Buckle up that harness, clip on that leash, and take in one of the finest views in England as you make your way around the park on one of the dog-friendly walking routes below.
Blenheim Palace near Woodstock has two wonderful walks for you and your dog to enjoy. The shorter Queen Pool Walk will take you from the main gates to the Woodstock gates, while the Park Perimeter Walk will take you on a longer walk through the beautiful parkland.
Queen Pool Walk
Distance : 1.5 miles
Time: around 45 minutes
Terrain: mainly on roads
Start at the main Palace gates and walk down over Vanbrugh’s Grand Bridge. The bridge was originally built in the early 1700s and is considered one of the finest in Europe. The story goes that the Duke and his cronies enjoyed gambling, drinking and other 18th century masculine entertainments in the now flooded rooms in the base of the bridge. The bridge was flooded by Lancelot “Capability” Brown in 1764 who dammed the streams, creating the two large lakes you can now see around you.
The 110 acre lake created by Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown forms the centrepiece of his landscaped Park and Gardens. Today, management of the Great Lake presents several challenges as the smaller area, Queen Pool, has silted up with sediment from the River Glyme.
After the bridge take a detour left down the slope to the bank of the Great Lake to see Rosamund’s Well. This royal well is believed to have been built by King Henry II for his mistress, Rosamund Clifford, reputedly one of the great beauties of the 12th Century who inspired poems, stories and paintings. Henry II’s royal manor at Woodstock was near to where to the palace is today.
Go back up to the road and follow it around to the right and continue around and up a steep hill to the Triumphal Arch at Woodstock Gate, where you can see the “Finest View in England”.
The Park Perimeter Walk
Distance : 5 miles
Time: 90 minutes – 2 hours
Terrain: largely on stone paths, some grass
Enter the Park through the gate at Woodstock, and head towards the Pleasure Gardens. Follow the path past the Pleasure Gardens and round to the right, taking you behind the South Lawn.
Continue along the path and it will take you through some of the quietest parts of the estate, great for taking in some of the 2000 acres of quintessentially British parkland. Blenheim boasts an impressive history in its gardens. According to the Blenheim website, new research has found that the High Park is home to the greatest collection of ancient oak trees in Europe. The area was originally created by King Henry I as part of a royal deer park in the 12th century. Around 90% of the woodland is made up of oak trees and it is thought that at least 60 of these oaks are up to 900 years old. It is also home to the ‘King Oak’, dated as being over 1000 years old. The rest of the landscaped Parkland and Formal Gardens are the work of Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown. As well as creating the Great Lake, the master landscaper planted thousands of trees in his ten-years at Blenheim, capturing the English landscape garden movement and style.
Follow the path around the perimeter of the park and lake and you will eventually come back to the Grand Bridge, for a stunning view of the Palace ahead. Once you arrive back at the Palace, thirsty dogs can refresh themselves at the East Courtyard Visitor Centre.
While you are there: Film Locations at Blenheim
Blenheim regularly used as a film location. On your walks, see if you can recognise the sights from the following films:
The Great Court
- 007 Spectre (Daniel Craig, Christoph Waltz, Monica Bellucci, 2015)
- The Young Victoria (Emily Blunt, Rupert Friend, 2008)
- Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation (Tom Cruise, Jeremy Renner, Simon Pegg, 2015)
- Fan (Shah Rukh Khan, 2015)
- TV Series: The Royals (Elizabeth Hurley, 2014)
- Gulliver’s Travels (Jack Black, Jason Segal, James Corden, 2010)
- Cinderella (Lily James, Cate Blanchett, 2015)
The Bank of the Great Lake
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint, 2007)
The Italian gardens
- The BFG (Mark Rylance, Ruby Barnhill, Penelope Wilton, 2016)
Plan your visit using the Blenheim website https://www.blenheimpalace.com/visit-us/plan-your-day/
Have you been to Blenheim recently? Let us know in the comments below.