I don’t know about where you live, but last Sunday, Oxfordshire was bathed in sun. What a gorgeous treat, after so much rain. We took the opportunity to head out with Poppy. So many of our favourite haunts are/have been under water so they’re either inaccessible or incredibly muddy. Therefore, we decided to head to the beautiful Blenheim Palace. Despite living close to it, we don’t go very often and I’m not sure why, because it’s a great place for walking.

From the bridge

We were quite late in getting there on Sunday so we had to park quite a distance from the Palace, which is where we were starting our walk from. We parked on grass, which was quite muddy due to the recent downpours we’ve enjoyed, but didn’t have any problem getting out! Blenheim Palace is incredibly popular and there were plenty of dogs, families and runners out enjoying the sun.

Duke of Marlborough

We headed straight over the bridge away from the Palace and veered left that meant we could do a circular walk around the palace grounds (though we didn’t know this at the time!) The benefit of this is that it meant we could stick to the tarmac and avoid the mud, though Poppy wanted to walk on the grass, as that was where all the best smells were!

sunny woods

Unfortunately for Poppy, we only saw one squirrel, but there were plenty of pheasants, which Poppy couldn’t really see, but boy could she smell them! There were also a few pheasant carcasses lying around, but we were pretty quick at enticing Poppy away from them. Blenheim Palace is also home to grazing sheep, so dogs need to be kept on leads at all times and be aware that the sheep are fenced in with electric fencing. The sheep are well used to visitors and dogs and I’m pleased to report that Poppy behaved very well among them!

in the sun

Dogs are allowed all throughout the parklands around the Palace, but they aren’t allowed in the Formal Gardens, Courtyards or Pleasure Gardens. Our walk was a bit of a mission, but that’s because we didn’t pick up a map and plan it. We did plan to have tea and cake from the Pantry, but the queue was huge and Poppy was getting cold so we abandoned that idea. The Pantry is well worth a visit though, as the cakes are lush! If you’d prefer, you can always take a picnic to enjoy.

The back of Blenheim

We wanted to upgrade our park and gardens ticket so we could get an Annual Pass. However, the queue on Sunday was massive and can’t seem to be able to do this online. We’ll end up getting an Annual Pass next time we go though, as it’s a great place for dog walking, with so many different routes available. Can’t wait to go back!

The Walk: One of the best things about Blenheim Palace is the vastness of the grounds. There are so many different routes to take that you could go a different way every time you visit, making it great value for money. They also provide you with a handy map so you can figure out where you’re going!
Cost: As we went out of season, we only paid £4 each, however, it is a bit more when everything is open. Here’s a link to the prices in full.
Car Park: As Blenheim Palace is used to hosting major events, there’s plenty of free car parking available. If you arrive late on a busy day, you might be quite far from the main building, but that just means you can eat more cake in the Pantry!
Refreshments: Depending what type of refreshments you’re after, there’s something to suit everyone. We usually just get something from the Oxfordshire Pantry and head outside with Poppy.
Toilets: There are toilets inside the East Courtyard Shop, which is well worth a visit in itself.

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