Christmas at Blenheim is a brand new event for this year taking place at Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire. Set around an after dark festive trail, visitors will experience an impressive display of illuminations set within the picturesque Palace gardens. We catch up with the team behind the event to find out more.
This is a brand new event. For anyone who doesn’t know about it, please could you tell us a little bit more about what it will offer and what visitors can expect?
The gardens and parkland at Blenheim are already extraordinarily beautiful and spark the imagination. Add the magic of Christmas and stunning lighting effects and light installations and you will get a truly breathtaking experience.
On arrival you will experience all the festive cheer and excitement of the East Courtyard before setting off to join the trail from the Fishermens’ Gate. The trail itself is approximately 1.5km long. It leads you through a number of experiences from the formal and structural beauty of the gardens, to the scale of the parkland and the intimacy of the woodland walk.
What do you think are the highlights of the Christmas trail?
Highlights will include 7m high ‘Avatar’ type flowers, singing trees, and a stunning cascade made out of lights. This is as well as a real cascade stunningly lit, a scented fire garden, gift-laden boats, dancing fountains and the twinkling pealight arbour.
Blenheim Palace is a very popular visitor attraction – will the Palace also be open to people visiting the Christmas at Blenheim event? And what are the highlights of a visit to Blenheim Palace?
Yes we will be open all day until 4pm so visitors can visit the Palace before the trail if they would like to. The Palace will be decorated amongst our contemporary art exhibition by Italian artist Michelangelo Pistoletto who is a founding father of Italian Arte Povera.
We are the birth place of Sir Winston Churchill and have a dedicated exhibition and memorial garden in his honour. We're a World Heritage Site and the ancestral home of the Dukes of Marlborough. We also have over 300 years of history and 2000 acres of ‘Capability’ Brown landscape and Formal Gardens.
There's also the chance to buy some Christmas gifts on site as well as have a traditional Afternoon Tea.
Will there be specific entertainment / things for children to see on the trail?
Vintage fairground carousels add real magic for our younger visitors at the beginning and end of the trail. With the added charm of swiss-chalet type food and drink stalls, there will be all the excitement and anticipation of the festive period in the East Courtyard. However, Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without the promise of Santa, and Christmas at Blenheim is no exception.
There is a buzz in the air and laughter on the breeze as the hidden fairy folk of the woodland busy themselves to help Santa and his elves get ready for Christmas. Children will have to be quick to catch sight of them on the trail. However, as they near the Boathouse -Santa’s Blenheim base - they will definitely see Santa and his elves merrily busying away at all that they need to achieve for the festive Season.