Blenheim, Bampton and Burford


Earlier in the year, we had the rellies over from Oz. During their stay we traveled up to visit Blenheim Palace, stayed overnight in Woodstock and did a small vaguely Downton Abbey related tour of the locale. The following are a few photo’s taken over the weekend.

Winston Churchill - No visit to Blenheim is complete without an acknowledgement to the great man himself.
Blenheim Palace – Winston Churchill – No visit to Blenheim is complete without an acknowledgement to the great man himself.
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Blenheim Palace – Water Gardens
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Blenheim Palace – Main Entrance
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Blenheim Palace – The view below the Water Gardens
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Blenheim Palace – Tranquility
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Blenheim Palace – Rose Gardens, a blousy pink.
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Blenheim Palace – Rose Gardens, I can still smell the scent.
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Blenheim Palace – Rose Gardens, a luscious red, which is just how I like my wine.
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Blenheim Palace – Rose Gardens, for shear exuberance. Reminds me of the Can Can
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Blenheim Palace – towering, or is that lurking, above The Boat House
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Blenheim Palace – Hidden Treasure
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Blenheim Palace – Dainty
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Blenheim Palace – view of the lake, from The Boat House
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Blenheim Palace – Butterfly House, resident.
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Blenheim Palace – Butterfly House, fancy some fruit ?
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Blenheim Palace – Butterfly House, cheeky chappy.
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Blenheim Palace – Butterfly House, this cheeky chappy followed us around and harangued us from every perch.

Bampton

Bampton in Oxfordshire is the “real” name of  Downton, a name familiar with all Downton Abbey fans. As one would expect the real thing looks very different to the images presented on screen.

Bampton - Church View  appears regularly in the series. It is here that two pubs, The Grantham Arms & The Dog and Duck are located.
Bampton – Church View appears regularly in the series. It is here that two pubs, The Grantham Arms & The Dog and Duck are located.
Bampton - Church View - Apparently No. 2 gets quite a makeover to become a pub in the series.
Bampton – Church View – Apparently No. 2 gets quite a makeover to become a pub in the series.
Bampton - Church View - A real cottage garden.
Bampton – Church View – A real cottage garden.
Bampton - The old Grammar School building, which now houses Bampton Community Archive, served as ‘Downton’ hospital. Unfortunately closed when we were there.
Bampton – The old Grammar School building, which now houses Bampton Community Archive, served as ‘Downton’ hospital. Unfortunately closed when we were there.
Bampton - St Mary’s Church, renamed for the series as St Michael and All Angels
Bampton – St Mary’s Church, renamed for the series as St Michael and All Angels
Bampton - Cottages
Bampton – Cottages

Burford

Burford is a small town on the River Windrush in the Cotswold hills in west Oxfordshire, England, about 18 miles west of Oxford, 22 miles southeast of Cheltenham and only about 2 miles from the Gloucestershire boundary.
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Burford – With a name like Huffkins and the crooked windows this place looks like something out of a Harry Potter film.
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Burford – Going down to the shops is a doddle. Coming back is the real issue.
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Burford – Just popping out to the shops is part of the local fitness regime.
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Burford – Alms Houses, Founded in 1457 by Richard Earl of Warwick. Rebuilt in 1828.
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Burford – Nearly at the summit. The locals must feel like planting a flag each time they make it to the top.
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Burford – Minutes just fly by here. So much so that the minute hand has flown away. Obviously the right place to sit and while away the hours.
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Burford – Hope you have left the handbrake on.
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Burford – I wonder what’s down there ?
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Burford – Something quaint and interesting round every corner.
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Burford – Nothing is straight.
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Burford – Hidden charm.
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Burford – More Wonky Windows
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Burford – I was holding the camera straight, honest I was.
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Burford –

Shock Horror – I’ve Had A Full Brazilian


Yep, it’s true. This weekend I travelled up to Woodstock, visited Blenheim Palace for the 4th time. Stayed in Woodstock overnight and travelled to Bampton and then on to Burford.

It was while walking around this fabulous town that it happened. Must have been a touch of sunstoke. I certainly couldn’t have been thinking straight. Anyway, it made perfect sense at the time and by golly I’m glad I did.

It certainly cooled things down a bit, smooth and refreshing are two words that seem to properly describe a Full Brazilian. I just had to share this with you. So now you know.

Full_Brazilian I had a lovely pint of Wychwoods sporting brew “Full Brazilian” and I can truly recommend it. So if you are in the Wychwood locale give it a go.

 

Blenheim Revisited – The Inside Story


About a year ago I posted about our visit to Blenheim Palace, about our picnic in the grounds and posted a few snapshots from that day. Well we have been back, specifically to view the inside.

So I present for your delectation a few snaps from Saturdays exploration.

Starting us off is the head of Winston Churchill, possibly England’s greatest Prime Minister.

The Great Man
The Great Man

Some of the youngsters out there may not realise that Winston Churchill was the inventor of one of their current favourite favourites, the”onesy”. Of course it wasn’t called that back in the day. I present for you the “SirenSuit”

Churchill's "onesy" or SIren Suit
Churhills “onesy” or SIren Suit

Invented during time of war, designed to be pulled on over your bedclothes and worn when you had to dash to the air raid shelter.

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Beautiful Dress

Below is the bedroom in which Churchill was born. Given the grandeur of Blenheim this room seems rather cosy by comparison.

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Bedroom where Churchill was born
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Ornate Clock
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Frieze – Just one small selection of many
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This small section is just a sample and this image cannot do justice to the skill and craftsmanship that went into creating Blenheim
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Organ Pipes – belonging to the Willis organ, at the north end of the Long Library. It was installed by the 8th Duke in 1891 and is the largest privately owned organ in Europe.
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A selection of ceremonial robes
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I’ve forgotten what this is, but it is impressive
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A Closer View
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One of many statues looking down on the Great Hall. Carved, I believe by Grinling Gibbons
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Tapestry
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Tapestry
Windows
Windows – Great Hall – Blenheim Palace
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Windows & Statues – Great Hall – Blenheim Palace

After touring the house we had a spot of lunch on the terrace, overlooking the water gardens.

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Lunch on the terrace – Water Gardens at Blenheim
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Water Gardens – Blenheim Palace
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Water Gardens – Blenheim Palace

As luck would have it, our visit to Blenheim coincided with a Mediaeval Tournament which was taking place in the grounds to the South of the palace. We strolled across the lawns, being buffeted by the quite strong winds that had blown up. The tournament was a jovial affair, presided over by King Henry

King Henry VIII - Jousting at Blenheim Palace
King Henry VIII – Jousting at Blenheim Palace
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Success – One ring captured
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A little more difficult this time. The ring was tossed into the air, rather than hanging from the pole.
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Acknowledging the applause
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Starting to the gallop
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Have at you sir !!!
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The Salute
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On my way !!!
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Missed
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A little bit of swordplay
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A dastardly knave sent packing
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Lap of Honour
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Lap of Honour
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Lap of Honour

After the excitement of the tournament we returned to the palace. New this year is ‘Blenheim Palace: The Untold Story’ an audio-visual trail through the history of Blenheim. It seemed a little disjointed at times but was very interesting although the theatre room left us a bit perplexed, not sure what they were trying to convey.

After a beautiful visit we set off for home but not before stopping at what is becoming a favourite of ours. The White Horse at Ampfield where we had a lovely meal. I would like to make a personal recommendation and that is, should you ever visit The White Horse, choose the Faggots. That is if they are on the menu. They are made by the butchers in the nearby village of Hursley. They are delicious and very filling.

Blenheim Palace


Yesterday was the second of what we hope will become a frequent event. Choose, with friends,  a location to visit, travel, lunch, tour, head home and stop for an evening meal en route. All punctuated with gossip and laughs.

Yesterday we chose to visit Blenheim Palace near Woodstock. Some of you may recognise it from the recent Jack Black movie, Gullivers Travels. Blenheim was used as the Lilliput royal palace.

Instead of lunch, we chose to take a picnic and why wouldn’t you when Blenheim offers over 2000 acres of grounds in which to throw down a blanket. To be able to feast both on the food and the fabulous views provided.

We threw down our blankets high on the rise alongside the lake. There we feasted on roast chicken, pork pie,  mixed salad, fruit cake, walnut cake and fresh fruits.

At the same time we savoured this fabulous view of Vanbrugh’s Grand Bridge. Apparently, at one time this bridge only sat astride several streams. There are rooms within the bridge, now flooded, that the 4th Duke supposedly used for gambling with his cronies. Much later the streams were further damned and the two lakes were formed.

And this is the view in the opposite direction.

Many folks come to visit the house and  grounds. They come for a variety of reasons, be it for weddings in The Orangery, the history, the beautiful scenery or perhaps just a bit of scavenging

The following are just a few snaps taken around the grounds.

The Column of Victory
Entrance – Blenheim Palace
Architectural Features – Blenheim
A Cheeky Shot
Chestnut Blossom
The Cascade – Blenheim Palace
The Lake Below The Cascades
The Boat House with Blenheim Palace above and behind

For other pix please take a look at my Flickr photostream, just click the link over to the right.