Blenheim Palace is home to the Dukes of Marlborough and the birthplace of Winston Churchill - it is a unique example of English Baroque architecture. A World Heritage site, the magnificent Palace is set in 2100 acres of beautiful parkland landscaped by Capability Brown and is surrounded by sweeping lawns, award-winning formal gardens and the great lake. Blenheim is a wonderful place to visit and it takes only half an hour to drive there from Manor Cottage.
This imposing castle, built by William the Conqueror in 1068, sits on a bend of the River Avon overlooking the town and is steeped in history. It is certainly worth a visit with its gloomy dungeons, the magnificent Kingmaker exhibition (a sensory journey through the castle ending in the awesome splendour of the Great Hall) and often jousting and other outdoor displays in the castle grounds. The little town of Warwick is also a pleasant place through which to wander, only 23 miles from Manor Cottage and with plenty to see and experience there whatever the weather.
This small castle, home to Lord Saye and Sele, is just 7 miles away. These quotations describe it well :-
"Broughton Castle ... about the most beautiful castle in all England ... for sheer loveliness of the combination of water, woods and picturesque buildings" - historian Sir Charles Oman in 1898.
"It is still the most romantic house imaginable. English to the core, as Henry James says. ... Perfection, what with moat, gatehouse, church, and gorgeous orange and buff stone" - diarist James Lees-Milne noted in a 1989 entry.
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