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Blenheim Palace Walks

A few people have been asking me recently about the walks I take around Blenheim. I live really close to Blenheim so I like to go there and walk in the parkland regularly. I do have annual membership there, which enables me to walk around the Palace and grounds.

Blenheim Palace Public Access Sign
Thems the rules

But many visitors to this area are unaware that to access the wider grounds of Blenheim, you do not necessarily need to pay entry. You have to pay to see the Palace, if you enter via the main gates and want to explore its immediate gardens, maze, adventure play area.

The Blenheim Estate is about 18 miles square. It is a vast country estate, surrounded by magnificent Cotswold limestone walls. High walls, which are still maintained to this day, since they were first built several hundreds of years ago. I am sure they must employ a team of wall builders who have year round work keeping them standing. In a few locations around this wall there are entrance gates which are accessible to the public.

Combe Gate Blenheim Palace
Combe Gate

They stay unlocked throughout the daylight hours and are locked up again at night. The gates are narrow to get through.

You can only go through one person at a time, bikes are no-no, and buggies/pushchairs I think need to be folded up to get them through. No scooters allowed either.

As far as I am aware, the three best places to walk in to Blenheim are at:

Combe gate:

From Bladon:

From Woodstock:

My favourite place to enter is at Combe Gate. This is a quiet spot with a long stretch of road where you can park along the verge. It gets really busy at weekends though, so maybe stick to earlier in the day or later afternoon to avoid the parking problem. Both walking routes I have suggested below are each about 40-60 minutes, depending how long you stop, take pics, eat a picnic etc.

Once you enter through the gate, walk past the lodge keeper’s cottage and you will have to choose between going left or right.

Blenheim Palace walks
Just next to the cottage is this old tree in which I am standing

It’s hard to choose, I know! If you go right, you will walk for a good 30 minutes in the woods, until the trees clear and you pass another pretty cottage in the woods.

It’s at this point where you aren’t really supposed to go any further without a ticket. But I have never seen anyone checking tickets here. I think you are fine to continue on for a bit.

So, if you ignore the sign and carry on...

Blenheim Palace walk
The clump of Beech trees

after a while you’ll see the beautiful clump of Beech trees and eventually walk down the hill to cross the magnificent bridge over the river.

Walk up the hill the other side to see Blenheim Palace in the far distance, but maybe don’t go any further than this. From here its the adventure playground area and pleasure gardens which do require you to have a ticket.

Blenheim Palace
Magnificent river views

Blenheim palace walk
The start of the left walk

However, if that the beginning of the walk, you turn left, this walk will take you through the woods, down a hill...

You will go past huge evergreen trees, until the

path splits at the bottom.

Blenheim Palace walks
Tarmac road to left, faint path through field on right

Left goes up the tarmacked hill, right goes through a field towards the edge of the river Glyme. Both directions are fine to choose. Both are exceptionally pretty. Often there are some very cute lambs and sheep here, look out for pheasants too!


Choose the right hand path through the field to take you closer towards the Palace.

Continue walking and follow along the footpath keeping the river (looks like a bog on your right hand side, but the water is shallow at the moment. Blenheim currently has a massive dredging process going on to preserve the lake area).

Lovely little walk out onto the boggy lake bit. Look out for birdlife hiding in the grasses

Continue this walk, keeping the river on your right hand side.

The footpath will curve around the lake. And within 20 minutes or so, you will meet The Harry Potter Tree!

How cool is that?!

Once you've taken the necessary selfies, move on past the tree and you will come to another stretch of tracked road. Turn left and walk along it, making sure to turn back to admire the view of Vanbrugh's Bridge and the sensational Blenheim Palace views.

Continue your journey heading away from the palace. The road is tree lined either side. After about 10 minutes you will see the first footpath turning to the left. Follow this down between the hills, and you will discover you have made a loop and are back at the boggy bit of the lake again.

Now you need to retrace your steps back up to where you started, to return to the Combe Gate. I hope you get to enjoy a glorious sunset like this when you approach it.

Hope that was fun, and that my directions were helpful! Let me know if they need some tweaks.

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