Blenheim Palace

There are some magnificent places to visit in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds and Blenheim Palace is no exception. In fact as famous houses throughout the UK go Blenheim Palace is widely recognised as one of the most exquisite stately homes in the country. In fact even this year it was awarded the Green Business Silver award in the Green Tourism Business Scheme; another award to add to its already long list of accolades.

The home originally came into play as a gift from Queen Anne to John Churchill who was the 1st Duke of Marlborough. Now a days the home is still in the Marlborough family and is home to the 11th Duke of Marlborough.

If you take a visit into the home you will see that there is a breathtaking collection of paintings, furnishings and tapestries which are reason enough to pay a visit to Blenheim Palace.

Another reason to pay a visit to Blenheim Palace is the fact that the home is packed full of so much history. For example in 1874 former British Prime Minister Sir Winston Churchill was born here and within the home there is a room dedicated to him which pays tribute to this.

Blenheim

It is hard to put into words just how magnificent his building is – it really is something that you have to see in the flesh to be able to appreciate the history, culture and beauty that this home offers.

If you do pay a visit to Blenheim Palace then the start of the art visitor experience will give you a day to remember. You’ll get to tour the palace and learn about its history throughout the past 300 years as well as what it has to offer in the modern day and age.

Even outside of the Blenheim Palace the surroundings and views are fantastic. It is set in 2,000 acres of land which play home to parklands, lakes, fountains and gardens all of which are the perfect setting for a summer’s afternoon.

Blenheim Palace has had restoration work take place throughout much of its grounds so places like The Secret Garden and the Water Terraces are looking better than ever.

There is so much to see and do at Blenheim Palace that it is the perfect setting for a family day out no matter the time of year. A miniature train adds a little excitement to your day out by letting you take a tour of some of the grounds. You can also help to keep everyone entertained by taking part in the Marlborough Maze, touring the Butterfly House or experiencing the Lavender Garden.

It is worth keeping up to date with the events and fun days that take place at Blenheim Palace. There is a full year round schedule of family days out and events which take place, so no matter what time of year you are visiting Oxfordshire there will be something at this magnificent palace to suit you and your family.

blenhein-palace

http://www.blenheimpalace.com

Broughton Castle

If you are looking a family day out that has something to suit everyone then Broughton Castle is the place for you. Arguably Broughton Castle is one of the most beautiful castles in England, surrounding in picturesque scenery and magnificent buildings alongside water and woods. This landscape will truly take your breath away and makes Broughton Castle worth a visit even if you simply wander around alongside natural beauty. In fact so recognised for its beauty it was awarded five stars in England’s Thousand Best Houses back in 2003, only twenty of the houses in the survey were given full marks.

Planning your visit to Broughton Castle is easy because there is so much to do. Whether you want to explore the castle, relax in the gardens or simply take in some of the scenery in the surrounding areas you can do so with a visit to this luxurious home.

Broughton Castle is famous for its gardens which are designed and maintained to perfection and many people visit the castle simply to walk amongst the walls, water and lawns that this piece of garden offers.

What you will find with Broughton Castle is that there is plenty to see and do for everyone, with a whole host of events on throughout the year so that everyone will be kept entertained no matter when they visit.

If you do take time out to visit Broughton Castle you will find that it has whatever you want to ensure you have a good time. Welcoming staff will make sure that you have everything you need and with different tours and events happening there is something for everyone, no matter when you choose to visit.

Broughton Castle

http://www.broughtoncastle.com

Sudeley Castle

One of the first things you will notice about Sudeley Castle is the massive selection of gardens which surround the castle and the grounds. These gardens are all designed uniquely so you have 9 separate gardens to visit and admire something to look forward to before you even step foot inside Sudeley Castle itself.

Once you step inside the castle you’ll be met with a whole host of historical rooms dating right back to the 15th century. You can take a tour of the west wing which was originally the kitchen area although ended as the banqueting hall for Sudeley Castle’s visitors. There are exhibitions throughout this part of the castle daily so you can get an idea of the history behind this part of the building.

Although Sudeley Castle is still family owned they recognise that people are curious and fascinated about seeing what a real castle is like. They offer several guided tours a week inside the apartments within the castles living areas. You’ll need to book this in advance if you want to take part in one.

On top of the castle itself you have the chance to visit St Mary’s Church and the adventure playground whilst you are there. You can even pay a visit to their rare breeds of Pheasantry on the grounds if you want too.

Sudeley Castle is perfect for guests of all ages, so if you are looking for somewhere to take the whole family then it is the perfect place for you. They recognise that it is hard to find somewhere to take the whole family so try to offer events and facilities to suit everyone.

Not only is Sudeley Castle the perfect place for a day out but you can also hire it out for private events. A whole host of events have been arranged here in the past so if you are looking for somewhere magnificent to host your special event then Sudeley Castle could be the place for you. It is also well known as a wedding venue so if you are getting married and want somewhere beautiful to get married then it is worth checking out the wedding options at this magnificent castle.

Sudeley Castle

http://www.sudeleycastle.co.uk

Warwick Castle

Warwick Castle
Warwick Castle

As castles go throughout the UK, there are many that you can visit which offer a whole range of events and ways to keep yourself entertained. Although there are different castles you can visit Warwick Castle is probably the most famous because of its grand design and range of events – which suit everyone.

Warwick Castle has been transformed into the ultimate tourist resort so anyone who pays it a visit can be sure that you will find something to keep you entertained. It is the perfect place to visit with the whole family, with something to suit people of all ages.

Whether you want to visit Princess Tour or you want a tour of the castles dungeons there is something to suit every visitor. The truth is that we don’t have many opportunities to visit a working castle and Warwick Castle allows us to see inside the whole of the building, so you can see just how magnificent it is. The tours and events that are arranged help you to be taken back to a time that none of us remember but love to reminisce about. The past is something that fascinates everyone and something that we all love to hear and read about. Visiting Warwick Castle helps you to see and do all of this in the flesh.

The whole of the castle is kitted out to be perfect for everyone visiting, with easy access and regular events to ensure that everyone is entertained.

The area that Warwick Castle sits on is huge, with acres of land that are packed full of things to see and do, which makes a visit to Warwick Castle something that shouldn’t be missed!

Warwick Castle

Visit http://www.warwick-castle.com the official website for Warwick Castle

Stanway House

While visiting Gloucestershire in the Cotswolds, you’ll want to take some time to stop by some of the region’s beautiful manor house.  One such manor house is the Jacobean Stanway House, well known for its lovely grounds and famous Stanway Fountain.  The fountain rises more than 300 feet and is the tallest fountain in all of Britain.  It’s also the second tallest fountain in all of Europe and the tallest gravity fountain in the world.  The only fountain taller in Europe is the famous 400 foot fountain in Lake Geneva, which is driven by a turbine.  While the fountain is probably the feature that accords the manor house its special fame above and beyond that of other houses in the area, it is just one of many reasons to consider adding the manor to your itinerary.

The house itself has an elegant façade constructed of the golden stone which is characteristic of Cotswolds architecture.  Most of the furniture in the house is original and has been there since it was originally constructed.  Part of the draw of the house for visitors is that unlike some other manor houses in the region, it doesn’t feel like a museum.  It feels very much like a lived-in house, which means it is easy to imagine the lives of the people who did inhabit the house, including the Earls of Wemyss.

The gardens surrounding the Stanway House and Fountain are considered to be world class.  The Stanway Watergarden was created in the 1720s, most likely by gardener Charles Bridgeman.  Bridgeman is credited with creating the English gardening style that followed the previously popular Franco-Dutch style.  The most famous feature is the Canal, which is a manmade waterfall situated on a terrace 25 feet above the house and another called the Cascade which comes from the water that flows out of the Pyramid Pond.  There is also a lovely pond called the Tithe Barn Pond, wide green lawns, and delightful groves of trees providing shade.

The grounds also are home to the Stanway Watermill, which has been restored fully and operates now producing wholemeal and sifted flour.  The flour is all grown locally on the estate itself.  You’ll find the Mill on the grounds near the house and can take a tour of both the house and the mill with a combined ticket (which also gives you access to the gardens).  Since the mill is actively producing wholemeal and flour, you can see the process at work and learn something about agriculture and see how the estate made food and income in centuries past.

Stanway House is located near the village of Stanway, which is a perfect place to find accommodations.  You can also choose to stay in Stanton, which is one mile north of Stanway.  In Stanway, you’ll also find St. Peter’s Church, the Stanway War Memorial, and many historic buildings and streets which can draw you into the beauty of the Cotswolds.  You’ll discover charming bed and breakfast establishments there where you can relax and enjoy modern amenities in an old-fashioned atmosphere.

Stanway House

Stanway House Fountain

Broadway Tower

The Cotswolds in England are well known for the many architectural follies that adorn the green, rolling hills, one of the most famous of which is known as the Broadway Tower near Broadway. The Broadway Tower is located on Broadway Hill right next to the village by the same name in the county of Worcestershire. It is the second highest point in the region following Cleeve Hill, which is located in Gloucestershire. Broadway Hill peaks at more than 1000 feet above sea level. The tower stands an additional 55 feet and makes quite a dramatic shape against the skyline.

The tower looks like a medieval castle, albeit a very vertical one. It was designed by James Wyatt in 1794 as a gift to Lady Coventry, and constructed five years later in 1799. Lady Coventry’s house was located in Worcester, 22 miles away. She wondered whether a beacon positioned on Broadway Hill would be visible from her home; the Broadway Tower was built to test the theory. Years later, the tower was used by Sir Thomas Phillips, who had a printing press there, and by the artists William Morris and Edward Burne-Jones, who retreated there in the late 19th century. It also served as an observation post during two important wars in the 20th century.

Nobody lives in Broadway Tower today, but it is open to the public and is among the most well-known tourist destinations in the Cotswolds. The building itself is a beautiful piece of architecture. The suddenness of its shape against the skyline makes for a surrealistic sight; it stands in contrast to the flatness of its surroundings (even though it is placed on a hill, there are not many trees around it, and the hills still give an impression of the horizontal, so the verticality of the tower is somewhat striking). The country park immediately surrounding the tower consists of lovely green land which blooms with flowers during the spring. You may see some deer grazing around the fields while you’re touring the surroundings. There are many opportunities to take beautiful photographs of the imposing building and the idyllic loveliness of the park land around it.

The tower also hosts exhibitions and a gift shop. While you’re climbing to the top of the tower, you can pause and look at artworks by William Morris and learn more about the historic Arts and Crafts movement and how the Tower was involved with the artists who fronted that movement. There’s another exhibit where you can learn about how the tower was used during World War II and the Cold War by the Royal Observer Corps.

While you’re visiting the Broadway Tower, you can stay at a historic bed and breakfast at the nearby town of Broadway. This town boasts some lovely medieval architecture, and is also the site of the Gordon Russell Museum, Heritage Railway, and many beautiful homes and gardens. It is one of the best-known towns in the Cotswolds and is a destination in its own right.

Broadway Tower