Blenheim Palace, home to 11th Duke of Marlborough and the birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill, offers a memorable day out. Set in 2100 acres of beautiful parkland landscaped by ‘Capability’ Brown, the exquisite Baroque Palace is surrounded by sweeping lawns, formal gardens and the magnificent Lake.
Inside, there are hand painted ceilings and the amazing porcelain collections, tapestries and paintings displayed in each room. Situated in Woodstock, just 8 miles from Oxford, the Palace was created a World Heritage site in 1987.
Set against the backdrop of the beautiful Cotswold Hills, Sudeley Castle is steeped in history. It has played an important role in the turbulent and changing times of England's past. The Castle was once home to Queen Katherine Parr, the last and only surviving wife of Henry VIII. Henry, Anne Boleyn, Lady Jane Grey and Queen Elizabeth I have all lived at or visited Sudeley. King Charles 1 stayed here and his nephew, Prince Rupert, established his headquarters at the Castle during the Civil War. Following its destruction by Cromwell's troops, Sudeley lay neglected and derelict for two hundred years but is now the family home of the Dent-Brocklehursts and Lord & Lady Ashcombe. The family is dedicated to Sudeley's continued restoration and regeneration of the gardens, with particular emphasis on conservation and sustainability.
There are numerous events and exhibitions throughout the year – for details visit - www.sudeleycastle.co.uk
The Cotswold Wildlife Park
The Cotswold Wildlife Park is set in 160 acres of parkland and gardens around a listed Victorian Manor House and has been open to the public since 1970. The Park is home to a fascinating and varied collection of mammals, birds, reptiles and invertebrates from
all over the world and aspires to show animals to people - so that they can come to understand and respect all forms of wildlife. The Park offers a fascinating collection of animals - many are endangered in the I.U.C.N.'s (International Union for the Conservation of Nature) Red Data Books.
Kelmscott Manor, a grade 1 Listed Tudor farmhouse adjacent to the River Thames, was built in 1570, with an additional wing added to the Northeast corner in about 1665.
William Morris chose it as his summer home, signing a joint lease with the painter Dante Gabriel Rossetti in the summer of 1871. Morris loved the house as a work of true craftsmanship, totally unspoilt and unaltered, and in harmony with the village and the surrounding countryside.