Paddington Railway Station (meet by the main ticket office - it's near Platforms 1 & 2) | Map
Guided by Simon
The Favourite! Yes, the film: the Oscar, the 10 Academy Award nominations. The queen, the duke, the duchess, the history, the background – so deep-dyed with Blenheim. Ah, Blenheim: "the finest view in England;" three acres of palace; 600 rooms; 180 servants; enfilade of nine staterooms; Great Court; Churchill's birthplace, where he proposed; his nearby grave; 2,500-acre park; miniature railway; lake and stream and "the finest bridge in Europe." Details to die for: English lion devouring a French cock; gate that's a water tower; big ears and eyes (French spies); dinner table revolver; ceiling painting of American eyes; secret corridors; spiral staircases; French royal flag. King George III conceding, "we have nothing to equal this."
Oxford: "towery city and branchy between towers; cuckoo-echoing, bell-swarmed, lark-charmed, rook-racked, river-rounded"; town and gown and dreaming spires; poets and punting; kings, wits, celebrated eccentrics, Brideshead Revisited, Inspector Morse, and, yes, American presidents who didn't inhale: "there's no other place like it in the world, it is a despair to see such a place and ever to leave it."
Short Oxford; "intricate mediaeval town...colleges closely grouped...many of Oxford's loveliest things must be sought out, [they do not] thrust themselves upon the attention."
Medium Oxford: "In a sense every college, with its gate-tower and battlements, its hall (or refectory), kitchen, brewery, chapel, library, was a self-contained fortress set in the midst of a population frequently hostile."
Longer Oxford: "Oxford is one of the greatest architectural treasuries of the world. It contains examples of every building style in England from the eleventh century to the twenty-first and they are good examples. Not only are they buildings which for the most part have been the objects of the care, devotion, and pride of those for whom they were built, but at no point in history was Oxford devastated by war or revolution...Architecturally Oxford has never ceased to be alive, every age producing its own fashion and answering its problems in its own idiom. The result has been that unique concentration within an area of less than half a square mile of towers, pinnacles, and domes described in Arnold's happy phrase as 'that sweet city with her dreaming spires'...no place in the world looks more like the 'celestial city...'"
In the Summer 2019 London Walks programme we go to Oxford & Blenheim Palace on Saturday, September 28. Meet Simon at 9.15 am by the main ticket office of PaddingtonRailway Station. The main ticket office is near Platforms 1 & 2. The Tariff (train fare, coach fare, admissions, etc.) is £57. For the total cost of the Excursion add the Tariff to the guide's fee*
*The guide's fee for an Excursion is £18 for adults. Or £16 for Super Adults (over 65s) and students. Or £14 for people with the London Walks Discount Card. Kids under 15 accompanied by their parent(s) go free.
"Best Tourism Experience in England" Gold Medal Winner, Visit England
"London Walks was acknowledged as the premier walking tour company in the entire world" American Tour Guides Convention
If you can't make either of the regularly scheduled, just-turn-up, public tours of Oxford & Blenheim Palace do think about booking one as a private tour. Sure, going private is more expensive* than going on the public tour but not over the odds. If you go private you can have the Oxford & Blenheim Palace Tour – or any other London Walk – on a day and at a time that suits your convenience. We'll tailor it to your requirements. Ring Fiona or Noel on 020 7624 3978 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll set it up and make it happen for you. Makes a fabulous wedding present or birthday gift or anniversary outing. Merchandise schmerchandise (gift wrapped or not) – but giving someone an experience, now that's special. Memories make us rich. *Well, it's more expensive for an individual or couple or a very small group. It isn't more expensive – indeed, a private tour is less expensive – for a group of, say, 18+ people.
"Nah, don't need it, got it all here," you say. Er, roaming charges? Er, dead battery? Er, reading your phone in the bathtub and you drop it? [Smelling salts interval: sick as a parrot. ashen-faced.] Er, read the famous white leaflet in the bathtub and you drop it what do you do? Er, you dry it out. Anyway, maybe worth making a mental note that you can always pick up the famous white London Walks leaflet at the Cafe in the Crypt at St. Martin-in-the-Fields, the old church in Trafalgar Square. They're on the Information Table there, right by the box office. And indeed they also display them on the shop counter, right by the cash register. And it's win-win because the Cafe in the Crypt is one of the town's delights. Should be on everybody's London itinerary.