the land and money to build.

And secondly (and presumably more personal for Hitler), Blenheim Palace is the birthplace of Winston Churchill.

With his acquisition of the property, Hitler was planning to enjoy the humiliation of England (if only the Germans had a word for that).

Visiting Blenheim Palace near Oxford, England

Of course, as we know, his plan never came to pass and Blenheim Palace is still owned by the Duke of Marlborough, currently the 11th in the line.

His family lives in a small part of the building which is open to small public tours. The rest of the palace is easily accessible and sees a large number of visitors each day.

To visit Blenheim Palace from London, I would recommend this great day trip that includes some other sights. If you’re coming independently, I would recommend buying your ticket in advance here.

Whether you visiting Blenheim Palace from London as a day trip, or popping over from Oxford or another part of the Cotswolds, make sure you leave enough time to explore properly because there’s lots to see here.

Inside Blenheim Palace

When I visited, photography wasn’t allowed inside (the rules have been changed recently so you can now take photos without a flash) so allow me to paint you a picture.

It won’t be as detailed or valuable as the painted pictures will cover the walls of the rooms along the back of the palace – they show in vivid colours the battles of the first owner, John Churchill, victorious every time.

This painting of mine also won’t capture the scale of the official dining room, an enormous room the size of a small theatre with pictures drawn on the walls and enormous silver decorations on the table.

Visiting Blenheim Palace near Oxford, England

Room after room connect to each other with a thousand stories in each. Over the generations the owners have left their mark.

Most of the palace was either restored or redecorated by the 9th Duke of Marlborough who used the 60 million dollars (in today’s terms) he was given for marrying American heiress Consuelo Vanderbilt, whose family thought the English title for their daughter was worth the money, despite the absence of true love.

Visiting Blenheim Palace near Oxford, England

Blenheim’s gardens

Outside the palace, in the enormous gardens that surround the building, is one of the real treasures of Blenheim.

Over the course of the palace’s history two famous architects (John Vanbrugh and ‘Capability’ Brown) made the mark on the landscape to a point where it was one of the factors on which the site was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List.

Visiting Blenheim Palace near Oxford, England

There are man-made lakes, fountains, a rose garden, and even a train. In the fields on the outskirts, sheep graze while on the lawns closer to the palace, locals laze with picnics and energetic children.

In fact, the park at Blenheim Palace is really family friendly, with lots of activities for children including a spectacular play area called Adventure Play (additional cost).

There are also attractions like the Marlboro Maze and the Butterfly House, although many of them aren’t free, even with a general admission ticket.

Visiting Blenheim Palace near Oxford, England

Inside and out, it’s not hard to see why this would make a grand home for a world leader. Thankfully it was not only kept out of the hands of a dictator, but remained with a family which sees the benefit in opening it up to the public.

It’s not a direct response to Hitler’s plans, but there’s a certain schadenfreude there.

Visiting Blenheim Palace

Blenheim Palace is on the edge of the small village of Woodstock, about 15 kilometres north of Oxford.

The benefit of basically being in the countryside is that, if you’re driving, there is plenty of space for parking. If you’re coming from London or Oxford, for instance, using a car is the easiest option.

Because it’s not in a big city, public transport is limited. But there is a bus from Oxford, so it’s still definitely possible.

Something to consider, though, is whether you might like to take a tour. If you’re coming from London and don’t have a car, it’s an excellent way to save all the logistical hassles and see some other sights. Even from Oxford, it means you’ll have a knowledgable guide to add lots of context.

I would recommend this great day tour from London, that also includes some other parts of the Cotswolds. Or there are some other good options here:

If you’re going to visit independently, I would still recommend buying your entry ticket in advance here.

You can choose a ticket with just the park and gardens, or with the palace as well. If this is your first visit, definitely choose the palace option because it’s the main attraction here.

Visiting Blenheim Palace near Oxford, England

There’s lots to see in Blenheim Palace itself, and then there are the extensive gardens and park. If you’re really interested in seeing it at all, you can easily spend half a day or more here.

For most visitors, I would suggest at least three hours to visit Blenheim Palace and some of the outdoor areas.

A few more useful bits of visitor information:

  • Blenheim Palace offers wheelchair and scooter rental.
  • There is a special accessible route in the gardens.
  • The palace offers British sign language-interpreted tours on the first Saturday of every month for free.
  • Dogs are allowed (on the leash) in several parts of the domain, and there’s even a special dog-friendly ice-cream.

Another thing to consider if you’re visiting Blenheim Palace during peak times, such as school holidays – you’ll find that coming in the afternoon is much quieter than the mornings, so you won’t have to wait as long or have the rooms as crowded.

Where is Blenheim Palace?

Blenheim Palace is in the town of Woodstock, about 15 kilometres from Oxford.
The official address is Blenheim Palace, Woodstock, Oxfordshire, OX20 1UL. You can see it on a map here.

How do you get to Blenheim Palace?

If you’re driving, it’s easy to get to Blenheim Palace from London on the M40. It will take about 90 minutes from London or about 20 minutes from Oxford. There’s no additional cost for car parking.
Using public transport, the easiest way is to catch the train to Oxford station (it’s about one hour from London Paddington). From the station, catch the S3 bus towards Woodstock, which stops right at the palace gates.

When is Blenheim Palace open?

Blenheim Palace is open every day except Christmas Day.
The park at Blenheim Palace is open from 09:00 – 17:00 (or dusk, if earlier) and the formal gardens are open from 10:00 – 16:00.
But to go inside the palace itself, you need to wait until the building opens at 10:30. It closes at 16:45, with the last admission at 16:30.

What is the Blenheim Palace entrance fee?

I think it’s quite expensive to visit Blenheim Palace but don’t let that put you off. You can visit the palace, park and gardens or just the park & gardens.
An admission ticket for Blenheim Palace, the park, and the gardens costs £38 for a standard ticket, and £22 for a child aged 3-16. The ticket does give you a free annual pass, in case you’re going to be back in the area.
If you want to just visit the park and gardens, that costs £28 for standard entry, and £13.50 for a child.
You can get a family pass for two adults and two children for £99 for the palace, park, and gardens.
I would definitely recommend buying your ticket in advance here.

Are there tours to Blenheim Palace?

While it’s quite easy to use public transport to get to Blenheim Palace, and you can explore it all by yourself, you may find it much easier and more rewarding to use a guided tour.
There are some great tours to Blenheim Palace from London to choose from too. Combine a visit to Blenheim Palace with the Cotswolds and the village from Downton Abbey during this small group tour from London.
Or from Oxford, you can take this private tour, which is a good option if you’re in a group.

For more information, see the official website of Blenheim Palace.

Although you can easily visit Blenheim Palace from London as a day trip, another lovely option is to stay overnight in Oxford.

There’s lots to see in the university city and it’s well worth more than just one day. As well as the charming architecture and atmosphere, you can explore some of the art galleries and museums.

There is also lots of good accommodation and, with that in mind, I’m going to finish up with a few suggestions for where to stay in Oxford near Blenheim Palace.


It’s easy to visit Blenheim Palace from Oxford, so I would suggest that’s the best place to base yourself.


If you’re looking for a budget option, I think the best hostel is Central Backpackers, in the heart of the city.


There’s not a lot of cheap accommodation in Oxford but for something affordable, I would recommend Browns.


For a boutique heritage hotel, I would suggest Malmaison Oxford, which was once a Victorian prison!


And when it comes to some stunning luxury, you can’t go past The Old Bank.


This site is on the UNESCO World Heritage List!
I'm on a mission to visit as many World Heritage Sites as I can. Only about 800 more to go... eek!

8 thoughts on “Visit Blenheim Palace”

  1. Can you imagine living somewhere and you had to open it up to the public for tours?! Mind you, they really don’t need all that space to themselves. Hitler was too ambitious anyway, the Brits would have definitely poisoned his water supply or burnt the palace down first!

    • I wouldn’t mind opening the house up to visitors if it meant I could live somewhere like this! 🙂
      And, yes, I think you’re probably right about the poisoning or burning…

    • The palace is a little bit out of the way (about 30 mins on the bus from Oxford) but is definitely worth a visit if you’re in the area. I’m just sorry I couldn’t show you photos of the inside – it was stunning!


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