Blenheim Palace launces new Upstairs and Downstairs Tours next year

From 13th February next year, Blenheim Palace will offer new upstairs and downstairs tours to give groups insight into the history of the house.

The upstairs tour will give visitors the chance to get a sneak peak into the bedrooms used by the family and their guests and to learn about the palace’s history. They will also find out about the challenges of living in the ancient Baroque house, such as the lack of bathrooms.

Groups will also get the chance to view servants’ rooms such as the linen room and tweenies room, and the tour will take in secret corridors, interlinking doors and spiral staircases.

In comparison, the downstairs tour will focus on how the household staff historically help to run the house. The tour will include a visit to the china room, the flower room, the staff room, the kitchen and the pantry.

Visitors will learn about the hierarchy of staff, uniform and wages, and will have the chance to wander through the corridors to see the iconic bell system.

In addition to these new experiences, the Private Apartment Tours will return for another year in 2016, offering exclusive access to His Grace’s private residence. The guided tour includes a view of the Duke of Marlborough’s dressing room and master bedroom. The private dining room, sitting room and smoking room will also be on display.

A limited number of daily tours will also include the Grand Cabinet – a room which contains antiques, artefacts and art.

On the 13th February, Blenheim Palace will also reopen its Butterfly House in time for visitors to see the species emerge from their winter cocoons.

Head gardener Hilary Wood will release hundreds of new butterflies upon the re-opening. The Butterfly House is home to over 200 native and exotic butterflies.

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