Blenheim Palace is a masterpiece of Baroque architecture, paired with beautifully landscaped gardens, and is one of the most popular and best loved stately homes in the UK. It's also full of history, having been home to the Churchill family since it was first gifted to the 1st Duke of Marlborough by Queen Anne.

Where is Blenheim Palace?

Blenheim Palace is located in Woodstock in Oxfordshire.

Who owns and lives at Blenheim Palace?

Blenheim Palace has remained in the Churchill family, and now plays host to Lady Henrietta Spencer-Churchill. She has lived at Blenheim Palace all her life, having grown up there as the youngest child of the 11th Duke of Marlborough.

Lady Henrietta Spencer-Churchill is an interior designer, author and founder of Woodstock Designs.

She was interviewed by Emma Manners, Duchess of Rutland, all about the history of Blenheim Palace and what it's like to live there in an episode of the Duchess podcast.

'My motto is retain and restore, rather than rip out and replace,' she told Manners. 'It’s my duty to look after such a wonderful and beautiful home. It’s a part of our heritage. We’re very lucky to be a part of it.'

Who are its previous owners and occupants?

The Blenheim Palace estate has played host to some interesting characters – and even more interesting stories – over the years. Henry II's mistress Rosamund Clifford lived on the Blenheim Palace estate, and Elizabeth I was imprisoned by Mary I here as well. It is famously also the birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill.

History of Blenheim Palace

Blenheim Palace is the only non-royal and non-episcopal (residence of a bishop) palace in England. It was built by the first Duke and Duchess of Marlborough in the 18th century, and is instantly recognisable for its Baroque architecture.

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It takes its name from the 1704 Battle of Blenheim, built as a gift from Queen Anne to John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough in gratitude for his victory at the Battle of Blenheim earlier that year. It has remained in the Churchill family ever since and was the birthplace and ancestral home of Sir Winston Churchill, who went on to become the UK's prime minister.

It was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987.

Did you know? We included Blenheim Palace in our list of the most haunted stately homes in the UK.

Who designed Blenheim Palace and its gardens?

Although the Duchess of Marlborough was a fan of the architecture of Sir Christopher Wren, the Duke commissioned Sir John Vanbrugh to design Blenheim Palace. It is said to have been organised following a meeting at a playhouse, as Vanbrugh was a dramatist – but an untrained architect. He worked alongside Nicholas Hawksmoor in designing the early stages of Castle Howard, near York. The Duke of Marlborough commissioned the pair to create a similarly European Baroque-style building in Woodstock.

Vanbrugh was also responsible for planning the gardens of Blenheim Palace, which included an avenue of elms planted in the positions of Marlborough's troops at the Battle of Blenheim.

In 1764, he 4th Duke of Marlborough later commissioned the landscape architect Capability Brown to redesign and naturalise the landscape. The Great Lake was one of Brown's introductions during this time and has become one of Blenheim Palace's most famous features.

Can you visit Blenheim Palace?

Blenheim Palace, along with its park and gardens, are open to the public throughout the year.

Today, you can visit Blenheim Palace's State Rooms to see the famous Marlborough Tapestries (the 'Victories' Series') and the Long Library, which is home to more than 10,000 books.

The public have free access to approximately 5 miles of public rights of way through the park area without the need to pay an entry fee.

How to get to Blenheim Palace

Blenheim Palace is just 20 minutes from the city of Oxford. It is easily accessible to those coming from London or Birmingham, where it is approximately an hour and a half by car.

However, if you choose to travel by train, bus or bike to Blenheim Palace, you are eligible for 30% discount.

The Blenheim Palace estate hosts events throughout the year, including cinema screenings, concerts and exhibitions.

We included Blenheim Palace in our round-up of the best mazes in the UK.

We also included Blenheim Palace in our list of the best dog-friendly stately homes in the UK.

Upcoming events at Blenheim Palace

Easter Eggstravaganza

Date: 7th - 10th April (Easter Weekend)
Location: Walled Garden
Ticket required: Annual Pass or Palace, Park and Gardens

Visit Blenheim for a perfect family day out during the Easter weekend. Explore the gardens on a easter egg hunt and take part in fun family friendly activities including circus skills, street entertainment and a special appearance from the Easter bunny!

Jousting Tournament

Date: 29th April - 1st May (Early May Bank Holiday Weekend)
Location: South Lawn
Ticket required: Annual Pass or Palace, Park and Gardens or Park and Gardens

Step back in time to medieval England and join Blenheim for their annual weekend of jousting tournaments. Visitors will have the chance to take part in some other old English traditions like archery and watch falconry.

Giffords Circus

Date: 18th - 30th May
Location: Lower Park near Eagle Lodge
Tickets required: Separately ticketed event. Tickets available now at

Roll up, roll up the circus is back at Blenheim Palace. The village green circus travels the lengths of the UK.

Step inside the sent surrounded by Blenheim’s ancient oaks and enter a world of colourful acrobats, jugglers, horses, musicians and of course Tweedy the Clown.

Blenheim Palace Food Festival

Date: 27th - 29th May
Location: Event Showground
Tickets required: Annual Pass or Palace, Park and Gardens or Park and Gardens

A gastronomic weekend guaranteed to satisfy your taste buds and indulge your passion for great food and drink with a host of top chefs and producers.

Visitors will be able to sample products from artisan bakers, craft brewers and international cuisine, plus handmade sweets and ice cream.

Blenheim Palace Triathlon

Date: 3rd - 4th June
Location: All grounds, Lake and Great Court
Tickets required: Annual Pass or Palace, Park and Gardens or Park and Gardens or Spectator Ticket. Competitors must sign up in advance through the Triathlon website:

Competitors and spectators are invited to the annual triathlon within the grounds of the Palace and set against the backdrop of the World Heritage Site.

Nocturne Live in the Great Court

Date: 14th - 18th June
Location: Great Court
Tickets required: Separately ticketed event. First 2023 announcements coming soon

Delight in a series of live performances in The Great Court at Blenheim Palace. The unique venue provides acoustics and scenery coupled with artists and musicians in a not to be missed experience. Artists will be announced nearer to the event.

Blenheim Palace Flower Show

Date: 23rd - 25th June
Location: Event Showground
Tickets required: Annual Pass or Palace, Park and Gardens or Park and Gardens

The three-day show, held in the grounds of Blenheim Palace, showcases the best of British gardening. Green-fingers can delight plant shopping and the chance to hear from celebrity guests sharing hints and tips.

Battle Proms Concert

Date: 1st July
Location: Lower Park
Tickets required: Separately ticketed event. Visit

Regarded as one of England’s must see summer proms concerts, the annual celebration showcases a spectacular display of fireworks, spitfires and infantry.

EV Live at Blenheim Palace

Date: 7th - 9th July
Location: Flagstaff
Ticket required: Annual Pass or Palace, Park and Gardens

The electric vehicle (EV) event of the year, held at Blenheim Palace, gives car lovers insights and driver experiences within the grounds of the World Heritage Site with ‘Britain’s finest view’ as a backdrop.

Salon Prive Classic and Supercar Day

Date: 3rd September
Location: South Lawn (Classic & Supercar Day takes place across the whole site)
Tickets required: Separately ticketed event. Visit

This family-friendly event at Blenheim Palace will give visitors the opportunity to see the world’s most impressive super cars and classic motors.

Hundreds of cars will be on display in this dynamic event which includes bars and live entertainment and hill sprints racing through the ‘Capability’ Brown landscaped parkland.

Blenheim Palace International Horse Trials

Date: 14th September - 17th September
Location: Sheepwalks
Tickets required: Separately ticketed event. Visit

The four-day equestrian event is a highlight in the UK eventing calendar and includes dressage, cross country and show jumping. Set within the breathtaking grounds of Blenheim Palace providing a perfect backdrop for the sport.

Autumn Fest at Blenheim Palace

Date: 30th September - 1st October
Location: Walled Garden
Tickets required: Annual Pass or Palace, Park and Gardens or Park and Gardens

Back for its third year this family friendly event welcomes the change in seasons and estate traditions at Blenheim Palace.

Find a Michaelmas Market, live music and activities for youngsters as well as demonstrations and talks highlighting environmental groups in the region.

October Half Term at Blenheim Palace

Date: 21st - 29th October
Location: Palace
Tickets required: Annual Pass or Palace, Park and Gardens or Park and Gardens

Brave souls can visit Blenheim Palace for some goulish entertainment during the half term holidays. Expect spooky characters, encounter the bat trail in the Walled Garden and explore the Maze - watch out for monsters!

Halloween After Dark Trail at Blenheim Palace

Date: 20th - 31st October
Location: Palace and Gardens
Tickets required: Separately ticketed event

Creep around the spooky, fun-filled, after dark trail during October half-term 2023. As dusk falls wander along the illuminated trail and find a flickering fire garden, illuminated haunted woods and discover the secret garden filled with hidden surprises.

Christmas at Blenheim Palace

Date: 17th November - 2nd January
Location: Palace, Great Court and Gardens
Tickets required: Separately ticketed event

Blenheim Palace will be transformed into a winter wonderland in 2023 with the illuminated light trail, interior palace experience and Christmas market in the Great Court returning for another festive season.

With thousands of lights twinkling in the formal gardens and parkland, Blenheim Palace rooms adorned with decorations and the unique shopping experience in the Great Court.