Winter and cold weather’s all very well, but when you’ve got annual membership for places like National Trust, you don’t want them closed down over the winter months.  Ok, so we could go just for the outdoor bits, but usually we have to travel a reasonable way for them, and I can get outdoors at home if needed.

But now Spring’s here (meteorologically, not astrologically, which was the agreement after a discussion argument at work the other day), there’s more places open that we can visit.  This weekend, N did his usual ‘I want to stay at home’ moan, but I offered him the chance to take out my scooter and said we could go to Blenheim Palace.  The lure of a trip on the train there is always a winner too.

Scooting at Blenheim Palace

N didn’t want to take his bike, so we just took the scooter – we always park at the Pleasure Gardens, and I knew that N wouldn’t make both directions walking without moaning, so he scooted and I walked keeping him away from the oncoming cars, up to the palace.

trees at Blenheim Palace

The last time we went, we went briefly round the State Rooms and the Churchill exhibition, checking out the modern art installation, so this time I thought it was time to visit the Untold Story.

chandelier at blenheim palace hall

I’ve been meaning to go for years.  It’s the story behind the scenes of the different families who lived at Blenheim from the time it was built, told by one of the maids.

Untold Story at Blenheim Palace

Of course I didn’t really think about suitability for N, forgetting that he’s not keen on moving people models.  It’s all timed and the doors open automatically when it’s time to move on, so not really easy to escape if you’ve got a scared child.  Oops.  We were walking round with 2 other visitors.  N wasn’t keen (predictably) on the models – real life people with animatronics.  You could even see their bodies as they ‘breathed’.  After a few rooms, he got used to it, and would sit nicely and listen to the story.

untold story Duke of Marlborough at Blenheim Palace

With N I never really get to read the detail as we whizz through stately homes, something really has to catch my attention to notice it and take it in.  So the Untold Story was a great way of doing it while keeping children interested as well.  N was probably a little too young, although maybe when he’s older and he knows about his dad’s family tree, he’ll be a bit more interested.  The OH’s family can trace their descendants back until the trail stops at a servant girl who worked at Blenheim Palace years ago.

By the time we were finished, N had had enough and wanted to head home.

balancing at Blenheim

He did like looking over the park from the Palace grounds though, so I’ve suggested next time we come, maybe at Easter, we take some friends along and do the pleasure gardens with the activities taking place, and then head for a picnic and walk in the parklands.  Maybe up to the Victory Monolith.

Blenheim Palace entrance to the palace

A quick scoot up to catch the train back to the car – it’s always an exciting treat, and we just caught it in time as it was pulling into the station.

Winston the engine at Blenheim Palace

Are your children ok with moving displays? Any tips on getting rid of the fear?

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

18 Comments

  1. Lovely post, it looks a beautiful place. We are planning a holiday in the Cotswolds in the near future so this is a definitely a place to add to the list. We are quite lucky, the kids would enjoy the Untold Story, but would definitely enjoy the running about outdoors more! Do you know if you are allowed to take dogs into the grounds? Thank you for sharing

    • Definitely a must visit then, so much to do, especially if you go on a special event day (although that does make it a bit busy! Arrive for opening).

      Not sure about dogs. I’ve never noticed many around, but maybe they’re generally with walkers round the grounds rather than up near the house.

  2. Blenheim Palace looks like an amazing day out. My children would freak out with the figures but I would love it.

    • It’s a beautiful place and so much to do. Quite a few friends have membership there, so really should try and make a proper trip of it with friends.

    • It’s not NT. It’s part of the historic treasure houses, although is independent. They do a year’s membership when you pay for the day. So if you’re local it’s good value. Bit pricy for a one day unless you spend all day there.

  3. This looks like a fabulous place to visit – mine are quite unfazed by moving displays, I guess he will grow out of it.

    • Here’s hoping. He’s not grown out of hating public toilet hand driers yet and he’s 4, so I’m still waiting there!

  4. I’m not sure I’d be that good with the moving figures 🙂 The boys would probably love it, as they’re a bit older now, but I think the wee girl would hate it! Love the photos of N outside, looks like it was a beautiful day. And that chandelier is amazing!

    • The chandelier is stunning. I do need to get back to see the rest of the ‘odd’ art exhibits before they go though. We were lucky with the weather.

  5. It looks really interesting and I love the idea of the moving models to tell the story even if N wasn’t so sure. Beautiful grounds too, your Easter idea sounds like a winner. Thank you for sharing with me on Country Kids.

    • The models in these kind of exhibitions do make it more real. The talking graphics were well done too as you followed the maid from room to room

  6. Blenheim Palace looks like such an interesting place for a day out although am not sure what my little ones would make of the moving figures either. The train back to the car looks like fun though!

    • The train is definitely a way to persuade N to come. And the playground as well!

  7. Not sure my boys would be keen on the tour, but the outside would be much more interesting!

    • There’s loads outside to see. The pleasure gardens have playgrounds, a maze and giant games, plus there’s the butterfly house etc. Lots to do

  8. I have to admit I wouldn’t take Monkey on the tour – he would hate it, but we love the grounds so much that we always find something exciting to do. We’ll be there Easter Monday for the egg hunt with Peter Rabbit. We normally go every Good Friday with our NCT families but we’re trying the Monday this year – it’s always really good fun for all.

    • Yes, I’d spotted Peter Rabbit – got to be a must for N. Thinking Waddesdon on the Sunday, so will see if I’ve got any other friends planning on going with their annual passes too and decide whether to do Good Friday or the Monday.

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