Our last day - this time!

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October 17th 2017
Published: October 17th 2017
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Our last day of the trip! Today we are going to end our day, handing back the car to Avis and staying at the Renaissance hotel at Heathrow. We decided that on our way back to London we would visit Blenheim Palace, and spend all the available time of the day exploring the palace where Winston Churchill was born. After breakfast we chatted with Clare and Katrina and then got on our way. It wasn’t far from Oxford to Blenheim, but the traffic was terrible around Oxford. Once we had got into the open country, the traffic calmed down quite a bit and the trip to Blenheim was good. As we drove up the drive to the carpark, we could see how big the Palace wa. We hadn’t quite expected it to be that big. Walking up to the palace, we noticed now much like the Palace of Versailles it was. This was further reinforced as we walked through the state rooms. The largest room was at the end of the state rooms. It is now the Library. At different times it has also been used for entertaining and dances. There was also a couple of rooms allocated to telling the story of Winston Churchill. after walking around the house, we joined a tour of the gardens. Jackie, our guide, was really knowledgeable about the development of the current garden, and also what the garden had been like historically. The garden was transformed by Capability Brown about 50 years after the Palace had been finished. Prior to his redesign, the garden had been a very formal garden, with much of it being in parterres. When it was redesigned, Capability Brown dug out a lake and made that the focus. The parterres were replaced with lawn and woodland. There are many cedars, alongside the oaks that were already part of the garden. Jackie told us hat the garden has the oldest stand of Oak trees in England. They have been dated at just over 1000 years old. There is a water garden to one side of the house, with some more formal gardens around the water features. It can be seen from the state rooms, and is also reminiscent of qVersailles. The gardens have a number of areas that are now more developed, but the great majority of it is the natural grass and woodland favoured by Capability Brown. We walked around the gardens for about an hour and a half, and thoroughly enjoyed it. The weather today was sunny, although the wind was cool, so it was a good day for the garden. After the tour we stopped for a late lunch in the cafe. We knew we needed to get moving soon, so after lunch we decided to walk down to the lake, then set off for Heathrow. By the lake is a special tree that was used in the Harry Potter films. We seem to find Harry Potter everywhere! Luckily the trip to London was mainly on large roads, so it did not take too long. By 5 o’clock we had checked into our hotel, returned the car, and were sitting in our room watching the planes take off and land at Heathrow, just across the road. The rest of the day was spent packing our bags for the last time, having dinner and relaxing. Our plane leaves at 11.30 tomorrow, so we need to get up and get ready to be across at the airport about 8.30am. We will be on our way home for about 24 hours, and will arrive home late on Thursday. Hopefully we will soon be planning the next trip!

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