My birthday weekend was much like any other, apart from a big night out. But it was perfect weather unlike the birthdays of my childhood where it always seemed to rain, aiding my avoidance of the birthday bumps at school! So I decided that I’d make the most of our newly renewed pass and take N to Blenheim Palace.

Of course, it’s not that simple getting N off the farm. His reasoning was that he spent the Saturday with me…food shopping, swimming lesson, so he could go on the farm. Er no mister, morning out with me and there would be plenty of time for going out on the farm in the afternoon. Thankfully his cousin had a party to go to, and the OH was doing jobs that are boring, so he had no choice. Plus I took his scooter with him.

art installaton at blenheim palace - bubbablue and me

We arrived a bit later than planned but still got a good parking space by the pleasure gardens and headed in there for a play. N noticed the maze which we’d never been in so decided we’d have to do that after a quick (and it was at only around 10 minutes before he’d surprisingly had enough) play on the adventure playground.

climbing a play rope ladder

We also managed to spot a few conkers, which must have fallen after other children had been there.

The maze was an essential. I was expecting it to lead us to the statue, but that was a straight walk through. Instead N led us round and round until we reached a bridge with a view. Before heading (via a few wrong turns) back out again. N was funny when we went into the open statue area.

‘They’ve got short mazes here’. Chuckle, although I couldn’t explain why.

going through the maze at blenheim palace
statue in the maze at blenheim palace

After only a short time in the pleasure gardens area, N decided he wanted to go on the train to the palace, and then scoot on the way back. Getting on the first train of the day does mean it’s nice and empty and you get a choice of carriage.

train through the trees at blenheim palace
wobbling tooth number 4

Blenheim really does get busy, even early on but there’s never been a problem with us going inside whenever we’ve wanted to. I don’t know if they restrict numbers later on in the day. For once N didn’t moan about going inside – and I think he really enjoyed the Michelangelo Pistoletto art installation.

blenheim palace panorama
michalangelo pastiletto art installation

Modern art isn’t really my thing, but this was an interesting exhibition. I also think it’s a great setting because you have lots of old masters and paintings, a historic palace and then ‘weird’ modern art set against it. The installation included reflective pieces of furniture which intrigued N, his Mirrored Paintings piece through the library – where I marched N quickly past the naked female image on a couple of mirrors before he loudly made observations.

art installation michalangel pistello
art installation ball and globe
mirrored furniture
playing with mirror painting
mirrored paintings art installation
mirrored table and chairs at blenheim

Before long we were back outside to go for some lunch. The coffee bar wasn’t open which I think boosted the queues in the main café, so we were lucky to get in ahead of the large queue. Although I left N in the queue with the tray – propped on the counter – while I went to get a couple of cakes. Only to return to find him looking a bit shaken, due to an interfering bloke behind him, wittering on about my tray. I said my tray had been fine, and he hmmphed and jumped the queue ahead of me to go to the next till. The lady in front of us said he’d been interfering and pushing N around, saying loudly that N wasn’t holding the tray safely. But the lady said it was fine, and he wasn’t being particularly nice to a young child. Poor N.

Still, lunch cheered him back up again and we were soon ready to go for a walk. I was surprised at how keen N was to wander. Usually he has a moan about going round gardens and anywhere he deemed boring but it seemed that once he was off the farm, he was happy to go wherever.

surveying blenheim palace
wandering at the back of blenheim palace

He does love the water terraces at Blenheim and seeing a gold car submerged in the water proved a talking point.

waer terraces at blenheim palace

There were a few more art pieces around that he didn’t let me get near to investigate. Instead he was drawn across the back of the estate towards 3 tractors. A few questions about tractors later and we were allowed to go and investigate further afield than we’ve ever been to see the water fountain in the distance.

standing for a photo
autumn colours on a walk at blenheim

I love watching N excited about something. He loved the fountain, and then wanted to have a go on my camera. Most of his photos weren’t straight, but he’s certainly got the hang of getting the subject in the picture, and looks like a bit of a pro too.

water fountain at blenheim palace
Taken by N
taking photos at blenheim palace
5yo taking photos

After persuading him away, we had enough time to collect all the conkers under a large tree. N was more interested in using a stick to rake up a pile of leaves, but he was happy with the conker haul in the end.

raking autumn leaves
gathering conkers amongst leaves
gathering conkers

Picking up his scooter from the scooter racks at the palace entrance, he was then off at top pelt down the road towards the car park. The only problem was the leaves and the drains in his eyes.

breaking from scooting

‘I need to clear the drains for them so the rain can go down them’. So every drain along the way, he parked up his scooter and cleared the leaves off. Sigh. It took a while to reach the end.

clearing drains of leaves

Then once we were on the home straight he was off again, this time trying to beat the train back.

It was a lovely day out, and nice to see different parts of Blenheim. Maybe next time we’ll make it to the cascades. Although our next booked trip there is for the Christmas displays.

How are you enjoying autumn? Do your children take their scooters or bikes everywhere?

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20 Comments

  1. domesstique

    N looks like he is having such a wonderful time exploring around. The art installations looks amazing. Lovely photos. x
    #countrykids

    • It’s a lovely place to lose yourself and we were lucky enough to get away from the crowds. The art was interesting

  2. Love the look of the art installations especially the multicoloured one and the mirrors. Looks like you had a lovely day out and how lovely to see N taking an interest in photography too. I can imagine that cleaning the leaves off the drains meant the walk back felt quite slow! #countrykids

    • It did take a while, until the drains disappeared, then it was back to normal scooting thankfully.

    • They are really cool. I’m not really a modern art fan, but it does mean that there’s regularly something else to see inside Blenheim Palace – makes the annual pass I have worthwhile.

  3. Oh I’ve always wanted to go to Blenheim palace but wasn’t sure if it was worth it.it looks like a stunning place to visit.We’re making the most of our Sundays together by getting out and visiting new places.

    • Hi Aly. It’s a good long day out as there’s plenty to see, and if it’s a one off visit you want to make the most of the cost (it is pricy IMO). If you’re near enough for a couple of visits a year, then you can get an upgrade to an annual pass. There’s a couple of exhibitions in the house, and tours to go on, plus the grounds, and during school holidays and certain weekends, other things happening too. I totally recommend it.
      Thanks for stopping by

  4. What an interesting location for an art installation. They really stand out again the house. #CountryKids

  5. What a stunning place. I have never been but would love to go one day. The art exhibition looks like it was really interesting. N took a great photo of the water fountain!

    #countrykids

  6. Considering how long I’ve been going to Blenheim, O’m not sure I’ve ever been inside. Glad to see that N is happier to explore the grounds a little more. Monkey loves the walk down by the lake to the cascades. We never remember to take our scooter anywhere on trips out #CountryKids

    • I don’t usually remember either, unless we’re specifically going to the park. He’s always gutted seeing all the other kids with theirs.

  7. We’ve never been to Blenheim Palace but it would be a sight to see, so defnitiely one to add to our future hit list. Thanks, Mich x

  8. Karen | TwoTinyHands

    Happy Birthday! What a beautiful palace to go to. Even though you didn’t get to see it all your certainly managed to get round a lot. It’s great how your son was enthusiastic to explore and take pictures. Love the bit about him clearing the drains near the end that’s just cute! #countrykids

  9. Blenheim looks like a wonderful place to visit. Glad N was in an exploring mood today. You were smart to think of bringing the scooter. #countrykids

  10. Cassandra Mayers

    Thats one place I have not visited around here yet. But should do. Looks great!
    Plenty of outdoor space to! #countrykids

  11. It’s great that after a few grumbles about leaving the farm, N really enjoyed spending the day with you at Blenheim Palace. It’s great that you got to explore a few new areas that N doesn’t usually reach, the maze looks fab and the photo N took of the water fountain is fab, it’s great to see him developing an interest in photography. It’s a shame that the man in the café was rude to N but at least there was the lovely lady in front of him that told the man to leave him alone.

    Thanks for linking up with me on #CountryKids.

  12. What a practical chap he is, sorting out the drains. I like the idea of taking a scooter. Perfect on those paths. Blenheim looks amazing and must have made an interesting setting for the art exhibition. Mirrors to see the ceiling paintings, seems a great idea.#CountryKids

  13. Looks like you had a wonderful day out, gorgeous autumn weather and lots of lovely leaves 🙂 That art exhibition looks brilliant, I quite like contemporary art and I love seeing it set against the old like that. #countrykids

  14. Poor N – that must have been quite worrisome for him. I remember I used to get anxious if I got told off, or otherwise spoken by an adult if they weren’t very friendly to me. Despite that, I gotta say Blenheim Palace looks stunning and those mazes – they look like good fun 🙂

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