A Travellerspoint blog

England

Blenheim Palace

Alice in the Palace

For the last stop on our way back from our staycation in the Newbury area, we decided to stop and tour Blenheim Palace. This is also a must see in my opinion...it definitely has palatial characteristics. The palace is named for the 1704 Battle of Blenheim, (also known as Blindheim) in Bavaria. Blenheim was originally intended to be a reward for John Churchill, the 1st Duke of Marlborough for his military triumphs against the French and Bavarians in the War of the Spanish Succession which culminated in the Battle of Blenheim. The land was given as a gift by Queen Anne and construction began in 1705. The project soon became the subject of political infighting, with the Crown cancelling further financial support in 1712. It is the primary residence of the Dukes of Marlborough. These days the palace is mostly known for as the birthplace and ancestral home of Sir Winston Churchill.

Blenheim Palace: https://www.blenheimpalace.com/

During our visit the house was decorated for Christmas in a wonderful Alice in Wonderland theme. The decorations were wonderful, but I was really there for the history of this magnificent home. The house was also extremely crowded, not as much as our Highclere experience, but still very busy inside of the house. We converted our tickets to year passes, so we can go back anytime within the next year and tour Blenheim.

Entrance:
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Pictures from inside Blenheim:
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Decorations:
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The Chapel:
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That rounds our Newbury adventure. We had a wonderful time and cannot wait to go back!

Until the next adventure...

Posted by LCP 00:27 Archived in England Tagged palace churchill blenheim oxfordshire Comments (0)

Avebury Manor

National Trust Property in the Avebury World Heritage Site

While staying in Newbury, we took the short drive over to Avebury to check out Avebury Manor and some of the ancient burial grounds nearby. Avebury Manor is a sixteenth century manor house in Avebury near Marlborough, next to the Avebury neolithic henge monument. It is a National Trust property and in 2011 was the subject of the BBC One television series The Manor Reborn, in which the house was refurbished by a group of experts in collaboration with the Trust. The house reminded me in some ways of Woolsthorpe Manor, also a national trust property. It was definitely a more cozy house than some of the other stately homes we have visited.

Avebury Manor: https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/avebury/features/transforming-avebury-manor

Stonehenge, Avebury and Associated Sites: https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/373/

The village of Avebury:
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Burial grounds:
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St. James Church:
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This is a picture of the dovecote which is used to house pigeons or doves. I didn't know such a thing existed nor had I seen one until we arrived in England.
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The front of the manor:
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Pictures from inside the house:
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I am sure the gardens are beautiful in the Spring, so we might just to have to come back. It was December when we visited, not the best time for that sort of thing.
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The docents in Avebury were very helpful and knowledgeable. The National Trust has some of the most friendly guides in any of the many places we have visited.

Onto Blenheim Palace...

Here is a link to a new internet radio station with a focus on travel bloggers, COLLAGE TRAVEL RADIO: https://live365.com/station/collage-Travel-radio-a95388

Posted by LCP 22:48 Archived in England Tagged manor national ancient burial avebury trust mounds Comments (0)

Stonehenge, Ludgershall Castle, and Donnington Castle

English Heritage Sites

While in Newbury, we also decided to visit a few ancient ruins in the area to include the famous Stonehenge, Ludgershall Castle and Donnington Castle. We had a bonus observation when during our drive we saw one of the famous white chalk horses with this particular one on Hakpen Hill.

Stonehenge consists of a ring of standing stones, each around 13 feet high, seven feet wide, and weighing approximately 25 tons. The stones are set within earthworks in the middle of the most dense complex of Neolithic and Bronze Age monuments in England, which includes several hundred tumuli (burial mounds). It is believed to have been constructed from 3000 BC to 2000 BC. Stonehenge is easily visible from the road, in fact traffic snarled right in front of the ruins as people stopped for a look.

Stonehenge: https://www.english-heritage.org.uk/visit/places/stonehenge/
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Ludgershall Castle is a ruined 12th-century fortified royal residence at Ludgershall in Wiltshire, England. Three large walls emain of the castle, which was turned into a hunting lodge by Henry III but neglected by the 15th century. It was located in a neighborhood and backed up to a large house.
Ludgershall Castle: https://www.english-heritage.org.uk/visit/places/ludgershall-castle-and-cross/history-of-the-castle/
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Donnington Castle is a ruined medieval castle which provided strategic views in all directions: https://www.english-heritage.org.uk/visit/places/donnington-castle/history/
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While driving around we came across one of the white chalk horses.
Hackpen Hill white horse: http://wiltshirewhitehorses.org.uk/hackpen.html
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Onto Avebury Manor...

Posted by LCP 22:57 Archived in England Tagged white heritage hill castle horse english stonehenge chalk ludgershall donnington hakpen Comments (1)

The Vyne

National Trust Property in Hampshire

While in Newbury, we opted to take the short drive to visit The Vyne, a National Trust property in Basingstoke, Hampshire after spending the morning at Highclere Castle. The Vyne is a 16th-century estate and country house that retains a lot of its Tudor charm. It was built for Lord Sandys, Henry VIII's Lord Chamberlain. Apparently the King was entertained three times at the house. The house belonged to the Sandys family before being passed to the Chutes family. The house was bequeathed to the National Trust in 1956.

The Vyne: https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/the-vyne

The Vyne was originally a much larger house, but was reduced in size. The red area in the picture below shows the original size of the house. It
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The South Front is the way in which we entered.
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Staircase Hall:
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These are some of the rooms in the house.
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Back in the day women were not educated, so they would take up drawing. These are a few of the Chute daughters' drawings of the various rooms in the house and how they were arranged hundreds of years ago.
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There was a beautiful chapel in the house with wonderful stained glass.
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Gardens:
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The Vyne was a beautiful house and we really enjoyed our visit. The docents in the various rooms were extremely knowledgable and very nice.

On to Stonehenge...

Posted by LCP 00:54 Archived in England Tagged the national hampshire trust vyne Comments (1)

Highclere Castle

Two words...Downton Abbey

Greetings! Our next adventure was a "staycation" if you will, and took us to the Newbury area to visit Highclere Castle and a few other sites nearby. We stayed at Rookwood Farmhouse, a cute bed and breakfast about 10 minutes from the castle. Our host, Charlotte, was absolutely lovely and her husband is a distant cousin of Sir Winston Churchill. Charlotte provided us with excellent recommendations for places to visit and restaurants.

Rookwood Farmhouse: https://www.rookwoodhouse.co.uk

Our room:
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I have wanted to visit Highclere Castle since the moment we landed in England. I am a HUGE Downtown Abbey fan. If you have been living under rock for the past decade, Downton Abbey is British historical period drama television series set in the early 20th century. The series is set in the fictional Yorkshire country estate of Downton Abbey between 1912 and 1926, follows the lives of the aristocratic Crawley family and their servants in the post-Edwardian era. The show explores how great events in history affected the family and the impact on British social hierarchy. Highclere Castle is a 5,000-acre estate is in Hampshire, England. It is the country seat of the Earl of Carnarvon. It was not only selected as the filming location for Downton Abbey and the subsequent movie, but also the British television show Jeeves and Wooster, staring Hugh Laurie and Stephen Fry. Unfortunately, pictures were not allowed inside of the castle, so I took every picture of the outside I could possibly think of.

Highclere Castle:
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Walled gardens:
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Chapel ruins:
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We had tickets to a special Christmas event at Highclere and I had the amazing opportunity to meet Fiona, 8th Countess of Carnarvon, also known as Lady Carnarvon. We talked for a few minutes and she was very down to earth and relatable...not what you expect from aristocracy. She has a blog and has written a few books about previous ladies of Highclere and a book of Christmas traditions at Highclere. I, of course, had to purchase the books because I can never have enough books and Lady Carnarvon was nice enough to sign them.
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There was an excellent Egyptian exhibition in the cellars of the Castle which pays homage to the 5th Earl of Carnarvon, who along with his friend Howard Carter discovered the Tomb of Tutankhamun in 1922.

I loved Highclere, but it was incredibly crowded. There was a cute little Christmas market, but it was so crowded we got stuck a few times trying to make our way around to the various artisans. I would also have liked to have taken some pictures of the wonderful Christmas decorations that were all around the house and there were even carolers!

On to The Vyne...

Posted by LCP 06:39 Archived in England Tagged market king christmas castle abbey carnarvon downton tut highclere carnavon Comments (1)

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