Day Five of UK Luxury Tour: Blenheim Palace, Oxford and Stonehenge
This morning we will juorney to Woodstock, for a tour of Blenheim Palace, home to the 12th Duke and Duchess of Marlborough and birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill. Blenheim Palace is a true masterpiece of 18th Century Baroque architecture, built between 1705 and circa 1722. Following the palace's completion, it became the home of the Churchill (later Spencer-Churchill) family for the next 300 years, and various members of the family have in that period wrought changes, in the interiors, park and gardens. At the end of the 19th century, the palace was saved from ruin by funds gained from the 9th Duke of Marlborough's marriage to American railroad heiress Consuelo Vanderbilt.
Following your visist to Blenheim, we will call into Oxford for a spot of lunch and shopping; the 'City of Dreaming Spires', is famous the world over for its University and place in history. For over 800 years, it has been a home to royalty and scholars, and an established town since the 9th century; with a compact, architecturally rich city centre, Oxford has an outstanding collection of world famous buildings.
This afternoon we will take a drive down into Wiltshire, to see the most important prehistoric monument in the whole of Britain; Stonehenge. The Stonehenge that we see today is the final stage to have been completed, about 3500 years ago, but the initial site is believed to date back some 5000 years to 3100 BC. Created using a range of stone including 'Bluestone' believed to have been sourced from the Preseli mountains in south-west Wales, 'Sarsen' thought to have been transported from the Marlborough Downs in Wiltshire, and 'Welsh Sandstone', the layout and configuration of the stones at this site have changed throughout the centuries.
Tonight you will be staying in a beautiful 15th Century thatched cottage with private gardens and woodland, in a country village near Winchester. There is a country pub just a short walk away, on the other side of the small village, which makes an excellent venue for your evening meal, and not far to walk back if you happen to have enjoyed a few local 'ales' during the evening.