The gardens of the world famous Palace in Woodstock, Oxfordshire, have won the Garden of the Year award in the 25th annual competition sponsored by the Historic Houses Association and the auction house Christie’s.
At the same time the Palace’s exterior is seen doubling as a location in the new film ‘The Young Victoria’ starring Emily Blunt and Rupert Friend, which dramatises the early years of Queen Victoria, Britain’s longest-serving sovereign. Blenheim currently an exhibition on “The Young Victoria”. According to the screenwriter, Julian Fellowes: ‘Blenheim was chosen for the exterior of Buckingham Palace because of the similarity in architecture.’
The Palace is home to the 11th Duke of Marlborough and the birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill built for John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough, in recognition of his victory at the Battle of Blenheim.
In fact the Palace itself is so spectacular, one sometimes overlooks the gardens altogether. John Hoy, chief executive of Blenheim Palace, comments: “Blenheim is very well known for its history and architecture and the state rooms and perhaps the gardens have sometimes been a little forgotten so this accolade goes some way to giving the gardens the credit they deserve.”
The Palace, which was made a World Heritage Site in 1987, is set in over 2000 acres of parkland landscaped by Capability Brown. The Gardens include the Secret Garden, Italian Garden, Pleasure Gardens and Marlborough Maze and Rose Garden.
So, if you were thinking of visiting the Palace, now’s a good time as ever. You can visit Blenheim on several of our personal tours from London such as The Cotswolds (9 hours), Stately Homes Castles & Gardens (5 or 9 hours) and Oxford, Blenheim & Windsor Castle (9 hours) and our overnight tour Shakespeare Remembered (3 Days) .
For Garden enthusiasts see Gardens in Kent and Sussex (9 hours) which visits great gardens like Sheffield Park, Sissinghurst and Leonardslee.