Christmas at Blenheim

Review Christmas at Blenheim: There seems to be a new craze spreading across the country when it comes to festive days… or rather evenings out…festive light trails. There is something magical about wrapping up warm and heading out into the dark evening. Made all more special by beautifully lit up gardens and buildings. We were invited to Blenheim Palace to experience their ‘Christmas at Blenheim‘. Its only the second year they have run such an event and I can see why it proved so popular first time round. We had a magical evening out.

It’s possible to book parking in advance and we were the nearest car park to the palace itself. They also offer two park and ride car parks. As we entered the first courtyard I was transported back to being a child myself as it was full with traditional fairground rides.There were also some little wooden huts selling festive food and drink down one side. The fairgound rides operate on a token basis. You can either pre buy tokens (which work out cheaper) with your event tickets or buy them on the day. Each token costs £2.50 and each ride needs one token per person (apart from the baby merry-go-round). We had decided to purchase tokens when we arrived. There is a kiosk next to the rides but the queue was long! So we popped into the shop and went to the information desk and brought ours from there. There was no queue at all which meant Monkey didnt need to wait to enjoy the atmosphere and it was a lot less stressful.

The Helter Skelter was by far his favourite. You cout two goes for one token and I lost track of the number of times he went up and down. There was also a carosel which I took Kipper on as well. Although he was too young to go on the horses so we sat in one of the carriages. I would normally go on the swing boats, but they were only child size ones so Monkey went on alone. It will be nice when Kipper is old enough to go on this sort of ride with him. The last ride is a small merry-go-round which has a number of different vehicles and animals to sit on. Much to Kipper’s delight he could sit in one of the cars and I could sit next to him. He absolutely loved going round and round (mummy less so) turning the wheel and squeezing the horn. In fact when the ride finished we had tears when he got out. Its definately cememented the gift Father Christmas willl be bringing him this year!

You book a time slot for the walk itself. Just before your tour you meet under the archway in the courtyard for  a ticket check. After this you are free to walk around at your own pace. Just seeing the palace lit up in the moonlight was magical let alone the rest of the walk!

Things we loved:

  • As you are down in a valley it means that it wasnt as cold as I expected. We went on a very cold evening but didn’t need our hats or gloves once on the walk. You will need them walking across the carpark though!
  • Theres several places to buy refreshments. In the courtyard, at the entrance to the walk, about halfway round and then again before the end. It’s not the cheapest but   it wasn’t more expensive than I was expecting. A mulled wine costs £4.50, soup was about the same. Marshmallows £1.50 each. There was a place to toast them
  • There wasn’t any periods of darkness on the walk. There was always something interesting to look at. Even between the larger show pieces there was plenty of lights hanging from the trees.
  • The walk is about the right length, it took us a good two hours to work our way around and Kipper with Kipper in the buggy most of the time. That was about Monkey’s limit. It was accessible for a buggy without problems although anything more and I think you would struggle in places.
  • The atmosphere is brilliant – walking into the courtyard you were overcome with a lovely magical traditional Christmassy feeling.
  • There are lots of staff about to help you and point you in the right direction
  • Monkey’s favourite part of the trail was the part where all the lights were hanging down, he spent about fifteen minutes running back and forth in between them. Hubby’s favourite was the light show to music. Mine was the little boats on the river. I could have stood and watched them all evening.
  • The little acting session with the elf and Father Christmas was lovely to watch and just the right length to hold Monkey’s interest. They were really good and got the crowd going nicely

We really enjoyed our trip to Christmas at Blenheim and would definitely go back again next year. It was so very pretty and I would recommend a visit, if its not already sold out! Because it definitely deserves to be.

Things you need to know:

  • Address: Blenheim Palace, Woodstock, Oxfordshire, OX20 1PP
  • Opening Times: Running from 24th November to 1st January. You can booked a timed slot from 5pm to 10pm
  • Prices: Adults £16.50 each, a family of four (2 adults and 2 children) costs £52, children 5-16 yrs £10.50 and under 5s are free. Ticket prices do not include entry to the palace. Combined tickets are available please see their website for more detail.

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We were given our entry tickets for the purpose of this review.

34 Comments

  1. anthony harrington
    December 9, 2017 / 9:06 am

    looks wonderful! I have made a note of this for a possible day out for our little Grandson

  2. December 9, 2017 / 9:26 am

    It looks so beautiful all lit up at night like that and what a wonderful way to kick start Christmas, the look on your children’s faces is perfect. I love the look of the old fairground all lit up but my favourite photo has to be the bridge and the waterfall, there is nothing quite like coloured moving water to keep me transfixed. The palace look like they have done a great job and you have some handy tips for making the most of your visit.

    Thank you for sharing with me on #CountryKids

  3. Leila Benhamida
    December 9, 2017 / 9:29 am

    Looks so incredible. I actually never visited. Great visit to start Christmas in style.

  4. December 9, 2017 / 10:22 am

    We’d love to go one year and see all the pretty lights. It looks wonderful all lit up around the grounds and not too busy. Could do with a mulled wine and glad it wasn’t too cold being nestled in a valley. Love your photographs x #CountryKids

  5. LYNN HEATH
    December 9, 2017 / 1:32 pm

    This looks like a real magical way to kick of the christmas festivities

  6. December 9, 2017 / 3:46 pm

    I have loved reading about everyone’s visit and seeing all the photos. It looks like a truly magical experience to really out you in the Christmas spirit #countrykids

  7. hannah Wood
    December 9, 2017 / 10:10 pm

    Looks like such a good place to go as visit at this time of year

  8. ashleigh allan
    December 9, 2017 / 10:23 pm

    Lots of lovely photos!

  9. A.E. ADKINS
    December 10, 2017 / 8:50 am

    This looks a great way to kick start the festive spirit, we did Chatsworth this year & the boys enjoyed looking at all the Christmas trees, spotting Bullesye and seeing paintings and sculptures with boobies and willies!

  10. December 10, 2017 / 12:17 pm

    Wow the lights are stunning and Blenheim palace looks magic!!! Its been on our list for a long time but the drive from Kensington is 1.5 hours so kept on postponing…Your article reminds me we should just come up;) The pics are also stunning, could I pls ask you how do you shoot them? Our pentax did just partial justice to the Magical Lanterns at Chiswick house or Christmas at Kew and I could really use some tips! Thanks a lot in advance 😉 #countrykids

  11. sarah mcvicar
    December 11, 2017 / 10:26 am

    wow this looks so nice x

  12. December 12, 2017 / 9:58 am

    This looks like such a brilliant event, I love the traditional fairground and being able to toast your own marshmallows sounds fab! #countrykids

  13. Lyndsey Cooksey
    December 12, 2017 / 3:24 pm

    Oh how lovely! What a great Christmas trip. The photos look gorgeous and not badly priced too. I want to toast my own marshmallows!! Lots of things for each of you to enjoy. I would have to be like your little lad though and run in and out of the dangle lights! A magical evening, thank you for sharing x

  14. December 13, 2017 / 10:06 am

    Such a magical place. I love the elf work shop. We are going to see Santa 23rd December.

  15. December 13, 2017 / 9:23 pm

    The illuminations are so pretty and I love the look of the traditional fairground rides. Monkey and Kipper look like they were having a fantastic time 🙂 #countrykids

  16. December 14, 2017 / 9:27 am

    You took some amazing photos! Thank you for all the really helpful information – I will def come back to this if we go next year. With a child with special needs knowing things like where not to have to queue for ages and whether he will be too cold are really important to us. #countrykids

  17. December 14, 2017 / 9:40 am

    What a great adventure for you all! I loved seeing the photos of this and would love to go, but it’s a bit far to travel with my girly #CountryKids

  18. Anthea Holloway
    December 18, 2017 / 6:20 pm

    This looks wonderful and magical. I would love to take my grandchildren there too.

  19. MANDY DOHERTY
    December 18, 2017 / 8:08 pm

    This looks fabulous, I really need to make sure I do this next year

  20. Susan B
    December 18, 2017 / 8:15 pm

    What a lovely review and pics. I can see why the light show was a favourite part of the evening but Helter Skelters are always a favourite with our children..

  21. Sarah Pearce
    December 18, 2017 / 9:34 pm

    Wow this looks great,I love all the lights best thing about Christmas along with the tinsel and glitter x

  22. paula cheadle
    December 19, 2017 / 12:04 pm

    I love Blenheim Palace, but not been for a few years

  23. Kirsteen Mackay
    December 19, 2017 / 12:25 pm

    Blenheim Palace looks a great place to get in the festive spirit.

  24. sharon stanley
    December 19, 2017 / 1:46 pm

    Such beautiful pictures of a beautiful place. Would be lovely to visit if we didn’t live so far. I wish they did something like this near to us that didn’t involve us taking the kids through masses of crowds 🙁

  25. Kayleigh Watkins
    December 19, 2017 / 9:13 pm

    Oh wow!! It looks so magical, definitely the right setting to get you feeling all Christmasy, the smiles on your faces say how fun it was xxx

  26. Tee Simpson
    December 19, 2017 / 9:22 pm

    How beautiful does it look with those lights. Possibly a place to take my kids next year

  27. Lynsey Buchanan
    December 20, 2017 / 4:44 am

    What a wonderful location

  28. Anthea Holloway
    December 21, 2017 / 6:20 pm

    I love your super photographs and it really was a time to remember. What a lovely place!

  29. MANDY DOHERTY
    December 21, 2017 / 9:27 pm

    Your pics are always lovely and it is wonderful to see all the places you visit

  30. December 22, 2017 / 9:02 am

    wow stunning imagery also what a fab place to go I have to look at taking my son here thanks for this post

  31. Stevie
    December 22, 2017 / 9:34 am

    We haven’t been on the helter skelter for years. Must do it again soon.

  32. Rebecca Mercer
    December 22, 2017 / 10:25 am

    Looks so much fun, my kids would love it

  33. Tee Simpson
    December 22, 2017 / 10:05 pm

    So beautiful. Definately somewhere to take the kids

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