Just outside of the city of Oxford is Blenheim Palace, the childhood home of Winston Churchill. The Palace is only a short bus ride (on the S3) away to the town of Woodstock AND my magically Oxford Student ID card got me the student ticket, or as the Brits like to call it – a concessions ticket. Built in the 1700s, Churchill’s home is quite the site to be seen. The first Duke of Marlborough won the Battle of Blenheim and received this huge home as a thank you from Queen Anne (last one of the Stuart Dynasty). So, Churchill’s family was aristocracy and, if that wasn’t enough, he was also part Vanderbilt of the quasi-US aristocracy.
My favorite part was the gardens where little Winston would run around and play army. Churchill really, really loved military strategy, which I’m sure the British appreciated in World War II. Since I wasn’t busy playing army, I had more time to enjoy the gardens. I was wondering around, taking in the nature, singing (yes, I know this sounds very Snow White), and then, out of no where, I came upon a waterfall. Awesome. I got really excited and seriously thought about running over to it. Looking at all these stately homes and the fancy architecture of Oxford got me missing my national park vacations. Blenheim Palace helped appease that urge courtesy of the lake, waterfall, and muddy trails through the woods.