On Saturday morning, formal lessons were suspended to allow a cultural and historically-minded visit to Blenheim Palace, one of the great sights of Oxfordshire. A sprawling feat of architecture with an equally sprawling history, Blenheim is set in a vast park of curated gardens, wandering meadows, and a large lake. The palace itself is one of the most noteworthy products of the short-lived British Baroque period, and has seen its fair share of historical events: it has been the scene of intense political wrangling, and was further the birthplace of Winston Churchill.
The tours were organised in three groups, staggered to allow students plenty of time and space to enjoy the Palace and its history. When they weren’t learning about the illustrious past of the buildings and its inhabitants, students gloried in the wide expanse of the sun-drenched grounds. In the gardens, students strolled along the cascades that run alongside the path with the river; by the lake, students strained to spot otters; in the maze –accessed in the pleasure gardens by way of a picturesque small train—students were able to ‘lose themselves’ in loops of hedgerow.
It was a very enjoyable day: sun, friendship, history, beauty, games; what more can one ask for?