The smell of roses hit my nostrils before I saw it – perfectly designed and hidden away, easily accessible and incredibly enjoyable rose garden. It shares space with the view over the lake, hidden on it site. Each corner hosts a bench you can sit on and rest, drinking the incredible smell of roses and enjoying their rainbow colours.
The rose garden is perfect due to its simplicity. After walking through lavishly developed gardens, that are attached to Blenheim Palace, with perfectly cut plants and shining water bursting from the fountains, one really needs to see something gentle and light. And that was what the rose garden was about. A delicate character and appearance of roses, that dictate the path the creator chose for this piece of heaven on earth.
The area Blenheim Palace sits on is massive. A huge house with incredible interiors, a great small café near the entrance, linked with a shop selling nice little souvenirs. Another café is hidden away, that serves breakfasts and light lunches, with an outside dining area, where you can sit in the sun and enjoy your coffee, while you admire the delicate work of gardeners and breath-taking sculptures.
If you venture further, you can find many places suitable for a picnic, sharing the space and hopefully your food too, with gooses, ducks and swans. You can hide between the branches of old trees, away from prying eyes of passer-byes. The water is deep blue and the grass deliciously green. The wind plays with plants growing a few centimetres from the lake and wrinkles the immaculate surface of the water. Sit on the bench near the lake and try catching the glimpses of water lilies shyly displaying their white and yellow petals. Follow the trace left by ducks and swans on the water, and look at the clouds perfectly visible on the surface. Listen to the waterfall laughing lovingly nearby… Relax…
When you are tired of sublime nature, catch a train and lose yourself in the huge maze. The hedges are high enough to let you feel like a child or like Sarah in “Labyrinth”. The maze will make your head spin and will add a thrill to your adventure. Try reaching the middle by using helpful platforms which allow you to look at the maze from above and figure a way out. It can take ages before you are able to find your way back, but who cares?
When you are done, leave the maze and visit the colourful butterfly house, just a few meters away. Let your glasses steam with hot air, feel the wet mist settle on your skin and clothes. Watch the colours trapped in the wings of delicate creatures. Let them fly above your head, in air borrowed from South America. Enjoy the moment intensely, before escaping to the climate you are more familiar with.
The train will wait for you to take you back to the main entrance. Perhaps for your last cup of coffee, before you leave the greenness and blueness of the park surrounding the palace. Say goodbye for now, you will come back later: as this place holds a subtle charm over you, and does not ask permission to steal your heart.
How to get there by car or public transport.
Park & Gardens Only: £14.90
Palace, Park & Gardens: £24.50 (if you buy this ticket, you can turn it into an Annual Pass – The Blenheim Palace Annual Pass gives you fantastic value, with entry to the Palace, Park and Gardens throughout the year for the price of a single day Palace, Park and Gardens ticket.)
Opening times changes during the year.