Take a peek into the private lives of the Duke of Marlborough and his family and guests on a behind-the-scenes tour at Blenheim Palace
The Baroque masterpiece of Blenheim Palace is a sight to behold – particularly when approached via the Woodstock Gate where you are granted uninterrupted views across Capability Brown-designed parkland towards architect John Vanbrugh’s Grand Bridge – but have you ever wondered what it is like to arrive as a guest of the Marlboroughs?
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Until 30 October, visitors to Blenheim Palace, the family seat of the Duke of Marlborough, can join one of three tours of the Duke of Marlborough’s private apartments to get an insider’s view of the family’s life away from the public glare, and how their (often illustrious) guests are taken care of during their stay.
The tours include a Duke’s Floor Tour, which takes in the family’s sitting room, dining room and the master bedroom; an Upstairs Tour, which showcases guest rooms interlinked by secret corridors; and a Downstairs Tour, which gives a glimpse into life behind the green baize door, such as how staff endeavour to lay food on the dining room table 34 seconds after it has been served up by the Michelin-starred chef one floor below. Downstairs you can also see special areas such as the China Room where the family once (rather recklessly) played table tennis.
Getting to Blenheim Palace
Direct trains to Oxford Parkway from London take just over an hour. Oxford Stagecoach operates a bus service from the station to Woodstock, which takes 20 minutes.
Tickets for Blenheim Palace
Tours last about 45 minutes and cost £5 (£4.50 concessions) per tour on top of the entrance fee to the palace and grounds.
Where to stay in Woodstock
The Feathers is a stylish townhouse hotel by the Woodstock gate to Blenheim.
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For the full feature on behind-the-scenes tours at Blenheim Palace see the May/June 2017 (July 2017 in the US and Canada) issue of BRITAIN
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