2018 11 07 Blenheim Palace 004Wednesday’s challenge was to find something interesting to do on a wet day in November within 30 minutes travel of the Oxford Ring Road during National Trust closed season and with the proviso of getting back to the centre of Oxford for choral evensong. Not quite Mission Impossible …

The solution, was Blenheim Palace on the grounds that it was indoors and stayed open til 5pm.

2018 11 07 Blenheim Palace 003I first came across John Churchill, who became the 1st Duke of Malborough, and his feisty wife, Sarah through The First Churchills (1969) – one of those 13-part historical drama series that the BBC used to be so good at. I even bought the Jackdaw – remember those? But the nearest I’d come to Blenheim was a couple of walks in the ground via the back entrance used by locals.

Part of the problem was the cost of entry, but, although it’s eye wateringly expensive, you get a pass that gives you access to the house and grounds for a whole year – so, with the aid of a premium bond win and a second mortgage …

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It was really very good and more interesting than I had expected, especially as the ticket also included an excellent guided tour which was just about to start as J (architectural friend and connoisseur of guided tours) and I stepped into the Palace.