Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire has announced its 2021 programme including group-friendly events for visitors to make the most of the 2,000 acres of ‘Capability’ Brown parkland at the UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The team is promising something for all ages to enjoy this year from events centred around food, music and gardening to new exhibitions about the history of the palace and estate.
Guests can also visit the Temple of Diana - the spot where Sir Winston Churchill proposed to his future wife Clementine, the Pleasure Gardens, Butterfly House, Lavender Garden and the Marlborough Hedge Maze.
Groups visiting the palace usually benefit from a range of benefits including discounted admission for groups of a certain size and free places for the group organiser and coach driver.
Some of the upcoming highlights
Cecil Beaton Photography Exhibition (1st May - 1st August): from May to August, the palace will be hosting a range of iconic photographs by British fashion and portrait photographer, Cecil Beaton, who was best known for his elegant photographs of high society. Highlights will include portraits of Barbara Streisand and Audrey Hepburn.
Blenheim Palace Flower Show (25th - 27th June): the annual three-day gardening event aims to celebrate the very best of horticulture and the outdoor lifestyle. Over 300 exhibitors will showcase everything for the home and garden, plus crafts, food, floral art displays and more. The 2021 show will be officially opened by Prue Leith at 10am on Friday 25th June.
The 20,000 square foot Grand Floral Pavilion forms the centrepiece of the show and features nurseries and growers giving expert advice and gardening ideas. New for 2021 will be ‘Gardener of the Day’, including Q&A sessions with Nick Bailey and Frances Tophill from BBC’s Gardener’s World.
The Churchill Exhibition: a major new exhibition bringing the world of Winston Churchill to life will open at the palace later this year as part of a series of a £1.9m investment programme. Utilising a mix of historic artefacts and new technology, much of the exhibition will be located in an area of the palace used as an artist’s studio by the wartime leader. Churchill returned to Blenheim often throughout his long life; attending parties, painting and spending time with his cousin and close friend ‘Sunny’, 9th Duke of Marlborough.
Paws at the Palace (3rd - 4th July): All About Dogs – the UK’s largest festival devoted to dogs and their owners – is launching a new show at Blenheim Palace to celebrate its 10th anniversary. The event includes arena displays, dog training expertise, shopping, and competitions. There will be a huge range of products on offer, with around 150 exhibitors covering everything from pet food and treats, diet and health advice, toys, health supplements, coats, grooming products, photography and more.
Blenheim Palace Food Festival (20th – 22nd August): set within the grounds of the palace, the weekend aims to ignite passion for great food and drink with a host of top chefs and producers. More than 170 regional food and drink exhibitors are set to make an appearance, and visitors will be able to sample products from artisan bakers, craft brewers and international cuisine, plus handmade sweets and ice cream.
The Talks & Tastings Hub will have a full programme of free talks and demonstrations from different chefs and producers. Last year’s line-up included Raymond Blanc OBE, Jean-Christophe Novelli and Celebrity MasterChef champion, Angellica Bell.
For the full line-up of events at Blenheim Palace in 2021, visit www.blenheimpalace.com/whats-on