Not too far from the City of Oxford is Blenheim Palace. Built in 1722 in the „English Baroque“ style, it is named after the German river of „Blindheim“ and was given to John Churchill, First Duke of Marlborough as a reward for winning the likenamed „Battle of Blenheim“ against the French and Bavarians. Fans of the TV show „Downton Abbey“ will definitely find themselves at home here (the real “Highclere Castle“, however, being located in Hampshire).
What’s more, Blenheim Palace is the birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill (the First Duke being one of his ancestors). It is quite hard to imagine this adventurer, gentleman and larger-than-life politician growing up in such a calm, beautiful and wide place. Even today, the estate is owned by the Spencer-Churchill family.
Tickets are between 15 and 25 pounds, so make sure you have plenty of time to spend at the premises. Discover the (both French and English) gardens and the estate itself. There are also several exhibitions to visit – obviously one about Winston Churchill for instance.
Next to Blenheim Palace lies the sleepy town of Woodstock which is definitely worth a visit. I would suggest having dinner or at least a beer here before you come back to Oxford.
From and back to Oxford you can easily take a bus from/to Blenheim Palace (Gloucester Green Station to Woodstock).