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A Little English Treasure, Woodstock in the Oxfordshire Countryside

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A Little English Treasure, Woodstock in the Oxfordshire countryside.
by Colleen Guilfoile Richmond

Fall is a wonderful time to visit the English countryside. Situated just 8 miles north of Oxford, Woodstock is a charismatic old town in the picturesque Oxfordshire countryside. With a rich history, charming scenery and beautiful architecture. Woodstock provides the perfect fall escape into English culture and history.

Woodstock is a bustling market town with ivy-clad stone walls, stunning Georgian architecture and history that oozes quintessential English countryside charm.
One of Woodstock’s jewel’s is Blenheim Palace
It is the only non-royal house in England to hold the title of palace. Blenheim is one of England’s largest houses, built between 1705 and 1722 on 2,000 acres of landscaped parklands.

The palace is also the birthplace and ancestral home of England’s most notable Sir Winston Churchill.
A fun fact is in the 19th century, the palace was saved from ruin by funds gained from the 9th Duke of Marlborough's marriage to American railroad heiress Consuelo Vanderbilt.
Here are just a few things to do at Blenheim Palace:

Explore Park and Gardens

Surrounding magnificent Blenheim Palace are the equally impressive Formal Gardens. Each serene garden boasts its own list of uniquely beautiful features. From the splendor of The Water Terraces, reminiscent of the Parterre d’Eau at Versailles, to the perfect symmetry of pink rose beds found in The Rose Gardens, Blenheim’s Formal Gardens exemplify the idyllic setting which surrounds the Palace. Blenheim’s collection of Formal Gardens includes;

The Secret Garden
The Water Terraces
The Italian Garden
The Rose Garden

Beyond the meticulously-designed gardens lies a vast expanse of greenery in the landscaped parkland surrounding Blenheim Palace. Boasting a lake of tranquillity, traversed by ‘the finest bridge in Europe,’ the park is a marvelous example of quintessential English countryside.

Tour the Palace

Blenheim Palace holds over 300 years of heritage and so, there is a lot of history to immerse yourself in. Tours of the Palace are available and they give a fascinating insight into Blenheim’s previous years, from State Room Tours whereby you set your eyes upon spectacular interior architecture to the Churchill Exhibition that has photographs, letters, artefacts and excerpts from his most famous speeches.
Woodstock town is a collection of easy-to-explore historic streets as lovely as any found in the Cotswolds. Wander in and out of interesting boutiques, unique art galleries and antique shops. The Oxfordshire Museum is in the heart of town and tells the story of the ancient county, it’s natural history, Roman developments and archaeological sites. When you’re ready for a break, enjoy eclectic food choices in one of the many tearooms, coffee shops, pubs or high-end restaurants.

There is an array dining options in Woodstock, from traditional British pubs to exquisite Italian eateries. Complete with roaring fires, beamed ceilings and Cotswold stone walls, some of our favorites are The MacDonald Bear, The Black Prince, The King’s Head, La Galleria and The Duke of Marlborough.
Housed in gorgeous period buildings found on charming cobbled streets, Woodstock’s range of unique boutiques are worth setting aside an afternoon to browse. Collectors and those with an eye for vintage treasures will be in their element discovering one-off, valuable antiques.

For some additional shopping fun, head to Bicester Village, a charming open-air outlet home to the world’s leading luxury fashion houses and lifestyle brands, such as Mulberry, Burberry and Ralph Lauren.

Located in the heart of Woodstock by the gates of Blenheim Palace is on of our favorite spots get treated like royalty with a splendid stay at The Feathers Hotel. From here you can wrap up and stroll from this chic town house to visit the most glorious baroque country house and estate. Then warm up back at the hotel with a Sacred Gin & Tonic and dine like a king with seasonal delights at Kitchen by Dominic Chapman, their new restaurant. Or step into their bar with over 400 gins and a place in the Guinness Book of Records.

Another Possibility located in the Cotswold hills is their sister property the Lords of the Manor.
Lords of the Manor is one of the most acclaimed luxury hotels in The Cotswolds. With its vast lawns, walled garden, and gently sloping hills it is a quintessential countryside stay (wellies by the front door). It is located in Upper Slaughter, a beautiful village near popular Cotswold towns such as Bourton-on-the-Water and Stow-on-the-Wold.
Guests come to ‘Lords’ as it is nicknamed for luxury, it sits on 8 acres of lawns and gardens and, perhaps above all, for the only Michelin-starred hotel dining room in Gloucestershire. The dining room is listed in The Sunday Times Top 100 UK Restaurants Guide.

These are wonderful possibilities to call home on your stay.

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Cheers.


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