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Blenheim or Highclere?

florida
Level Contributor
1,642 posts
2 reviews
Blenheim or Highclere?

Someone will be driving us from Southampton to Bath, and we'll be making one or two stops on the way. After a couple of days in Bath, we'll be going to Oxford.

If we have time only for one "grand house" and property (there are so many other things we'd like to see), which one is more impressive? We are interested more in the grounds than the houses.

In fact, I'm wondering if the grounds at Stourhead are perhaps as lovely as the ones at those other two places.

Thank you!

8 replies to this topic
Palo Alto...
Level Contributor
8 posts
10 reviews
1. Re: Blenheim or Highclere?

Nancy, when will you be going? Highclere is closed for quite a lot of the year. Blenheim and Stourhead both have very impressive grounds -- indeed, Blenheim has a reputation for being TOO impressive! It was designed on a vast, imposing scale -- a very good example of a classic Capability Brown landscape, but it can feel a bit overwhelming. Stourhead is supposed to be grand and lovely, and it has that iconic Palladian bridge. Both Stourhead and Bleinheim have much more flexible opening times.

London, United...
Level Contributor
3,407 posts
41 reviews
2. Re: Blenheim or Highclere?

Blemheim Palace is the one to do.

Woodstock, United...
1 post
3. Re: Blenheim or Highclere?

Absolute no brainer - Blenheim Palace

UK
Level Contributor
49,560 posts
91 reviews
4. Re: Blenheim or Highclere?

Odds are you wont get into Highclere anyway.

Oxfordshire
Level Contributor
2,632 posts
5. Re: Blenheim or Highclere?

It's practically certain you can't book into Highclere - though some on this site suggest you might be lucky if you just turn up (the problem is, though, that unless you're interested in the Stanley Spencer paintings at Sandham Chapel, there's nothing at all worth doing within miles of Highclere is you can't get in)

If you're really interested in landscapes and gardens, I'd definitely go for Stourhead over Blenheim.

Capability Brown is all. very well, but practically every municipal park in the temperate world is modelled on his ideas, and the landcsaped bits of Blenheim really aren't that interesting (the hundreds of Blenheim acres he didn't landscape, but probably connived in the levelling of. are among the most boring bits of tedious scenery in Britain, and a disgrace to the area)

Stourhead, though, is often gorgeous - and is architecturally interesting. It's much more the result of successive generations playing around than the Churchills' trick at Blenheim of hiring a couple of brand-name designers to show off.

A proper English estate: not the work of a couple of bling-obsessed kleptocrats, as ruthless as any modern Russian oligarch.

Islington
Level Contributor
1,922 posts
3 reviews
6. Re: Blenheim or Highclere?

Nancy came and went last year!

Berkshire, United...
Destination Expert
for Prague, Bohemia
Level Contributor
42,633 posts
104 reviews
7. Re: Blenheim or Highclere?

it's a year old thread

UK
Level Contributor
49,560 posts
91 reviews
8. Re: Blenheim or Highclere?

Grrrr. Thanks Tilly.

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