Friday, October 29, 2010

Blenheim Palace

After a week chock-full of reading and studying, this morning I headed out with a group of other Stanford students for a well-deserved break - Blenheim Palace! This famous manor house (where Winston Churchill was born, among other things) is only half an hour's drive from Oxford, and is probably one of the most stunning estates I've seen so far in England.

The inventiveness of some of the exterior architecture, combined with the unique Baroque elements inside, all made Blenheim enthralling. The state rooms were very lavish, almost French. In particular, the grand library (thousands of bookshelves on two levels across a sprawling room with sofas and a piano) had me wringing my hands in longing. I only regret that Blenheim is one of those places that prohibits photography inside.

And - wow - the grounds were spectacular. Over three thousand acres in all, I think, all of it immaculately planned and groomed and manicured. The fall colors have gotten more and more gorgeous here, brilliant reds and oranges and yellows springing out from amidst the green. Our walk through the gardens and beside the lake was picturesque.

So am I tired of these English manors and estates yet? Nope!

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